On Vacation and Writing

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I disappeared for a few weeks. They were good weeks, filled with lots of fun, food, love, and laughter. It all started with Ruth’s arrival. She flew into town for her (more or less) annual summer visit she planned to coincide with the wedding festivities of 2 of our close friends. Immediately upon Ruth’s arrival, we left for a bachelorette weekend away. Once we all got past the initial smell of cat pee and the massive pelican statute everyone kept mistaking for a person looming outside one of the living room windows of our accommodations, the bachelorette party turned into an immediate success. All the girls (and one lovely gentleman) were in great spirits. We laid in hammocks, kayaked, drank wine, ate crabs, made s’mores, stayed up late talking about sex, and felt each other’s chests up for comparison (the gentleman did not partake). It was everything it should have been, complete with lots of fun new hashtags. #amigross

 

The following weekend was the wedding. After a very mild summer, that Saturday was one of the hottest of the year, which worked nicely with my long, silk dress and penchant for sweating profusely. Regardless, the wedding was absolutely gorgeous. Set on an historic farm turned market and winery, both the ceremony and reception were held in an aged barn decorated beautifully with antique lights and simple flower arrangements in Ball jars. We drank, we danced, we sweat (I did quite a lot of all 3), Ruth rapped – it was kind of #epic.

 

Sunday after the wedding, we set off on a week-long vacation to the Outer Banks which was basically heaven – sleeping in every morning, sitting around drinking coffee until noon, hanging out on the beach or in the pool, doing puzzles, playing mini golf, riding bikes…the list goes on. The guys developed a fun new game that involved kicking a soccer ball around the living room without letting it touch the floor while listening to some of the most explicit and also stupid rap music imaginable at an ear-splitting volume. This went on for at least 2 hours. The girls finally had to call it quits and pull the plug on the sound system because we were almost hoarse from trying to talk to each other over a “quiet” puzzle session in the next room. On one of our best nights, we played Battle of the Sexes (a horribly misogynistic game that I do not recommend unless you can deal with the fact that whoever created it thinks women know nothing beyond sewing, cooking, and make-up) until we laughed so hard that I puked real puke. #allowme

 

One of my favorite things about the trip was geeking out with my friend Liz over our mutual love of books. I am a NERD when it comes to books. I always have been. I specifically remember one summer where I stayed home every day to read (probably some Christopher Pike or R.L. Stine or some other such thing) instead of going to the pool like my friends and most normal people. I just couldn’t get my nose out of my books and made a new trip to the library every week to trade in my stack of read books for a new stack of unread ones. It was one of the best summers of my life. Liz could relate, which made me love her more than I already did. Anyway, while at the beach, I was finishing up On Writing by Stephen King. This book details some of SK’s early experiences in life and writing that shaped him as a writer, his road to becoming a successful writer, his advice on how to be a better writer and break into the business, and a very serious and heart-wrenching account of the accident that nearly killed him and his subsequent recovery. I was all about this book. I got very excited when I came to the end and found 6 full pages of SK-recommended books. (HP 1-3 were on his list – HELLO). Liz got pumped as well, and the geek-out persisted. Our geek-out continued into the days following our return home when she told me she finished Gone Girl in 2 days (GREAT book) and we started trying to figure out both how to start a book club and make a job out of reading books. #professionalnerds

 

I came away from reading On Writing with some specific messages: writing is very hard work (but it shouldn’t feel like it), it takes dedication, you should understand your voice and know your audience, and the stories very often come from the characters themselves (at least where SK is concerned). I am also now terrified of adverbs and passive voice (I shudder to think how badly I have abused both of these in the past). SK also gave me some homework. 1) I need to write 1000 words a day. (I will dream of the day when this is physically possible.) 2) He set up a scenario for a writing assignment. I started to play around with this. I’m not sure if I’ll finish it, but here’s what I have so far:

 

Dick knew something wasn’t right. Ever since he’d gotten home at lunchtime, the feeling of unease kept nagging at him, though he couldn’t put his finger on exactly what was causing it. He’d made a point to take off this afternoon in order to prepare for the 10 screaming 5- and 6-year-olds who would descend on the house the following day in celebration of Nell’s birthday. That meant 10 mothers in various stages of marital attachment attempting to make coy assessments of the state of cleanliness and order of his home, among other things, in passing their judgement on his success at single fatherhood. He felt the gentle, not-so-conspicuous nosing each time he had a casual conversation with one of them at school or the supermarket. Occasionally, he would feel a sense of pity. Everyone knew it had been a tough year.

 

Nell wanted a Miley Cyrus themed birthday. Though Dick was a little hesitant to celebrate his daughter’s 6th birthday in the vein of someone who made a habit of grinding on life-sized teddy bears in almost no clothes with her tongue wagging grotesquely, he’d obliged. Maybe not one of his better parental choices. Nor probably was the fact that Nell even knew about the bear-humping, post-Hannah Montana version of Miley Cyrus at her age (he could already feel the oppressive mom-judgement crushing down on him), but after the last year, a Miley Cyrus birthday party Nell would have. Sweet little Nell. She still didn’t fully understand why her mom was gone, and Dick wasn’t sure if he ever wanted her to know.

 

It’s not much, but I guess it’s a start. And I’m at 1123 words. #boom

  1. 2 Comments
  2. Liz
    Sep 27, 2014 at 5:04 pm

    I LOVE IT!!! Write more plz, I’m already hooked. Instead of a book (reading) club, we should start a book writing club!!!

     
  3. Jeris
    Oct 4, 2014 at 3:33 pm

    good job! Can’t wait to read more.

     
 
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