I took a vacation. We went to the beach, which was a much-needed break for my husband. I had intended to write, imagining myself sitting on the balcony listening to the sounds of the waves and typing away, drawing massive inspiration from the salt air and ocean breezes.
The reality was that I got sucked into a great book, the air stank of dead fish – thanks to red tide – and the beach was gross, so any inspiration I was hoping for went out the window with the griping and complaining from my family.
Bonus! Turns out the red tide can make people sick too! It was coming ashore for three days before we found out, and so like dummies, we had been sitting outside breathing in the aerosolized toxin (you get used to the fish smell after a bit and the pool was nice, so…). All of us came home with a red tide caused case of respiratory infection. It’s like the souvenir that just keeps giving.
I opened up Scrivener last night and read a little of what I had written before vacation, checked my word count and realized that I am not in bad shape. I think I can still easily meet my deadline. And even better, the book I read on vacation was really good and probably the first novel I have been able to read all the way through in a sitting like that in a long time. It was nice to use a little of what I have learned as an author to look at what the writer was doing in the story and see where I could strengthen my own story.
I may not have gotten any words on paper, but I came home with a beefier plan, so that’s a good thing and probably the best souvenir from the worst vacation ever.