Saturday, August 20, 2011

Vacation Damage Control

...For Writers 

~ Above the Mesa ~ by @3CatPhoto
Canyonlands Nat'l Park  

The word vacation evokes two rxns:

1. "Hooray, I don't have to work! I can eat delicious, fascinating food and go see amazing stuff."
2. "Darn it. Writing's gonna tank. Goodbye muse -- being in close proximity to other people for any length of time freaks her out. Goodbye all writing goals (#wipmadness). Goodbye sanity."

Damage Control Steps

1. Get a journal. Attractive is good. Too attractive is bad. You're gonna nasty it up.
2. Take notes in it. From the mundane to the magical. Go ahead and wax poetic over presidential balls and electric cables.
3. Stick crap in it. Hiking in Arches Nat'l Park, I was equipped with my journal, a pencil, two rolls of Scotch tape, and my camera phone (which doubled as a flashlight later on when we got lost on the ridge 7K feet up and sun slipped away).
4. Record your takeaway. Not just the experience. Later, you might remember only one or the other unless you write it down. For instance, here're a few things I took away from that hike:
     a. I'm a rookie hiker at best.
     b. Trails are hard to navigate. Period.
     c. At dusk, one loses depth perception.
         The air seems to waver, changing consistency.
     d. Moons are bright! Amazing when they rise.
         They rise fast. Corollary: the sun sets fast.
     e. The Outdoors is scarier at night.
         Especially when your hiking partner goes off
         with the only light and leaves you
         at the top of the ridge. Cold. Alone. In full dark.