Friday, September 18, 2015

Vacation Time! by Nancy M Bell

Tomorrow I leave for a 15 day cruise to Hawaii. I've never been to Hawaii before, although we have taken numerous cruise vacations. It got me to thinking, how important are vacations and taking breaks to the writing process. While deadlines loom over my head, should I take the laptop with me and devote some time each day to my WIP? I'm of two minds. One part of me wants to throw caution to the wind and just let the trade winds wash my blues away. The more practical side of me says, there are 10 days at sea, it should be easy to complete my novella and get some work done on my romance. What to do, what to do.

So I will be sitting on my balcony watching for dolphins and whales and writing about the Alberta prairie. Hmmmm. Sounds good in theory. But will I follow through? That remains to be seen. I do think that a break is good for the soul and for the creative process. However, I need to balance that against the need to stay in touch with my characters and not letting my muse decide to take a VERY long vacation which would leave me staring at a blinking cursor with no words to write. That being said, the beautiful sunsets and lush scenery of Hawaii may inspire brand new stories.


On to more practical things. Sometimes getting ready to go on vacation is hardly worth the effort! I have been cleaning the house madly because the dust bunnies and dog hair bunnies will breed like crazy while I'm gone. Then, I've had to find temporary fosters for my six foster kittens and my medical foster dog. All the arrangements and dropping off and setting up things so the hand off goes smoothly. Sometimes by the time I get ready to leave, I'm exhausted and stressed out. Then there's the airport stress, and security check. I always feel guilty even though I'm anal about not having anything on me that would send up a red flag. I must look dangerous because I inevitably get pulled out of line for the 'full meal deal' security check. I walk with a cane for heaven's sake! Like I could outrun anyone and the cane goes through the X-ray. Go figure. They say it's 'random' but a couple of years ago, I flew four times in short order and three of those times I was pulled out for the 'full meal deal'. Not so random, I'm thinking.

The world we live in is so changed. Used to be you could just walk on and off the ships, now you need your passenger ID card and you have to go through X-ray security every time you get back on the ship. The times they are a'changing. I'm looking forward to the food the most. Princess lines has the best food in my opinion. Last year we sailed with Holland America, a last minute thing, we went to Alaska. The food in the dining room was only passable. I asked for the cheese tray one night and they brought a few pieces of cheese, no fruit and no crackers. Say what? I asked for some crackers and the waiter looked at me like I had two heads and then brought me some soup crackers in cellophane. Needless to say, we won't be sailing Holland America any time soon.

I am looking forward to seeing Hawaii and buying gifts for my grandkids. Perhaps some gifts for me too??? LOL

My next post on October 18th will be full of news and anticipation of Surrey International Writers Conference. It takes place the following weekend and I'm looking forward to seeing old friends and making new ones. I've been accepted as a presenter in the Unconference on Friday afternoon. During my fifteen minutes of fame I will talk about using horses in your stories. The ABC's of Horses. Nothing worse than reading about a horse 'lapping up water', horses don't 'lap' they suck up water using their teeth to strain out floating things.

Keep your eyes open for the next book in the Longview Romance series. It's called Come Hell or High Water and continues the story of Michelle and Cale that began in Storm's Rescue. Of course, Storm the three legged dog is along for the ride. See you next month.

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