Vacation Tip of the Day: Have kids? Bring a towel to the beach. Even in February when everyone insists the water is too cold and your kids won't go near it. They will.
I’m on a family vacation this week. No work, no school. We left the snow belt and are now south of the Mason-Dixon line. Time for some R&R.
But in the back of my mind, there’s a little voice saying, wow, think of all the writing you can get done this week!
Now, could I go a week without writing? Oh, sure. No problem there. I might feel guilty, like if I ate ice cream for dinner all week. But I don’t want a vacation from writing. I don’t get enough time to write in my regular life. On the other hand, I don’t want my vacation to be a driven, goal oriented, “I have to accomplish this or I’ll feel inadequate” type of week. I know I won’t get a lot of writing done because time is an illusion, especially on vacation. At the beginning of a week off, I think I have all the time in the world to catch up on my sleep, bond with my family, meet old friends, read a few books, evaluate my life priorities and whip out a few chapters of my work-in-progress. But experience tells me that the time will slip through my fingers, leaving me with nothing but a backlog of laundry.
So here’s my plan for vacation writing: I’m going to write slow. I’m bringing a legal pad and a few pens. I’m letting my characters go off on tangents. I already have a great stupid tangent idea—based on a long-ago family vacation—about the world’s worst family restaurant experience. I just need an imaginary restaurant name. So far I have:
-- The Microwavery
-- The Opossum Road Grill
-- The Country Trough
None of these are funnier than the real-life restaurant inspiring my bad family meal scene, where I was introduced to gray soup. (SmorgaBobs. http://www.yelp.com/biz/smorgabobs-vallejo. No lie.) I'll just have to keep brainstorming.
To punch up the sibling rivalry part of my WIP, I’ll ask my brothers to brainstorm creative ways to destroy a girl's possessions. I know they used to be experts. Too bad there isn’t a modern analog for putting things in a hot-air popcorn popper and shooting them across the house, but maybe we can come up with one.
The outline is staying at home. When I get back to real life, I’ll get serious about writing that synopsis. Really.
Do you write on vacation? Or do you need a vacation from writing? Or has it been so long since you’ve been on an actual vacation that writing is your vacation? And have I inspired you to write about your worst family vacation dining experience? (Can you top gray soup?)
-- Kate, Miss Apprentice Writer