January of 2018 included three campgrounds — one local, one state, and one Thousand Trails — and four driveways/streets.
I love staying in people’s driveways because it’s so nice to visit with them, but it is seriously terrible for my workflow. No driveway day ever includes good writing. And now I’m thinking back over all of the driveway days of the past year and I’ve found one exception: my friend J’s driveway. But that’s probably because I’m not actually writing in her driveway, I’m writing in her comfortable living room, in her perfect writing chairs, and she’s writing with me and then occasionally bringing me snacks and beverages. Writer paradise!
I’m currently in my friend L’s kitchen, sitting at her kitchen counter, obviously writing. L’s driveway ought to be a good driveway for writing, but we talk too much. I love the talking — we spent a good long while this morning on post-apocalypse books and movies, pandemics vs disasters, the death penalty, human nature, the ability to kill and the consequences of killing — but in terms of actual words on the page, I’ve been here for most of two days and not made a word of progress on Grace. Actually, worse than that, I deleted a bunch last night. So no points for writing at L’s house, although I suspect if I were ever to stay here for an extended period, I’d get onto a schedule and get loads done, because she’s an encouraging fellow writer.
Traveling, in general, is disruptive to writing. My fantasies of living on the road and producing novels like clockwork are just never going to pan out. I made great resolutions in the beginning of the year, of course. But I’ve already broken them, because my brain is always too busy with thoughts of where I’ll be spending the night and how I’m meeting basic life needs. (Is a shower a basic life need? It feels like one to me, but that’s probably evidence of what a privileged life I still lead. But I definitely find feeling dirty to be an incredible distraction, and a major obstacle to being able to live in my imagination.)
Despite the lack of good writing progress, it was a productive month. I didn’t earn much money, but I spent tons of it — on dental work, on vet bills, on van maintenance. In other words, it was not a terribly memorable month. My adventures were mostly mundane, the sights I saw the same daily things that life offers all of us.
This morning’s super moon — a once in a lifetime experience! — looked pretty much like the moon to me. If I hadn’t known that I was having a once in a lifetime experience, I would have thought that there was a weird shadow from the nearby palm tree or some dirt on the window, and either way, the moon dropped below the horizon before there was actually much to see. Which doesn’t mean that I didn’t appreciate it, but last week, I built a campfire and I admired the moon in the trees above my campfire just as much as I did this morning’s moon.
Still, even in a mostly mundane month, I had some beautiful moments.
The moon at sunrise over Sarasota bay. Not once-in-a-lifetime — I hope not once-in-a-lifetime! — but beautiful.
Sunrise in Lake Griffith State Park. No moon, but a lovely stillness.
Lots of insight into your daily life and your reality vs. your initial thoughts about writing while on the road. I wonder where you’ll be when you are finally done with Grace…
Excellent question! I kind of hope the answer is Florida. I know I’m going to be stuck here for a while longer: some of my mundane items of January are carrying into February, so I can’t get back on the road as soon as I’d hoped. But we’ll see, I guess!
Judy, Judy, Judy said:
More and more I’m not so sure I want to travel during retirement. Rather I think I might want to live somewhere warm in winter and near my kids in summer.
You do appear to have good visits though.
The traveling part is the fun part! I like the traveling, it’s the sitting still and getting stuff done that’s a challenge. But life can’t be all one endless adventure — dental work and colonoscopies are a reality we’ve all get to face, whether living on the road or someplace warm. Or both on the road and someplace warm — today is gorgeous in Florida, the kind of day that makes me grateful to be here, definitely!