Travel and Writing
In Ty’s ‘day before the novel begins’ story found in the Born of Novel Companion, he returns home to Myrocene to find nothing is as he remembers it or at least it doesn’t fit the way he remembers it. But really, home hasn’t changed. He has during his time away in his apprenticeship. That is a concept I’ve always liked. We leave and return, but who we are may not be the same as we return with new perspectives.
After more than two weeks away, I’m back from Peru. It was an amazing trip, both challenging and fun. And yes, I’ve come back altered from the experience. I’m more determined than ever to live the life I choose and I’m far less afraid to try. I’m also feeling far more grateful for the successes and choices that got me to where I am now. The effects from the trip are still developing – and have yet to be challenged by returning to my day job and its persistent demands. Finding the clear headed balance and foresight I have at this moment will be harder in even a week’s time.
That is why I’ve spent quite a bit of time this weekend writing down the thoughts and perspective I have now returning home. What is important? What goals do I have and how can I achieve them? Which is to say, I’ve been doing some deep thinking and not much writing or blogging. I think it may take me a bit to return to old habits as I try to create new ones.
Though I enjoy the Monday blogs about my writing and the worlds of my stories and the friday posts about the technicalities of writing, it may take me a bit of time to get the scheduling going in full swing. Right now, my head is much more on figuring out some steps to keep this perspective on life going a bit longer and to take care of some of the things I tended to ignore (usually in favor of writing) before I left.
I did write – and edit! – while away. After a lengthy personal debate, I took my iPad with me on vacation and spent some time editing during some down time while acclimatizing to Cusco’s 11,000 foot elevation (I live at a mere 800′!). And by the time I was in week two, the desire to write became a solid writer’s itch and I managed to tap out almost two chapters during my final days in Peru – on an iPad with no keyboard nonetheless. But those were stolen moments when we were relaxing. Writing was something I did because I like to write while I was on vacation. I realized that before vacation, writing was something I did because it was an escape.
That is a big realization. I guess the good news is that I love to write, but I do need to focus on a few things now that I’m home. Which might slow down my previous pace of writing. Maybe I’ll focus on writing one book instead of two. Maybe I’ll slow down the blogging a tad. I tend to let habits evolve and I’ll find the balance I need in a week or so. For now, I’ll drop my writing schedule back on both books until I find a new pace.
The funny thing is parts of Peru very much inspired new writing ideas. I loved learning about the Inca civilization and some of their ideals fit with a very vague storyline I’d been pondering. The trip certainly added fuel to that fire! And visiting Lake Titikaka had me envisioning the Marsh of Isha from the Rise of the Fifth Order trilogy. The Marsh also appears in Sparks of Defiance, book 1 of my new epic fantasy series Games of Fire. I spent quite a bit of time on the boat contemplating scenes from Sparks of Defiance, loving the setting as I felt I could have stepped off the boat into one of my stories. Of course that daydreamy feeling could have been inspired from 12,507 foot elevation of the lake!
As I hiked the Inca trail to Machu Picchu, my thoughts would occasionally wander to Friends of my Enemy. Most of the time though, I was enjoying the view of lofty mountains, wildflowers, lamas, and the stone path stretching ahead and behind as I gasped for air on the uphill sections. Or is that up-mountain sections? It was the hardest hike I’ve done by far and I’m very happy to say I finished it, walking from kilometer 82 to Machu Picchu in four days. Each day, each hard one section, brought a euphoria similar to one I feel when I finish writing a novel. I can see why I love to write, just as I can see that I need to get out more and do more than write!
I am once again home in Maine where we’ve had snow, ice, and sun this weekend. The weather inspires staying inside next to the fire. But I’m really hoping to tackle some house projects despite a long winter ahead. I’m really determined to finishing the bookcases and kitchen cabinets as well as finishing The Battle for Europe, book 2 of Friends of my Enemy. Not to mention the many, many notes I have on the final book of the trilogy. I’ll keep you posted on progress as I settle into home with many new ideas, new thoughts, and big hopes.