[I hate it when I think I hit the Publish button only to find out much later that some how I didn’t. This should have showed up hereabouts yesterday.]
I’ve been in Fort Bragg since Wednesday.
I’ll be headed home tomorrow. To say that I want nothing to do with the return would be an understatement to end all understatements. For the past few days, I’ve been able to slow down and live a life of leisure. Back in the real world, I feel like I never stop moving and hurrying. Not enjoying the moment because I have to get to the next “must do.” My need to constantly rush drives my wife crazy, I know this. It drives me crazy as well. But there is so much that always needs to get done. It’s how I’ve lived my life for the past couple of decades, but it’s one of the many things that isn’t a part of the real me. For the last few days, I’ve had the opportunity to be me.
Hunting for lighthouses…
Waves crashing …
I’ve written a bit here and a bit there. Made pizza in a new and different way. Met some talented writers and made friends with a few of them.
But there are things I set out to do that I never got to. Paint and explore some of this area in a deeper way. Never quite got there. Because, yes, there is still a bit of a hurry. There are still so many things to do. It’s back to life tomorrow. But, that’s not right. What’s back there isn’t actually life. It’s grinding through the “must do’s” to get to the point where the time for “wanna do’s” finally opens up.
Some other random things from this week.
The workshop was great, but it wasn’t. Three days sitting and talking about writing, hearing other writers’ perspectives on stories, is always interesting and inspiring. I’m motivated to move forward on the things that have been holding me back. But, for three days, it also felt like work. I had to be up and somewhere by 8:00 and then spent the entire day there, while there were all of these other things I wanted to do. Places to go, pictures to paint, words to write. So, there was that. I’m not sure I’ll do a formal workshop again. Maybe I’ll come up with my informal King Midget workshop for future trips. More flexible, more open, more free-wheeling. You in?
I left for this trip with four books to pick from for my reading. Revolutionary Road, by Richard Yates, recommended by a friend, and then by Peter Orner who led the morning workshop I was in. Joyland, by Stephen King. Yes, I have written that I’m swearing off of Mr. King forever. But a friend assured me this was not typical King. We’ll see. The Housekeeper and The Professor, by Yoko Ogawa, and recommended by a co-worker. The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, not just recommended by a friend but purchased by her specifically for me to read. I also brought my Kindle, which has who knows how many books and shorts stories on it that I haven’t read yet. So, I was fully loaded with reading material.
Which explains why I only got through Revolutionary Road and am only now starting on Joyland. And also why I added more books to my reading list while here. First I had to buy two more books by Peter Orner. Had to. It was a must. Then I had to buy a book that includes three novels by Henry Green, the author that Peter insisted is an author like no other. The collection consists of Loving, Living and Party Going. What it doesn’t include is Doting, a novel Green wrote that consists entirely of dialogue. I must read that.
I also wandered through a used bookstore and added a Faulkner collection to the stack. So, game on. I’m going to have to be a reading fool in the weeks ahead.
I’d like to go back to Revolutionary Road and just say this. If you haven’t read it, you should. It’s one of those books that just produces a WOW from me. It is so good on so many different levels.
I think that’s it. My little time away has been more than I thought it could be while being less than I had hoped. But, ultimately, it was 100 times better than the alternative.