Posts Tagged ‘Kate Atkinson’

I always wondered what could take writers away from their blogs for so long that their readers (all 14 of you! sob!) stop checking back for new posts. Most bloggers claim work-related issues, or a new baby, or an unexpected health problem. For some it’s a vacation.

For me, who knows? like Facebook says, it’s complicated. Some of it was just getting too caught up in work and some was lack of inspiration and I’ll try to touch on that here, because they’re interconnected. But whatever it was culminated in an insane decision to turn down a week in cool(er) North Georgia, sitting around in a cabin near a lake, so that instead, I could spend my days outside in 95 degrees, under a blistering sun, tending my never-get-enough-sun vegetable beds, creating a small rose garden at the foot of our driveway and digging two new borders so we could divide and transplant some mutantly huge hostas.  Pruning shrubs was also on the agenda, as well as yanking up about two dozen pine/maple/holly saplings that evidently grow four feet tall overnight.

Brilliant, right? All good, diligent, necessary adult work in the name of home improvement, a term I once heard only from my parents or read in newspaper articles.

When it was all done, I kept staring out at my neatened yard and new plantings, wondering where the pride and contentment were, why I had an urge to sit down on the back steps of the deck and cry and make the cat sit on my lap. I had dutifully completed all my chores, when what I had really wanted was to do a whole lot of nothing. What happened?

When I’m lyin’ in my bed at night
I don’t wanna grow up
Nothin’ ever seems to turn out right
I don’t wanna grow up
How do you move in a world of fog
That’s always changing things
Makes me wish that I could be a dog
When I see the price that you pay
I don’t wanna grow up
I don’t ever wanna be that way
I don’t wanna grow up—Tom Waits

Everyone needs time to do nothing. Being able to retreat from the world is part of the alchemical process most writers need before they can burrow down into where all the good stuff lies. And bring something back. It’s the privilege of children to be able to play without having to prove they’re learning something or contributing to society or paying the bills.

Know what? I could use a place like this right about now:








Or one of these.

Or this:

I would not do anything but read and scribble and make semi-magical connections between what I was reading and thinking and everything that had happened lately or in the past year. I wouldn’t come inside and prepare dinner; someone would have to make sandwiches for me and leave them at the door in a paper bag.

I would only pad up to the main house for a coffee refill.

And these are the books I would stack on the desk or table to read. Or pile in a beach bag. You can also think of them as my suggestions for reading to take on any kind of summer vacation, even if it’s a staycation out in your back yard. Most, but not all, are new. (more…)

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