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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Long Absence


One of the fantasies I’ve always had about a writer’s life is the freedom of time and place. I always thought I could write from anywhere in the world; and with the internet, that fantasy is more reality now than ever before. Technically, it’s true. But during my recent absence, I discovered some of the pitfalls that make this fantasy very difficult to turn into reality.


In the middle of March, I went to Florida with my niece, Kendal, and her two children: Savannah, 7; and Isaac, 5. Kendal took her laptop and air card so we could access the internet from wherever we were. I took my thumb drive with all my current work on it. Good planning; we were all set!


I did most of the driving so Kendal could tend to the endless needs and demands of the children. That’s fine - I wouldn’t have been able to work in the car anyway.


We spent the first five days in Orlando so we could visit the different Disney parks with a day in between at the hotel. By the way, we stayed at the Nickelodian Hotel, a kid kingdom with enough events, activities, and parks of their own to entertain our every waking moment. Between Kendal getting sick, Isaac getting sick, Savannah fighting it off, my work bag getting drenched in a sudden downpour and the constant squeals and screams from all the events at the hotel, I had a hard time working…


I couldn’t find a quiet place to sit. Then, when I finally found a tree on the outskirts of the Nickelodian property, I didn’t have what I needed – first my thumb drive was left in the car; then my research articles were in the swim bag with Kendal and the kids at the pool… It was this way all the time. I couldn’t get settled. I was out of sorts, out of my comfort zone, out of my element.


The next week we were at Grandma Clock’s house in Bonita Springs. Much better. There is a park nearby where I could set up my workspace at a picnic table, fairly free of interruptions. There is also a library nearby where I could print when I needed to. So I managed to meet all my paying customers’ deadlines, but nothing more. No personal writing, and not blogging.


I am easy-going and flexible. If anyone can write on the road, surly it would be me. Yet I found that I was constantly unsettled, always on guard, consistently missing something important: my glasses one time, no pen or pencil another, a dead batter in the computer, a dead zone with no internet access, the library isn’t open on Wednesdays, and the list goes on and on…


I clumsily struggled to make the fantasy work. I can’t say it was a disaster because I did manage to get all the required work done and on time. It was not relaxing however, and it certainly did not fit my vision of happily and productively working on vacation. And when I got home two and a half weeks later, I have been discouraged to discover that it has taken me a week more to get resettled and back to my regular routines!


I am not giving up though. I am a die-hard believer in dreams. I still believe that I can write from anywhere in the world and I have every intention of giving it a try again soon. The test will be whether or not I can keep up with regular blogging posts because there is no paying client at the other end forcing blog posts to the top of the priority list.


Anyway, after a long absence, I am back now. My office is back in order and freshly cleaned and reorganized. The laundry is done, dependents cared for, and my skin reflects that golden glow that tells the world I am renewed.


Blogging resumes.

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