Thursday, July 20, 2006

Hi Diddly Dee, the Writer's Life for Me!

I'm writing this on the shores of Puget Sound, at Dash Point State Park. Quite a panorama stretches out before me: a sandy beach with a constant stream of waves washing in, the forested hills of nearby Maury Island, and behind them the tops of the Olympic Mountains, still blanketed with snow. There are a couple of sailboats on the water, and lots of kids playing on the beach. The sky is almost completely clear, but the air is pleasantly cool where I sit, in the shade of towering trees I lack the skill to identify. There are a lot of crows around, scavenging the scraps of picnickers and summer-camp field trips.

This, as they say, is the life.

Specifically, it's the writer's life, exactly as you sort of fantasize it will be. I've taken a week off from work—this is day 1—primarily for the reason that, with my wife out of town, my working a full week would add undue stress to my son's life. Because he goes to school (and summer camp) quite some distance from both where I live and where I work, my 8-hour day at work (which is cutting it shorter than usual) translates into 9-1/2 hours at camp for him—6 hours of actual camp, plus an hour before and 2-1/2 hours after in care at the school. Those add up to long days, particularly when it's 90° outside, which it's supposed to be today and tomorrow. So I'm taking a week off of work to break up that drudgery for him—he had three long days this week, then gets just 6-hour days at camp today and tomorrow, three more shorter days at the start of next week, then two more long days before my wife gets home.

Right, I'm doing this for him. That's pretty easy to forget, as I sit here by the water.

So I dropped him off at camp this morning (we didn't have to leave the house until 8:15! So much better than 7:30!), then went and sat in Starbucks for about 3 hours. I wrote almost 1,900 words in those 3 hours, which completely makes up for the three days I didn't write at all this week. Then I went and had some falafel at a new Mediterranean restaurant, writing another 200 words while I waited for my food. And then I drove to the beach. I've got another hour before I pick him up from camp, so I'm hopeful that I can get another 500 words written—as I sit here and listen to the waves.

Four more days like this, and I'll be completely caught up on my writing, despite all the things that have gotten in the way of it over the last couple of months.

I probably shouldn't mention the bikinis. You never know who might be reading this. Besides, I'm pretty sure most of these girls are like 14, and that's just oogy.

Sometimes I imagine making a living by writing novels, no longer going into the office every day. This is the kind of day I imagine. The life you always see in movies about writers. (You ever notice how many novels feature protagonists who are novelists? Talk about writing what you know...)

So anyway, I'm living the dream. How's your summer?

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meter
16,614 / 120,000

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