Getting Back Into the Writing Groove After Vacation

Sprague Lake in RMNP July 4 2019

Do you have a hard time getting back into your writing after you’ve been on vacation?  Do you get totally and happily lost in trekking in the peaceful, scenic, and rugged landscape of the Rocky Mountains for two weeks?

Long's Peak, Estes Park from our cabin July 2019

(Long’s Peak seen from our adorable cabin)

hiking trail from storm pass to bear lake day 4 July 2019

(One of the trails we trekked in Rocky Mountain National Park)

Maybe hung out at an absolutely gorgeous lake?

Troy and I at Sprague Lake RMNP July 2019

(Hubby and I)

Okay, maybe you spent your holiday on the beach or zip-lining through the rainforests of Brazil.

In any case, when my family left for our vacation to Colorado (once again. Our last vacation there was June 2017), I’d left my computer at home but brought along a small notebook in case I wanted to jot anything down regarding the experiences I encountered on my trip. And I did. I also wrote a page and a half of a story I’d written notes on a few months ago. The latter was done on the train ride back to Chicago before we picked up our car that had been sitting in the parking garage and headed home.

But still, my mind, body, and spirit absorbed the beautiful surroundings of Colorado Springs where we caught up with dear friends, but most especially, Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park. We walked four trails while there, and it was exhilarating.

Troy walking ahead on trail day 2 hiking July 2019

(Hubby walking ahead of me on our second hike, just me and him)

canopy of trees day 2 hiking RMNP July 2019

(Canopy of pines and aspens)

Alberta Falls RMNP July 2019

(Mid to lower section of Alberta Falls in RMNP)

small bridge on walking trail RMNP July 2019

(Small bridge on one of the trails on which our boys joined us)

And had visitors right outside our cabin.

doe 30 feet from our cabin Estes Park July 2019

(A doe about 30 feet from our cabin)

buck by Brown cabin Estes Park July 2019

(Buck right near our cabin, as well)

For a little while those first couple of days back home, I worried I’d not want to finish my WIP, but by the third day home, I was finally able to focus and re-immerse myself in my story and others’ stories via my online critique group.

I think what helped get me interested again in my story was submitting the next chapters and reading the ones already in the queue. My characters and the storyline drew me back in. Whew. Thank God!

So, it’s back to the story-creating world for me, while keeping the memories of my favorite place, Colorado, always in my heart, for we want to return to Colorado in three years, after our youngest has finished high school.

When you return from a well-needed and relaxing vacation, how do you get your mind and fingers back into your writing?

 

~*~*~*~

 

ROADS (Guest Blog Post Poem)

texas big bend dirt path

This poem was written by my oldest son, Nicholas, last night.

 

ROADS

 

Roads of many kind,

Roads that go to many places,

Roads that tell a tale.

 

The one worth traveling,

Is not easy,

Is not clear.

 

It is but a dirt road,

No wider than one car,

And as barren as a desert.

 

All the other roads look so much nicer,

Easier to travel on,

Common sense.

 

It tells me that the clean roads would be easier,

But they lead to cities,

Cities of crime and uncleanliness.

 

Yes, cities of sorrow and despair,

Cities of anger and hatred,

Cities of gloom and darkness.

 

Yet, those are the most traveled roads,

Wide and easy to navigate, and not as barren,

Everybody takes them, so why not I?

 

Yet, the Beaten Road,

It does call me,

But it’s only on the breeze.

 

It’s only a whisper that tells me,

While the other roads clang loud,

Sometimes it hard to tell.

 

Then one car, I see, stops,

A young man gets out,

And leaves his car.

 

And then I see him walk down the Beaten Road,

Struggles, as he does,

To continue down that path.

 

I jump out of my car,

To lend the poor man,

A hand.

 

He looks up at me with sorrow,

And whispers,

“Thank you.”

 

Hand-in-hand,

We head down that Beaten Road,

Leaving behind all pleasures.

 

Because sometimes,

The best places,

Are the hardest to reach.

 

 

On November 9, 1989, the Berlin Wall Fell: A Personal Childhood Experience of Visiting East and West Berlin and the Wall

fall of berlin wall 1989

(An edited repost)

For the anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall (November 9, 1989), I am posting a short piece I wrote three years ago in my creative writing class that is a true story about my experiences at age 10 or 11, to the best of my recollection, in West and East Berlin and Checkpoint Charlie.

allied checkpoint charlie

Our tour bus rumbled to a stop at Checkpoint Charlie. It was a bitter cold day, and the gray sky promised an outpouring of heavy snow.

Just beyond the checkpoint and its red and white striped arm stood a white guard tower occupied by East German soldiers with machine guns. Behind us, the museum on one side of the road and the pizza parlor on the other emitted liveliness and the typical aura of a well-visited venue for tourists — the West Side of Berlin.

As my family sat waiting in our seats on the bus, a man in a military uniform climbed into the vehicle with a scowl on his face. “Passports! Passports!” he shouted.

The man’s crimson face and bulky, rigid figure frightened me.

 I was sitting next to my mother, closest to the window. My dad and sister sat in front of us. Mom clutched our passports, waiting for the man to get to our row. I slid down the seat, hoping to disappear. He then stood over my mother. She quickly showed him our documentation. He continued down the narrow aisle, his boots punching the floor.

Finally, he left, and the bus chugged through into East Berlin.

As dreary as the pewter sky were the drab brown buildings on either side of us. Few people walked the sidewalks. Our bus passed one person sitting on a lone bench, bundled up in a coat that seemed to mesh into his surroundings.

This childhood experience of East Berlin made a lasting impression on me that I can still see clearly to this day, over thirty years later.

berlin wall piece at RR Pres. Library
(A piece of the Berlin Wall at the Ronald
Reagan Presidential Library)