Saturday, July 7, 2012

Writers on Vacation


Raise your hand if you can relate to the above comic...

*raises hand*

I laughed out loud when I first saw it, because yes, our writer brains rarely shut off.

On Monday, my family and I will set sail on a cruise. While I won't officially be writing, I have a feeling my write-brained self might have other plans. I'll place zero pressure on myself, but I'll bring a pencil and an empty notebook just in case I want to do the following:

  • Character sketches--Hairy dude in a Speedo doing the Limbo; whiney, tired children wearing floaties on their arms; teens flirting by the pool; multi-cultural cruise staff. We never know when we'll feature these characters in our books. Might as well take notes.
  • Scenery details--Cruise ship amenities; sandy beaches; bright blue water. Even if we never use them, it's helpful to jot down location details while they're fresh in our minds.
  • Sensory details--Coconut scented oil; reggae music; mariachi band; crusty salt on the rim of a margarita glass; sweaty neck while wearing the lifejacket during the emergency drill. If we're using location details from our vacation spots, we can't forget the senses.
  • Lessons learned from vacation reading--As usual, I will have a blank sheet of notebook paper slipped between the pages of my summer reading. If valuable lessons stand out, it's helpful to write them down.

If I do absolutely none of these things, will I feel guilty? Nope. We must remember to not only write about life, but to live it. 

What are your summer plans? Any vacations? Staycations? Do you write at all when you're gone, or do you leave it all behind?

Note: I'll skip my next two regular posting days, July 10th and 14th, and be back on the 17th. See you then!

photo credit

40 comments:

  1. I did some actual writing last weekend while on vacation. Didn't want to lose momentum!
    Have a great time on your cruise.

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    1. Good point about momentum, Alex. I'm sure that time was well spent!

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  2. Enjoy life, its short. Sometimes its a good thing not to hold your pencil on vacation. Live a little first, then write about it much much later.

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    1. So true, Jacqueline! It's all about balance, right? I hope you enjoy your summer :)

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  3. I'll be soaking up some beach time myself this week, J. The cartoon is hilarious. I have vowed not to write, but I am going to catch up on some beta reading, fun reading--well, just reading in general--while we are taking it easy.

    Hope you and yours have a blast and get an opportunity to recharge. :)

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    1. Oooh, reading and more reading! That's a great way to unwind while on vacay. Have a great time at the beach.

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  4. Have a wonderful cruise and enjoy all that delicious food. :)

    I'm finishing up my week-long staycation. It was great! I got writing done too but mostly lots of naps and relaxation -- it was great! :)

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    1. Naps and relaxation...that is worth its weight in gold, right? I'm glad you're got lots of rest on your staycation.

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  5. Oh, can I go on the cruise with you? Eat as much lobster and dessert as humanly possible, but preferable while not looking at the hairy dude in the speedo. BTW - I don't think writer brains ever go on vacay as evidenced by mountains of notes written on napkins.

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    1. So true about the napkins! And btw, my sons are more excited about the FOOD than anything else :/

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  6. I always bring a notebook and at least take notes, write dialogue, etc. I've left it behind before but then end up with random scraps of paper, receipts, with stuff scribbled down. I can't help myself.
    Enjoy your cruise!

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    1. I know, right? If I have the notebook, then I give myself a choice. Write stuff down, or not!

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  7. Enjoy your cruise, how lovely! That's the same day I set of to England with my two trouble makers lol.

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    1. Oooh, England! Will you be there for the Olympics? Have a jolly holiday :)

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  8. *raises hand*
    I love to cruise! Will you be sharing any details? We've done Mexico twice, this last time going down to Cabo. My wife is tired of it, but I'm not. I'm ready to go again!
    We still have yet to decide what we may or may not do this summer vacation time. I definitely will take time off, whether we go anywhere or not. I will get some writing in, I imagine, but I'm always networking.
    Enjoy your trip, Julie. Have a drink with an umbrella in it for me, okay? ;)

    -Jimmy

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    1. Jimmy, we absolutely love cruising. And with three boys who never stop eating, it's wonderful where the food is concerned.

      Whatever you do this summer, I hope you get lots of well-deserved rest.

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  9. Have a great time! I don't bring a laptop when I go on vacation - but I do bring my kindle and a notebook too. But, like you, I only use them if the moment's right. Real life has to come first! :)

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    1. Exactly! I don't want to miss something great because I'm busy writing, but then again, if I'm inspired to write some good details, I will :)

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  10. Wow, a cruise sounds great. Hope you have a great time and fill that notebook. Well, maybe not completely fill it. lol

    I'll be staying local this year.

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    1. Miranda, staying local definitely has its advantages. No travel hassles or lost luggage :)

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  11. Have a wonderful time! Turn the brain off and enjoy.

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  12. I loved that comic strip... it's so me when I go on holidays. My mind never rests from writing:) Have loads of fun on your cruise.

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    1. It's like a blessing and a curse, right?

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    1. Thanks so much, Rachna! I'll "see" you when we return :)

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  14. Have an awesome time! When I vacation, which is rare, I leave it all behind. My only plans this summer are to get my son off to college in AZ.

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    1. Nancy, that is a major undertaking (emotional and otherwise). Good luck to you AND your son. Busy time right now in the Thompson family :)

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  15. Funny cartoon!

    Have a great time!

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    1. Thanks, Loree! Hope you're enjoying your summer :)

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  16. Have a great time, Julie! I just finished 2 short trips over 2 weeks, but now the real chaos of my summer is about to begin. *sigh* I'll write in there somewhere. Just enjoy and only write if your brain won't stop. You deserve this time!

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    1. Wow, Michele, your gang has been busy! Hopefully you can catch some breathing time in between all the chaos. It's not always easy!

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  17. I'll raise my hand. Guilty on all three counts. I often wonder if I would write a different book if I vacationed in a different place. My time off is so often the time I get the ideas for the next project.

    As to plans for getting away: None until Sept. I'll have to read about everybody else's "What I Did Over Summer Vacation." However, come Sept. I'm out of here. Enjoy your cruise.

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  18. I knew you'd do this one! The second I saw you pass this cartoon I thought what a great blogpost. Glad I didn't try it. ;D Hope you have a FABULOUS time. It's well deserved!

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  19. Love this, Julie, and it is so true! Everything we experience as writers becomes fodder somehow.

    Enjoy the cruise!
    --Susan

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  20. LOL! Julie--that comic is SO hilarious! I'm absolutely the same way--ALL the dang time. :D As for vacations, we just got back from a week visiting relatives, and "vacation" is in two weeks. And I've got a deadline. Stress!

    Hope you're fabulous, dahling~ :o) <3

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  21. Hope your cruise is awesome, Julie!

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  22. Hope your cruise is AMAZING Julie:) I just returned from a week away and posted pics on my blog. It's right up your alley:)

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