Travel

One word: addicting

One thing I’ve learned is that if you start, you’ll never stop.  It’s an expensive hobby, but well worth the time and money.  I love seeing new places, trying new foods, but most of all seeing the world in a way I never imagined as a kid in NC.  Fascinating!  When I first started traveling, I felt a need to plan everything.  Every single moment needed to be packed full, so I did not miss any potentially awesome experience. It was exhausting, but the memories were worth the lost sleep, early mornings and late nights.

The first time I winged a vacation I felt adrift.  It was also my first time flying to another country by myself to add to the insanity.  The plan was Antigua Guatemala for immersion Spanish for a month- that was all I arranged.  No side trips, extra plans or anything.  Show up, learn, return home.  I arrived, speaking about 5 words of Spanish, hoping to use my free weekends to travel in between classes… hoping at the same time I could accumulate enough Spanish to actually set up and manage said travel.  Wow. Scariest step forward of my life! I did learn Spanish; at least enough to manage at work during a delivery; which was my main reason for the trip in the first place.  I also learned to try new things, venture out on my own, trust chicken buses on narrow mountain roads, to love freshly blended papaya juice (there is nothing quite so amazing as this and fresh pineapple with lime and salt!) etc etc.  Oh, and bargaining is so much fun!  I spent extra time practicing my numbers just so I could have fun in the market.  It was a perfect experience, because I was forced to leave my world behind and throw myself into a new culture through language.  I learned far more than I expected.

This, beyond the amazing sights of a new place, is the reason travel can be so special.  It pushes me beyond my comfort zone.  It forces me to venture into the unknown.  And what I find there is so much more than cute pictures to share with my family and friends.

Although that’s fun, too.

I think experience of life is one of those things that helps me grow as a writer. It isn’t enough to just have an idea, or cool concept. I have to also make a rich world that provides a completely immersive experience. How better to do this than using the things around me?

Advertisements

Progress?

Today I resolved to write a better book.

I spent the day researching plot, writing on outline (I despise outlines, but it seemed like such a good idea at the time!  Although in hindsight I suspect I was procrastinating.  At least it was productive procrastination.  Anyway…) and trying to figure out exactly where to chop and cut into my first draft.  When I finished the draft I felt satisfied, and I still do, because it was an accomplishment.  I managed to string together many dissimilar words, with some frustrating unconscious repetition I plan to rectify, and actually finish something!  It may be hideous, but there are the bones of an exciting world hidden in it.  I need to harness all that energy and remember how much fun it was to write it in the first place.

At first, thinking about all the work required to keep going, I wanted to just paint something instead.  Painting is nice and safe.  Relaxing.  But, I promised myself I would learn this arcane art and I refuse to quit.  I can do it!

Now, to stop wasting time and get to work!

Learning to Embrace Change

So, this is my attempt at a writing blog.  I’ve spent the last few years maintaining a painting blog, and at the very least I dabbled in LiveJournal, but this is a new experience for me.  It is a bit intimidating. I’ll try to gently ease into it!

I realize it is hard for me to try new things and branch out away from the safely familiar.  The unknown: a terrifying prospect.

Way back when I was 7 or 8 my parents wanted to help me read more.  Awesome!!  The plan was for me to read out the words and for them to help me with the new ones.  They chose A Wizard of Earthsea.  I made it to the part where the shadow shows up (ie the very beginning) and I dropped the book, ran away and didn’t look back for years.  It was the scariest thing I’d ever read.  It reminded me of all the monsters under the bed, the darkness in the closet, or all of the illusions in the night that I knew were not my stuffed animals, but horrible creatures that would pounce as soon as I closed my eyes.  I decided I would never ever read further, because surely it must become even scarier.

Until it showed up on my required reading list in 9th grade.  Could I read it?  It was scary!  I remembered that visceral terror, even though years had passed.  Well, being the type A person I am, there was no way I could not do a required assignment.  I didn’t have a choice.  Sigh.  Undone by my own desire to succeed.  So… I knew exactly the shelf it lived on in the house.  I forced myself to pick it up and start reading.

Well.  Lo and behold, the book was good!  At the time, I learned the concepts of archetypes and the meaning behind the confrontation with the shadow.  I did not appreciate until much later how that sort of struggle would shape my life.  I’d conquered my fear of the book, and made an A in English.  Go me!  That was the end of it, or so I thought.

Here I am now, confronted with technology.  When I see my 4 year-old nephew work a tablet or my own phone better than me, I suspect I might be in trouble.  I know I need to learn twitter, blogging, socializing, etc in order to follow my desire to write. I have to try something new.  Oh dear.

It reminds me of our new computer system at the hospital.   No matter how many times I operate, surgery still stresses me out.  What if something goes wrong?  Will I be able to fix it?  I’ve managed to accept that even when things do not go as planned, I should be able to make it right.  And with experience, I’ve settled down enough to feel more confident in the OR.  So, then they add the wonderful world of EPIC.  Now, instead of worrying about problems during the surgery, I worry that I will forget some crucial part of the documentation process.  Right.  Most likely, I should just relax and know that the coders will track me down!  Oh, yes.

On the bright side, it seems I’m only able to sustain so much worry before I shrug and get on with work.  If my latest demon is technology, I refuse to let it win.  So, on to blogging. Hope it makes more sense over time!