Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Last-Minute Vacation Items

Now that I'm done shopping, I can take a step back and think about what I want to do on this trip. Or not do, as the case may be. For instance, I have decided not to take a laptop or my Kindle. I'll just have to go on a forced fast from book reading, the Wall Street Journal, and Facebook. I could probably do without FB for awhile.

A few friends have offered interesting and contradictory advice to me as a writer, ranging from "Don't write anything, just experience things" to "Write down everything" to "You should write a novel" to "Don't do any writing for pay" (got that last one covered). Now I will be bringing my iPod for my music fix, as well as two or three small journals. We'll see how long it takes me to fill up. And yes, I'll have a camera with me. Stories might come to me, and I'll capture whatever images amuse me, but I'm supposed to be on vacation. No space stuff, no worrying about NASA or the Augustine Panel, and no hard thinking, unless it's the result of things, ideas, or people I encounter during the trip. I will definitely need the three weeks to clear my head, and by golly I plan to.

Here are the questions I've posed to myself at the front end of one of my journals:

  • What did you see?
  • What did you hear?
  • What did you smell?
  • What did you taste?
  • What did you touch?
  • What did you feel?
  • What did you think?
  • Who did you meet?
  • What did you do?

If I can't think of what to write about a trip to Europe after all those questions, I don't deserve to wear the title of writer.

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