Once a year for the last few years, patient more about despite the early complaints of the mighty hooligans (especially Hooligan #2, viagra who was not a fan of any disruption to his routine), my wife and I have taken a Disney cruise to warmer climes*. Since the kids still nap, we have to take shifts. For the last couple of trips, she has taken the sunbaked days, for her alone time, while I take the swirling nights. But you’d be mistaken if you thought I was out partying, hitting the bars and making friends with other frazzled fathers. Nope. Instead, I wind through suger-hyped families and packs of kids up way too late, to find a quiet secluded corner, with a smoky rum at hand, under a cool dark sky, washed over by a smooth warm breeze. As my family sleeps, dark and powerful words and conflict crash together like great waves in my laptop.
In other words, I find a quiet corner and I write.
The experience is powerful, wonderful. Am I introverted? Not really. Not all the time. But I still love it. Maybe I’m weird. But hopefully one day, if my fiction sells, I can claim some credit to those dark and light-dotted nights where my inhibitions were broken down by wind and rum and waves, to produce prose that is more powerful than would otherwise be created.
Full disclosure: the bones of this post were written on a cruise, with the Caribbean wind in my hair and face, and some random girl asking me why on Earth I’m working when I’m on a cruise?
I smile politely. If only she knew.
For writers out there, particularly those who might have distractions, kids, jobs, a rare hard-fought minute that they have to write in, I highly recommend it. If you can afford it, it’s a trip. 🙂
*For those wondering why a Disney cruise, one answer: good daycare and/ or babysitting. That became our top vacation criteria as soon as my Lovely Wife and I had kids. We may learn the hard way, but we learn quick… 😉
PS, the Disney cruises look nothing like the image here. 🙂 Although they do come with a costumed pirate or two… This image took me about an hour and a half, mixed media, simply to save time, a bunch of watercolor washes, some ink to pull out the lines, white charcoal (I think) to pull out some highlights, then the background blurred on the laptop afterwards. I’m finding this style seems fairly effective for quick post images, although I’m also tempted to dig up my old acrylic paints and test them too, as I think that they might also be more efficient than watercolor alone, where drying time has to be factored in and it’s just too time-consuming to do a watercolor only image.