Blog, Travel, Writing

Another day in a beach town

The rain threatens late today. It starts as a low, long rumble as we take an afternoon stroll on the beach. Towards the north, where the land and sea blend together into a solitary line, the dark clouds form shadows of mountain peaks and I almost forget that we’re in Florida’s east coast; there are no mountains here. The rain never comes, though.

The afternoon stroll was a good ending to a good day. I could get used to days like these: taking morning strolls on the beach; building sand castles and watching small shells dig their way back into the sand, far away from us and the birds that feed on them; swimming in the pool, trying out water aerobics; napping after lunch to the sound of the waves coming and going; taking an afternoon drive or walk or just sitting in the balcony, writing. I could absolutely get used to this.

I’ve been productive today, with my writing classes. For my children’s writing workshop, I finished a superhero assignment that I thought would dismantle me. One of my first sketches included Super Mom, whose powers include seeing all (a la having eyes in the back of her head – yes, clichéd, I know) and who constantly battled her nemeses Grumpy Grandma and Know-it-All Friend. A bit lame, and more a platform for a disgruntled mom than a kid’s superhero. Though I might revisit these “characters” even if for a comedic post. What I finally submitted was much better than this. I hope.

In my personal essay workshop, we had a guest author pop in, and it was very interesting. Christine O’Hagan was kind and answered our questions candidly. I always find it helpful to listen to the advice and wisdom of authors who know the ropes, who’ve published in the field I’m interested or tackling. I particularly loved when she said (and I’m paraphrasing) memoirs need to be written with compassion and humor. Compassion and humor – so important. In the process of writing my memoir (and it’s still very much a work in (early) progress), I’ve come to understand that memoir writing is not a vendetta, it’s not the opportunity to get even with someone. Memoir writing is writing without judgement, to understand and make peace with a past and with people in that past. It’s a journey and an exploration about an event (or events) and person (or people) that were significant in life and that, by sharing this experience, others can understand shards of their own lives.

Now, I sit here in the balcony. My son is asleep (finally – no nap today), and my husband is next to me, on his iPad. We’re quiet, and the only sounds that come are from the waves, the breeze, and the keys on my laptop as I’m typing. It’s a beautiful rhythm. Our vacation ends in two days, and I don’t want it to. I want to stay here, in this beach town, indefinitely. I want to get used to this routine.

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