What it Takes to be a Writer

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Vacations are for discussing big things and having the time to notice little things.

A lamb got into the adjoining pen and was separated from its mother. We spent hours on this project, getting the baby lamb back with its mother, finally giving up and going in for lunch and then Mark went out to try it again with a shepherd’s staff. A sheep dog would have been a big help. We notice the flowers, we notice the rain, but we have time to talk about big stories, getting stuck, where we got off the rails.

It finally started raining here, so I hiked today in boots and a raincoat which was a good thing. You can see why the main vegetables are rhubarb, potatoes, carrots, turnips and cabbage. The tomatoes we are eating came from Holland. The cucumbers and melons from Spain. The avocados come from Spain and they’re not good. Also, we can’t find salsa anywhere. Salsa is good if all you are eating for breakfast is eggs and mushrooms with green onions, but we’re making do with Tabasco. Mushrooms are big here and they are grown locally. If you really wanted to be one of those people who only eats locally grown fruits and vegetables, it wouldn’t be easy here. You would have a very limited diet and one of the main ingredients would be potatoes, followed by pints of ale. Every village has several pubs. If it’s a small village with only a couple hundred people, it will have only two pubs. You even see women drinking pints of ale. I can’t imagine how these towns and villages keep a pub or two afloat. But the pub is the communal spot where people gather to socialize.

Most of the activity in this part of Ireland is tourism. There are B and Bs every minute when you’re driving around as if every single Irish house that isn’t a vacation home is now a B and B. And there are little hotels and in the towns, hostels as well. So, they are really counting on people coming to Ireland to get rained on and look around at all the green and say to each other, Wow, it’s really green, I bet that’s because it rains a lot here. It is beautiful, and it is peaceful. It’s kind of like Montana or Wyoming except without any dangerous animals to hunt. In fact, there really isn’t much danger here at all. There are no predators for the sheep, and there is plenty of ale, so what’s not to like?

We are starting to do some thinking and writing, now that we’ve had time to unwind. I’m working on a libretto, but I’ve also started a new novel. A grim fantastic fairy tale of sorts. We’re thinking the big thoughts though. About things like…

What it takes to be a writer:

1. You write every week and you get the pages done.
2. You mail out your work at least once a month.
3. You are ruthless with editing.
4. You connect with people who dig your work.
5. You get your work in print.

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Published in: on June 11, 2013 at 11:47 am  Leave a Comment  
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