Vacations are usually seen as a break from work, but this one seems to be driving me to write. An escape from the monotony of work, school, and Memphis in general apparently was just what I needed. It was really difficult for me to write my second short story for class this past semester. It wasn't writer's block, because I could think up an idea and just type away. Or I'd pull up an old file, and start editing and adding on in a snap. But they all became too long. Cutting them down to short story length would have chopped off too much of what made it a good tale, so I was stuck. I finally got an idea with some help from those around me, and it turned out fine, but I pretty much felt like a failure for not being able to perform.
Now? Psh, my little book is filled with ideas waiting to become real stories, just as much as Pinocchio wanted to be a real boy. I walk through the hotel lobby - idea! I watch people on the street, in restaurants, and they become characters. Stories come to me as I wait in line to use the gas station restroom, or as I drive past a seedy motel on the highway, or see an ice cream shop with a funny name. Maybe it's because most of these things are new to me. We don't have this place in Memphis, so there's nothing I can associate with it. It's just a blank canvas I picked up next to the expressway.
Or maybe it's just having a break from everything I'm always around. Maybe it's not worrying about how many hours I've worked this week, or trying to remember which bills need to be mailed out tomorrow. Maybe it's because I'm free from studying. I'm not reading others' short stories and critiquing them. I'm not memorizing poetry or Latin grammar charts. I have a little break, and it's different from how busy and stressed I've been the past four months.
It's a welcome change. Especially since summer classes start up next Monday, and I'm sure I'll be feeling stressed again. I'm trying to remember that it's summer, and while I'm taking 14 hours of courses I still need to relax. I need to take time and write for myself, I need to read for pleasure, and I need to hang out with friends. All of this starts tomorrow night, when I get home. But for now, I'm going to lay back in this comfy bed and write my butt off.