I had a lovely, uneventful, swimming and eating vacation. The only very slight problem was my notebook. It was pretty enough with nice Mexican-ish stripes. And the paper felt satisfyingly sturdy and smooth. The only problem was the blankness of the pages.
My girls helped to remedy the situation. Filling that first blank with anything is always a relief.
This portrait of me (quite accurate, no?) really got me motivated.
Finally, the book - Wild Mind: Living the Writer's Life by Natalie Goldberg provided the trigger for my pen to move. At the end of Chapter 2 Natalie encourages writers to complete a timed writing session. To kick it off, write "I remember." Anytime your pen hesitates, start another "I remember" sentence. This was an effective way to trick me into writing just to write.
Now here's the kicker. Natalie suggests using "I don't remember" sentences every so often. When you're exploring a topic, this switch of perspective can highlight deeper insights than your basic memory.
For instance I started writing about how I used to collect cans and bottles around the pond next to my house and take them to the recycling center for 50 cents a pound. Which is a nice little reminiscence. But I don’t remember anyone telling me to do it. I don't remember what I spent the money on. And I don't remember ever getting in trouble for sometimes not emptying all of the black pond goo out of the bottles (which would have ever-so-slightly increased the weight.) There's incentive, stakes, and risk in the story which I might not of dug around for otherwise.
I'm only half way through the book, but so far it is an engaging read full of helpful "try this" exercises.
Now, enough vacation, time to get to work!