Back in New York, and a strange sort of not-quite jet-lagged. We started in the Keys at 8:00 yesterday morning, spent the night somewhere in the Carolinas, and crossed the river onto the island at 4:30 this afternoon. In some ways, I think it’s easier to get onto a plane and travel across a continent than it is to drive that same distance. At least with the first, you can fool the body into thinking it’s only gone a short distance.
Florida was wonderful. The last time I was there was in Jan 2007, in St. Pete at Writers in Paradise. It helps that all of Florida (at least, the part that’s not the panhandle) looks like all the rest of Florida. Wide roads, low mission-style buildings, palm trees. In fact, we even stayed in a bright pink hotel. And even though we were on the other side of the state, and it was a good 30 degrees warmer, it felt like coming back home. Had drinks at South Beach and watched the tourists, went swimming at night after all the tourists left, came home covered in sand and sunscreen.
Thinking about New Year’s, and resolutions, and slowly coming to the realization that I am exactly where I am supposed to be. It’s frustrating in a way, because I’m almost thirty and I’m not nearly anywhere I wanted to be. Instead, I’m slowly learning how to get to where I’d like to go.
My resolution this year is to get serious about my writing. First, to finish Persephone and send her off into the world. I’ve held onto her entirely too long. Second, to start a new novel, and to do it right this time, plotting first and writing second. Third, to try to write a short story a month, even if the first draft is no good, even if I have to sit down and pound out twenty pages of dross. I’ve had a love-hate relationship with the short story for a long time, always hating how little space there was in which to create a world and admiring those writers who could do so successfully. I’m realizing, though, how much room there is to play in a short story, how essential it is to learning the architecture of building worlds.
I’m giving myself (by which I mean that I am forcing myself to sit down and write for) an hour each day. Not as much time as I would like, but I suspect there are going to be days where taking an hour seems all but impossible. I’m going to try to do it, anyway.