Nancy's Travelblogue

... there isn't a train I wouldn't take, no matter where it's going. -- Edna St. Vincent Millay

Location: California, United States

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Writer's Diary #2. Settling In

The first day of my writing retreat and my desk is already messy. But that's a good sign. Things are happening and I'm creating enough stuff to mess up my desk. Today was to be my getting started day, with no benchmarks for completion. Yet I polished off the first chapter, aptly titled "Getting started [with processing oral history]".

It's easier to understand my first day success, if you know more about this setting. My situation is a writer's dream.

My cousin Ellen offered the use of her winter home in an adult community in southern Arizona.

What this means:
1. Because it is an adult community everything is works well; access to everything is close, good, and convenient; it is quiet, and it is safe.
2. Because it is nestled in  high country of the Sonora Desert, it is incredibly beautiful.
3. Because it is June in southern Arizona, it is too hot to spend time outside during the day. It also means that most of the residents that come here for the winter, have already returned to their northern homes and left the place to me.

All that adds up to an ideal situation for focusing on indoor, mental work without distractions.

It's hard to tell from the photo at the top, but as I sit at my computer I look out across the patio, then to the green belt which separates each block from the one beyond giving the impression of being alone in the desert. Far in the distance I see the mountains, hazy today, but always changing with the light and shadows and clouds. The critters are my constant companion -- some of them I see and others are hidden, but always, always is a chorus of birds, crickets, and other unidentifiable animals. As I'm writing, several bunnies, a lizard and a number of birds have crossed my line of vision.

Even though I'm a heat lover, it's not wise to venture out too much in the middle of the day. The best time for being outside is around 5-8 a.m. or in the evening after 6 p.m. Here are some photos I took on my morning walk. And now ... the shadows are lengthening and the breeze is coming up, and I think I'll head out for an evening walk.

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