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BETWEEN THE LINES

Two weeks without writing. Yikes.

Vacation is over and I’m home. I didn’t write a word of fiction in two weeks; I can’t remember the last time that happened. Usually I write on vacation. This time, I decided to take a break from my characters. My two delicious grandchildren might have had something to do with that decision.

Instead of writing, I’ve been time travelling - decades back in time - to recapture muscle memories long unused. Like the unconscious sideways sway my body begins the second 12-week-old Abel settles on my chest in the BabyBjorn. How to maintain that baby-sway while cooking a scrambled egg for four-year-old Josie or drinking coffee or checking email on my laptop. Not that we had email back then, of course.
I haven’t completely abandoned my characters. I brought the first 70 pages of my novel-in-progress with me to the Cape. I haven’t touched the pages, but my husband and daughters read them. We’ve gossiped a little about the characters and their troubles, the way you talk about absent relatives or friends at home, wondering how they’re doing or why they make that odd choice thing last year. Staring at the off-shore whales spouting and waving flippers or painting toenails with Josie and Jenn – every nail a different color – my characters still chatter in my head.

Vacation is over and the cats are back home, considering whether or not to forgive us for boarding them for two weeks. Nine loads of sandy clothes and beach towels and bed sheets have been laundered and folded and put away. I’m recharged from the holiday, my heart open to new ideas and fresh language. In a few minutes, I’m going to open the Word document and reconnect with my characters.

I hope.
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