Despite inflation and high gas prices, I am currently preparing to go on vacation. It will be the first week-long venture I've taken in nearly a year and a half, and I am looking forward to having some quiet time to relax and recharge in the mountains. I've written before in this blog about how I use such vacations to get some work done on creative endeavors, and this time around will be no exception. I'll be taking my laptop along with me as well as my DSLR camera and some art supplies. I have plenty I hope to accomplish during the week, but also, I will be looking for inspiration for projects I won't be able to work on until I get back home again.
During the past couple of weeks, I have woken on several occasions to the sound of rain rustling the new tree leaves outside my window. Sometimes there have been low grumbles of thunder accompanying the rain. Sometimes only a light breeze adds to the sound of the drizzle. If I have the time to do so, I will lie in bed and listen to these natural melodies for thirty minutes or more before deciding to get up and start my day. This type of spring rain puts me in a mood to create, and the peaceful atmosphere gives me the patience to pursue complex or challenging projects.
If there is no rain to envelop me in this peaceful atmosphere, I tend to listen to music to achieve the same mood and focus. I have several soundtracks and go-to albums of instrumental music which I can use as background noise while I write. If I'm working on paintings, sketches, or photo editing, then I may choose to listen to select singers or groups instead. Music doesn't create the exact same atmosphere - lighting quality, temperature, and humidity play a part too - but it can help.
Over the past few weeks, I have been editing a novel manuscript which I had considered query-ready at least two years ago. Now I am changing it again because I have decided to self-publish it. This final round of editing may confuse some people; why edit it again if it was ready to be queried? The answer is simple. I want to put the writing back into my own voice.
Today is Mother's Day in the US, a day to celebrate the women in our families and show them appreciation for everything they have done for us. For many people, this holiday comes with pleasant images of flowers, cards, gift-giving, dining out, and pampering the moms in our lives. It's a good thing, and often it's used to teach young children the value of saying thank you to people they love... or at least those who they are supposed to love.
So it has been a strange couple of years. I had not intended or expected to abandon this blog when the Covid pandemic started, but it happened. When the whole world hit pause on life as we knew it, my sense of needing to create things paused as well. I stopped writing. I stopped editing. I stopped taking my camera out on walks for nature photography. (Granted, travel was not advised in the early months of Covid and therefore, day trips were not an option, but I'm still surrounded by a respectable amount of wild property at home. Lack of travel opportunities is not a good excuse for me on the photography front.)