Monday, January 17, 2011

My writing home-catching up with my muse

Yesterday at around seven-thirty in the evening, I arrived at the door of my muse.  She is a thirty-year-old beach cottage in Rodanthe, North Carolina.  Her name is Duckdog.  Hauling my gear up the stairs to the refurbished deck of this relic on stilts, is my Hajj.  I make this pilgrimage at least once every year to spend six days writing.  My favorite time is January because there are so few distractions.  All tourist attractions are closed for the season; the beach is empty, nobody is surfing, swimming, walking, or searching out that perfect shell.  The only open restaurant in Rodanthe is Hot Tuna, a retro-bar/eatery with lots of fried food and several good varieties of beer.  The other writers and I ate there last night.

We are five this time: Steve, Joanna, Julie, Ed, and me.  This has become the core January group, sometimes augmented, rarely diminished.  Ed is tightening up the memoir he wrote, Julie is doing the same;  Joanna is breaking new creative ground; Steve is well along on the novel he began last year, and I am in the middle of my second work of fiction.

It is easy to write here, easy to read to these people, whose constructive criticism I look forward to and whose honest praise I gratefully accept.  On the whole of course, the criticism is far more valuable than the strokes to my ego.

It is this place, this aging cottage, that invites, that promotes, the craft of writing.  The sound of the Atlantic surf augmented by the constant wind is our background, setting the mood for us.  It is the rhythm of our creative process, our metronome.

It's late, and another writing day will begin in about eight hours, so goodnight for now.

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