Wednesday, November 09, 2005
Literary Get Away
I had to leave town for awhile and breathe. I was feeling bitter--more than usual--and tired. I went to Northern California for several days. I drove up and enjoyed the ride up the 5 freeway. Normally, I dread such a trek (it took me 8 hours), but I enjoyed the fact that I was getting away. Even the smell of death didn't bother me as much. (Anyone whose driven up the 5, heading north, will know about passing the bovine slaughter house--Cowshwitz a friend calls it--which stinks to high heaven.)
I had moments to ponder my next novel. I need to change the names of some characters. I'd pulled names out of the air, just to have them. Now, as the story grows, I found that some of the names no longer have the same kind of resonance. Also, I made notes of developing one particular character that's been feeling unwhole.
I took the 101 freeway down--a much longer trip than the 5. It was coming down the 101 that I saw how truly beautiful California is: the lovely Autumn influence on the vineyards of Napa Valley, the charm of San Francisco, the crisp beaches of central California, and eventually the bustle of Los Angeles.
I needed this trip. I gathered myself back together.