You probably know I was travelling in April. It played a fair bit of havoc with my posting schedule. Writing while travelling is hard, but travelling is important to writing. This is a blog I wrote, but didn’t post, while on vacation earlier in the month. This stuff in italics is what I’m writing today, in case you couldn’t guess. 

I have a whole set of videos, one for each day this week, ready to go. I just didn’t end up uploading. So, you find yourselves without updates. I thought I’d have time, and it just didn’t materialize.

You can write from home. It can be done. The world is an extraordinary place, though. Far more so than it appears. Let me show you what I mean, here. That’s Gallup’s “State of the States” statistics page. Play around with the different options. This is just for the United States, one country with common laws and culture–certainly chimeric in origin, but almost everyone thinks about it as a single unit. Despite that, such basic factors as the number of strongly religious people vary from 20-60%. Everywhere you go, you find cultural isolates.

Unfortunately, before my phone finally died, it ate a good chunk of my photos from the trip. I don’t really mind for my own sake (my memory is just fine) there were some pretty great ones I could have put up here.

I’ve been in the Bay Area, visiting Gin at Travis AFB, with The Hufflepuff, and I don’t have my own vehicle. It means my schedule isn’t much under my control. What that’s meant, in practice, is that I’m waking up, then doing stuff until I fall asleep. And none of that stuff is work.

Here they are, BAMFing it up on this stone arch over the ocean.
Here they are, BAMFing it up on this stone arch over the ocean.

One thing I’ve noticed, though, is that, just around the San Francisco Bay, the communities range from rural/conservative to dotcom/liberal. The Delta, where I’m sitting now, is a different world from SanFran or Berkeley–and yet, the people here, and in San Francisco, share a common drought, a common difficulty in fighting the influx of outsiders driving property and rental prices too high and forcing them out of their homes, and so on.

After writing this, I grabbed lunch at this Greek cafe. The view was okay.
After writing this, I grabbed lunch at this Greek cafe. The view was okay.

Today, I’m in Suisun City, while The Hufflepuff does family things, and Gin does his whole “making sure the planes don’t crash” thing, so here I am, doing writing things. The husband and wife running this coffee shop (The Dock Cafe) are stressing out over lease prices.

This trip has been fantastic. Any one day of it would have been worth driving all night to get here. Also, we’re staying in a 1000ish sqft two bedroom suite with a living room, balcony,  and full kitchen for . . . $63 a night. Total, not individually. It would be fair to say I’m enjoying myself.

I’ve been through Haight-Ashbury, down to Pier 35, to a Chinese restaurant in China Town that left a chicken head floating in the soup (and served the best food! Cheap!). We stumbled onto a nude beach–as you might expect there were very few attractive young naked women and a great many wrinkled old men out there–and visited the green space left over from the old Army base on the point (along with several old batteries built to protect the bay). We also when up through Napa and Sonoma, and down the 1. This part of California is almost beautiful enough to warrant putting up with Californians.

It's kinda pretty here. That arch is the one we climbed up for that group photo, by the way.
It’s kinda pretty here. That arch is the one we climbed up for that group photo, by the way.

What I’m getting at is that there were a great many experiences, and nothing is more important than experiences. You can imagine almost anything, but you can’t imagine everything and life provides new experiences at a rate that imagination can’t touch, even in the best of us.

cotm chicken head
For example, check out this soup we got in an awesome Chinese restaurant in Chinatown. It has a chicken head in it!

Do more, write more.

What experiences have improved your writing?

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2 Thoughts on “Writing While Travelling: A Blog I Forgot to Post”

    • Hey there Lawrence,

      If it’s non-fiction (which it presumably is since you’re asking the question), the answer is generally, “No.” That said, there are a great many books which are what amount to dramatized history, such as Cold Mountain and The Killer Angels so that might be an option.

      Usually, though, it’s about how you tell a story, not what the story is. Try to figure out how you might make the story more interesting through language, pacing, and structure, rather than factual changes.

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