Since coming back from LA where my mind was stunned into submission, activity and then recovery by the SCBWI writers conference, I have been anxious about not posting more of my notes and thoughts, about not being strategic in taking advantage of new contacts on twitter, by not doing anything except return to work, return to writing and water my garden.
Last night our ancient daschund, like all of us after a day with temps in the nineties, had a hard time settling. She did the dog version of tossing and turning on top of the covers, which was whimper in increasing volume until a bark was necessary to receive an appropriate human response. So while my husband, floating on a blissful day of birthday cheer and a diabolically delicious dessert at the Pink door called Bongo Bongo (“It’s not as big as I thought it would be.”) dreamed his birthday dreams I took the dog outside, tucked her into her nest of covers, administered a tiny white pain pill inside a nugget of dogfood and, in between, read the New York Times online.
Just to be clear, we subscribe to the paper and truly enjoy it, but I also read it online. The Times is my yardstick for media interpretation of information and storytelling. When I grow up I want to have their capability to make cool interactive maps, crowd-source a page full of photographs and make nifty time-lapse animations of both horrible and wondrous events. Heart the NYT.
When I opened up the home page I immediately focused on an article about a group of neurologists studying brain function who take a rafting trip together and leave all their technology behind. They take the trip with a mind to observing the effects on themselves of a lack of technology. They talk about their research and frame new studies as they paddle and drink beer around the campfire. They experience the “3 day syndrome” and settle into the trip, emerging at the end thoughtful about how their own relationship with technology affects their relationships and work, and how they study this phenomenon professionally.
Well, this was just what I needed to put my guilt in perspective. I reminded myself that I created my blog as an additional outlet for expression, that I am not in a competition with other bloggers, both real and theoretical, who might be doing a better job of reporting and processing their experience at the conference. After days of listening and talking with other writers and taking notes on my trusty laptop I needed my own version of the three day syndrome – some time away from thinking about it all while I simply have my experience of summer.
I returned from the conference with the conviction that I needed to spend more hours every day writing or I would never achieve my goals. I also came back with some truly useful approaches to the work in progress, but I will leave that for another time. For now I’m allowing my brain to rest. I’m going to water my garden and make great summer meals and write every day.