Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Summer of Bloggerly Love-Blog swap

When I tell people about all my new friends I talk to on Twitter and they ask me how I met them, it's kind of hard to explain.  All I can say is I have found a bunch of crazy, wonderful writer/people that are my friends and I feel so lucky to have met them.  I'd like to introduce you to Michelle Simpkins.  She blogs over at Greenwoman and is responsible for helping me discover that I can write short stories.  Her short story blog contest was the first writing contest and the first short story I ever entered and wrote.  So I'll always hold her in high regard even though I jokingly tell people she bullied me into doing it. She, in her infinite wisdom, is doing a 'blog swap'.  She is guesting on mine and I'm on hers today.  So after you read her post you can go to her blog and read what I wrote about love.  So without further adieu, take it away Michelle!

When I packed up all our camping gear last Friday for a trip to Saddle Mountain, I fully expected to return and write an inspiring post about how much I love the woods, how inspiring nature is, how great it is to step away from the world of machines and busyness and idle away the days in a verdant paradise.
Um, yeah.
That is not the post you are going to read. There were factors I did not consider when envisioning my sylvan escape. Such as:
Stomach viruses. The hubster came down with some kind of stomach bug before we left. I tried to talk him in to cancelling, but he didn't want to disappoint the kids. This meant he wasn't very much help in the whole loading and unloading process. Saturday my stepson came down with the same bug. So while we were packing, he was laying in the truck moaning. When he wasn't in the bathroom. Hey, at least our campground had flush toilets. That was an unexpected bonus.
Other campers. Specifically, other campers with several cases of Coors Light and unhappy marriages. Instead of being serenaded by tree frogs and night birds, I fell asleep (or tried to fall asleep) to the chorus of five drunk men complaining about their wives and/or girlfriends.
Car stereos. I was not aware that the purpose of state campgrounds was to provide men with the opportunity to sit up until 2 a.m. in their CAR, blasting music with lots of bass. I guess the U.S. Department of They forgot to send me the memo.
Unhappy infants. Someone decided to bring their baby camping. I'm pretty sure the baby was sick, if the amount of wailing and screaming it did in the middle of the night was any indication. I felt sorry for the baby, though. Poor little thing. Or maybe it wasn't sick. Maybe it was just upset about all the bass thumping and wife dissing.
Oh yeah we live in a rainforest. Sunday morning just before dawn it started raining. It POURED on us the entire time we were eating breakfast and packing up our gear. We had to set up all our tents and spread out all our tarps to dry after we got home.
So this is not a post about how I love camping.
And yet.
I'm still kind of glad we went and endured the torment, for two reasons.
One, it was SO AMAZING to come home. A hot shower and the glorious luxury of an actual bed! My kitchen! The blissful absence of noisy strangers! God I love being home. It is worth going away to be reminded of how good home can be.
Two, the time away, the aggravation, the stress, and the chance to see new things did revitalize my editing process. I was starting to drag a little bit, feeling stuck on some minor points in my plot.
But I don't think it was the misery that did it. I think it was the jolt, the change of perspective--and the pleasure of returning to the thing I love best after a few days away. The pleasure of reunion was intensified and sweetened by the contrast with the misery . . . but the misery itself probably wasn't necessary.
At least that's what I'm telling myself. Because while the side affects might have made the misery worthwhile, I don't plan to go camping again any time soon.

Michelle Simkins is a crazy talented writer working on her first novel.  You can find all of her creative contests and musings on her blog at Greenwoman and she tweets about writing, goats and everything else @Michellesimkins.


  1. Haha. This perfectly sums up most of the camping trips I took w/my family as a kid. Maybe that's why I've never encouraged my hubbie to drag us all out for camping now. My kids have never had that experience. But after reading this and being reminded of the "good" side of the bad ... I might just have to change that. My kids are in dire need of learning to appreciate what they have. Hmm. Thanks Michelle. Great post!

  2. *laughing*
    I've just returned from vacation, too, and am so, SO thankful to be back into my normal routine.

    When camping we refer to the kids at the pool who are driving us bat sh*t crazy as OPK's (OTHER PEOPLE'S KIDS). OPK's are always 5x more annoying than our own.

    Glad you're home and the rad vacation is behind you. #LongLivetheGoats!

  3. This was so fun! Thanks for trading with me Suz!

  4. Thank you for allowing me to plaster your blog with my ramblings Slink! #goatlove!