Mark Hunter (ozma914) wrote,
Mark Hunter

Vacation, Time To Get Away ... Or Not

 Vacation often conjures images of relaxing on a beach, climbing mountains, or visiting places you've never been. Here, in the time of COVID, you can still very much do that. Start with the Travel Channel.

In fact, just go on down the channels, and once you've sorted through the paid programming you might see several places you've never been before. As I write this, part of my attention is on ancient Egypt. You think I could afford a plane ticket for that?

September has long been a big vacation month for us, because after Labor Day my wife's job goes down to weekends only, which means we can go places on weekdays. Well, we could. It's how we've been to National Parks, checked out Kansas and Oklahoma, and saw a total eclipse in Missouri.

My current novel in progress involves a road trip, with transportation that has all the bells and whistles.

But as a virus works its way through the Greek alphabet, you have to wonder if it's not time to catch up on all those books piled by the bed. And couch. And under the bathroom sink. And in six bookcases around the house.

I mean, the next COVID variant is Epsilon, and I'm pretty sure the Epsilon Variant already killed off several red shirts in the original Star Trek series. I have red shirts. Coincidence?

I'm not sure I want to go anywhere until Omega has passed by, and that character isn't scheduled to appear in the Marvel Cinematic Universe until 2027.

Oh, crap ... there really is one! I was just joking.

So I made up a list of things we might do at home during our vacation. I divided them into three categories: Outside stuff, inside stuff, and writing stuff. Yes, it is possible to write outside: I did much of the rough draft of Images of America: Albion and Noble County with a laptop, sitting on various benches around Pokagon State Park.

I figured in good weather we could trim those bushes that, it turns out, don't trim themselves, and don't think I didn't give them a good few years to try. We could also clean out the car, something I try to do at least as often as I trim the bushes.

Inside, we have a plan to move our office, put new flooring in the kitchen, and find out what that rustling sound is in the back of the cupboard. Last time I cleaned the cupboard, I found a can of soup that was gratefully accepted by the Museum of Ancient Foods.

The writing includes the fun stuff--two manuscripts I need to polish a little. It also includes the un-fun stuff: submitting those novels to agents and publishers, getting back on the promotion wagon, formatting a photo book we've been working on for three years, and finding out what's making that rustling sound in the back of my lower left desk drawer. All I know for sure is that my dog refuses to go near it.

Is this what they mean by meta?

How much of this will we get done? Well, I had ideas for day trips, where we could stop, enjoy the scenery while holding our breaths, and then smear on sanitizer. But then my wife hurt her knee, and her friend gave me an electric chain saw (unrelated), which I actually managed to get working. That led to one full day putting my back into yard work, followed by several more days putting my back on ice. Oh, well--we're also behind on our TV show watching. So how much will we get done?

Less than planned.

But it's a vacation, so what the heck."Mark R Hunter"


Tags: fiction writing, home maintenance, smoke showing, summer, travel, vacation, writing

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