Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Writers who holiday

- never switch off.

I remember in one early creative writing class a full time writer told me he never wrote on holiday - said he needed a break.  I worked in corporate hell at the time and used my holidays to write crafted stories. Now I am a full time writer I look forward to buying a new holiday notebook and filling it with scribbles.

I spent last week on the sunny Island of Madeira. It was planned as a proper unwind from Christmas and a recharge before my book events in March and April.  I have no idea what this year will bring in terms of work and events but I am prepared for a busy time.

Since the beginning of the year I have been finishing edits, contacting book festivals, writing publicity articles as well as all the other administrative tasks that find themselves on my to do list in preparation for my book launch.

I needed that holiday.

Madeira has a reputation as a bit of a Saga type holiday destination. I can't deny the demographics were slanted more towards the grave than the cradle, but it is also a place of great mountains and scenery.

Ponta de São Lourenço
While I was there I walked among spectacular rock formations on the blustery Ponta de São Lourenço, trudged through UNESCO protected laurissilva forest on the Ribeiro Frio/Portella levada. The highlight of the trip was teetering along a man made path chipped out of a mountainside over precarious drops to reach the ice crusted summit of Pico Ruivo (1862 mtrs), the island's highest mountain. I could not fail to be inspired, only an idiot would tag this a busman's holiday and refuse to write.
Pico Ruivo

Santa in the Sun
Haunted House
Each morning I rose, showered and wrote my journal before starting the day. The writing was not the writing I do at home which is filled with worries about family and my book.  These journal pages filled with observations, tastes, sounds, light and wild ideas.

Painted Doors - Funchal

Levada Tunnel, look closely and you might spot a troll!

Even my holiday reading, Margaret Atwood's The Handmaid's Tale and The Lacuna by Barbara Kingsolver, provided inspiration for workshops I now need to prepare.

View from my writing chair
I have returned to my home study with a tan, a few extra pounds on the scales, many long sleeps and a notebook filled with ideas.