Does a writer ever take a vacation?

This was to be my first real vacation in several years.  I usually wind up taking a “busman’s holiday,”  tacking a few days for research onto a one-week holiday (Canadians don’t take vacations; we take holidays) or a few vacation days onto the end of a ten-day film shoot.  But not this summer.  This summer I was planning on taking a full two weeks of holiday, no work attached.

So there I am in Mt. Shasta, the most beautiful snow capped mountain soaring up above redwood pines and cedars.  And there at my feet is a pen.  A really good pen.  I’m so far from any reasonable writing surface but there it is.  I assume someone dropped it because it was broken or out of ink.  Must be.  A perfectly good pen wouldn’t wind up right at my feet in the forest.

But no; the pen works beautifully.  It sits cool against the palm of my hand.  I do have my notebook in my backpack; out of habit I always carry one.  I put pen to paper.  Two trees shoot up seemingly from one root.  They’re called “splitters” around here, and the branches high above twist together… I write a passage…

This is not work.



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