Monday, June 13, 2011

Vacation and the Writer

The good news is that you can set your own hours, wear pajamas the whole day, and not answer to anyone but yourself (and your co-author) about how much you accomplished. The bad news is that you can set your own hours – which can mean 24/7; wear pajamas the whole day – which means you can gain 40 pounds and never know it what with elastic waistbands; and you don't have to answer to anyone – which means that you can play Lexulous all day (I'm on level 8 now!) and not have anything at all to show for it.

Of course, the bottom line is always the bottom line. No work means no pay.

It's summertime and my husband is talking vacation. But does a writer ever actually go on vacation? I may turn off my computer, but not my devilishly-devious-plotting mind. When we visited the Grand Canyon last year, I saw dozen of opportunities for great, grisly murders in an incredibly scenic locale. Las Vegas? I wouldn't have to invent characters. Just people watching in the casinos and I'd have enough to populate a series. Heck, I probably was actually looking at any number of real-life killers. We got tickets to the incredible Cirque du Soleil show, Eau, and when a man dove from 50-feet up into a wading pool, I thought what would happen if his spurned lover moved the pool just three inches….the margin for error is miniscule and would the police ever suspect the clown on the right side of the stage…

When I was a kid on long car rides, I'd amuse myself making up elaborate stories. That hasn't changed. We're visiting vineyards this year and I keep expecting a body to show up in the vat of Sauvignon Blanc. Or someone to keel over after sipping a nice Merlot. Or maybe a body is found under the grapes.

Creating murder and mayhem can be an exhausting profession. I'll need some wine to keep my imagination in check. Or maybe not. If I create a mystery set in a vineyard, can I deduct this trip as a business expense?

Stiletto Faithful: What are your vacation plans?

Marian, the Northern half of Evelyn David

Brianna Sullivan Mysteries - e-book series
I Try Not to Drive Past Cemeteries- Kindle - Nook - Smashwords
The Dog Days of Summer in Lottawatah- Kindle - Nook - Smashwords
The Holiday Spirit(s) of Lottawatah- Kindle - Nook - Smashwords
Undying Love in Lottawatah- Kindle - Nook - Smashwords

A Haunting in Lottawatah - Kindle - Nook - Smashwords

The Sullivan Investigation Series
Murder Drops the Ball (Spring 2011)
Murder Takes the Cake- Paperback - Kindle
Murder Off the Books- Paperback - Kindle
Riley Come Home (short story)- Kindle - Nook - Smashwords

Love Lessons - Kindle - Nook - Smashwords


  1. Our vacation consists of sending our youngest to sleepaway camp for a month. Trust me...that's a vacation for us. He has a great time, we don't have to entertain him; it's a win win. I am getting a bit of the wanderlust, though, so I might drive somewhere with my husband just to get away from it all. Maggie

  2. Marian you are right about the writer's mind being less likely or even able to vegetate for days in a row, but at least we can have the vacation from the sometimes less than fun walk to the desk, the typing that includes repeated long holding down of the backspace key followed by retyping over the line, the tedious research hours that eventually give up a gem of knowledge to use, and (my least favorite) meetings and telephone calls squabbling over story, compensation and deadline!

    We are mostly going to be enjoying home and garden this summer. We've put plenty into both over the last few years and love being able to plop down with a drink and a knosh, laugh a little and watch the light move through the house and see hummingbirds at twilight. We do have plenty of out-of-towners coming to spend time with us, which we always enjoy, and we will hit the road a few times over long weekends. Last year was a year of bigger trips a way, and it will be good to balance that out this year with time spent enjoying the home we work so hard to have. Oh, and lots of weddings and graduations and home-comings seem to be happening this season and who doesn't love a big party when you just have to show up as a happy guest with a gifty?

  3. Fun post, Marian...And so true, especially the pajama pants and elastic waists!! This summer we're all about the wedding. My niece's production.. um, wedding. It's an event that promises to rival the royals! There may not be a book in it, but I'm thinking there's definitely a blog!

  4. Glad to know I'm not alone in my vacation musings.

    Maggie, I well remember those days when vacation meant fewer kids in the house :-)

    Vicky, I have to remember that vacation can mean a break from the more tedious chores of writing, even while still plotting.

    Laura, in Evelyn David's second book, Murder Takes the Cake, the bride describes her mother's wedding plans as Martha Stewart on Steroids. If not a book, a wedding is definitely worth some blogs :-) Enjoy!!


  5. Vacation? That word sounds so familiar. ;-) I think my last true vacation was my honeymoon a bit over three years ago. We tried to take one a few years ago, but it was cut short. I wish I had time to go on one this year, but we'll have to wait until after I turn two books in and have one book come out. So maybe we'll head to Harry Potter World at Universal Studios this winter. That would be fun!


This is a comment awaiting moderation on the blog.