Sunday, March 29, 2009

Paradise with the Muse

I recently returned from a week's vacation in paradise. Punta Cana, of the Dominican Republic to be exact. It's the sort of place with white sand and turquoise waters that I prefer to believe ceases to exist once I leave it. Somehow that makes it easier to go home.

Of course I had a looming deadline to finish before I could go. And given the spotty attendance of my muse recently, it was touch and go whether I'd finish in time. I actually completed most of the ending of the book on my laptop on the way to the hotel the night before the plane left. And then polished off the last two pages at eleven o'clock that night.

That's me. Always skidding in to 'THE END' just under the wire :)

I edited on the plane. Stayed up all night Monday night and didn't hit the beach until after noon on Tuesday to finish editing before emailing it in. But after that...it was a much needed vacation. One my muse really didn't deserve to come on, given her fickle comings and goings during this book.

After being under deadline for eighteen straight months, completing four books while I worked full time, I was in dire need of a break. It feels like the weight of the world has been lifted off my shoulders.

You'd think it would be difficult to unwind with the carry over editing and such but...not so much. On Wednesday and Thursday while there it was like I existed in a bubble. I thought of nothing but ocean and beach. Didn't think about the book. I'm ashamed to say the kids never entered my mind. Didn't consider school or my dad's medical issues...it was surreal. On Thursday evening I looked at my husband and said, "Do I have to go to work on Monday?" I really couldn't remember. That's how far away reality seemed.

That's a good vacation!

I'd actually thought I could get started thinking about my next proposal. But my irresponsible muse just lie there on a lawn chair, shades over her eyes, soaking up the sun and giving me nothing in return. Hopefully the break will stoke her creative energy because she's been worthless lately!

On the plane ride home I had galleys to finish for the July book. And now I'm working on revisions for the October book due in a couple days. But that's no biggie. The week's vacation was sheer heaven. And those two days of not thinking about One. Blessed. Thing. were enough to completely revive me.

Let's hope they do the same for the feckless Ms. Muse.

What about you? What do you do with you need to recharge or when your faithless muse takes a holiday without you in the middle of a project? What gives you the creative energy to forge ahead again?

16 comments:

Helen Brenna said...

Hey Kylie! And I thought I was deserving of a vaca! You got me beat by a long shot.

So were umbrella drinks involved in the big unwind?? lol

I just went on spring break too - LA with my daughter and we stayed with my niece. Never been there before, so it was fun.

Oh, oh, oh!!! We saw Patrick Dempsey filming a commercial in Beverly Hills!! You think he looks good on the screen, you should see him in person. Be still my heart.

Debra Dixon said...

Kylie, Kylie, Kylie!! You deserved a break. I'm so glad you got one. The relentless atmosphere of deadline after deadline can really mess with the muse and create "sit down strikes." (g) So, I'm glad you rewarded her with a vacation even though it felt like the fickle girl didn't deserve one!

I'm pretty much a broken record these days when it comes to taking a break. I hit the quilt studio. It's a different kind of creativity so the muse shows back up.

Then there is strong coffee (plenty and keep it coming thank you). That gives me the ability to push through those late hours sometimes. And when you just grind it out without quitting, I usually hit that place where I actually feel the "wooosh" of the energy flowing back and everything falling into place...until the next unauthorized leave!

Kylie said...

Helen, you dog!!!! Seeing Patrick Dempsey beats my meeting a Pittsburgh Steelers player all to heck in the stoking the muse category, LOL!

Isn't it amazing how a few days R and R can revive us!

Kylie said...

Deb, I'm holding my breath hoping the ol' girl comes back to play for this next proposal! I have to stay on schedule because my husband deserves a bit of attention and I know a week felt too short for *him*, LOL!

Arkansas Cyndi said...

Gosh, am I the only one who was exhausted just reading about Kylie's work schedule? I think I need to go take a nap now.

and your muse? Don't let her talk to my muse because mine went to Florida and refuses to come home to Arkansas until the temperatures are above 70.

Kylie said...

LOL, Cyndi! Chances of those temps will happen lots sooner in your neck of the woods than in mine!

Playground Monitor said...

Nice trip! I hope cute cabana boys were delivering those umbrella drinks. I didn't see anyone famous on our Caribbean vacation in January. And damn if my muse didn't go to Fiji. She always one-ups me, witch that she is.

I'm heading back to the editing cave so I can get this ms off to Silhouette on April 1st.

Marilyn

Kylie said...

Marilyn, I can't say the cabana boys were much to look at, LOL, but I was sure thrilled that they came and served us on the beach and took orders so we didn't have to walk those few yards to the bar!

Good luck with the manuscript!

December said...

I got married on the beach in Punta Cana! I love that place. Cannot WAIT to get back.
Anyway - glad you made it in under the wire.

Kathleen Eagle said...

Very often when I get stuck, what I need is physical moving. I find that if I go for a walk my brain comes alive again. But I have to remember to take paper and pencil along so I can make a quick note when an idea is jarred loose. Those ideas can be as elusive as butterflies.

Kylie said...

December, how lucky are you! There was a wedding at our resort on Saturday. I did sort of wonder how the photographer managed to cut out all the interested bystanders standing around in swimsuits, gawking, LOL!

Kylie said...

Kathleen, I do the exact same thing. I do my best plotting when I can take long solitary walks outside. The last week or so before deadline, I stopped watching movies while on the treadmill. I just thought about the book instead. And it did help get through plot snarls.

I know my problem was probably just brain exhaustion, LOL. But am hoping it's not a permanent condition!

Christie Ridgway said...

Kylie: That vacation sounds wonderful! I loooove beach getaways, even though I live by the beach in SoCal. I love tropical weather.

Glad you didn't even think of books for those couple of days. Your muse was getting what she needed too.

I sorta recharged at a volleyball tournament over the weekend...followed by dancing to Surfer Guy's classic rock band on Saturday night. Focusing on Son 2 and then on not looking silly on the dance floor was a kind of "getaway."

catslady said...

I have an uncle and his girlfriend who have gone to Punta Cana once or twice a year for years and years. I'm sure they never saw anyone famous or I would have heard about it. So which Pittsburgh Steeler did you meet???
I live in Pittsburgh and have never run into one lol.

Kylie said...

Christie, sounds like fun! I was practically frothing at the mouth on Friday night to *go somewhere and do something* since I'd been stuck at home for weeks. (aside from the vaca)

The band and dancing sounds great!

Kylie said...

Catslady, it was Doug Legurski (and I'm sure I misspelled that.) He's a center that's been on the team for a year or two. A local kid from a town 20 miles away was just drafted by them this year--Mike Humpel. Doug knew him, too. He and his wife were there on their honeymoon. Both very sweet and had gone together for 10 years.