Monday, August 10, 2009

Rest and Relaxation

Today’s posting is long overdue. With a week of vacation in the mountains of Colorado, and no secure internet connection, the only accomplishments lately were a few story revisions to a Chapbook, which will be co-authored by writing buddies Greta Igl, John Towler and Jane Banning. The Chapbook is a result of a friendly challenge (“MySixWriMo”) to write six-sentence stories based from daily writing prompts. It was a fun experiment that produced some nice results. From one of those prompts, I wrote a small piece entitled “White”, which I later expanded into the flash fiction story “Pure White” for the Flash 40 Competition. Once the Chapbook is finished and available, I’ll be sure to post an update; so, stay tuned.

But I digress.

The vacation was wonderful. No alarm clock. No television. No preset agendas. The family had fun being… well, a family. The vistas were incredible. The nights were chilly. A week away from everything can bring peace to all the right places—mind, body and soul. On many mornings, I didn’t climb out of bed until my co-workers back home had already been in the office for at least an hour. Then, it was time to fill the camper with the fresh aromas of coffee, bacon and eggs. Or sausage gravy and biscuits. Or breakfast burritos.

I usually find shopping a chore. Hitting the stores this time, though, didn’t bother me. Here’s a note to all my writing friends out there: you can find some great deals on books while shopping antique stores. Last week, I picked up Burnt Sienna by David Morrell. I also found an autograph copy of Michael McGarrity’s The Judas Judge in almost-new condition for only eight dollars. And the autograph wasn’t one of those printed in publication autographs, either; it was signed with a fine-point pen, and the impression can be seen on the next page. I quickly paid the money and left the store.

As always, the trip wasn’t a total escape from the writing mind. While playing a game of “Stick ‘em up” with my daughter, my mind snapped into gear and the beginnings of a story started to play out. While taking photos of Pagosa Springs, I couldn’t help but take some shots with more stories rising out of the viewfinder. After a day of soaking at the Springs Hotel, I also found a gem of a story in a conversation. It seems that, while it can take the budding writer away from home and city and the office, a vacation can never take you away from prospecting for a new story.

On a final note, if you ever go to Pagosa Springs, Colorado, here are a few places to visit:

  • The Springs Resort Hotel offers several hot water pools, each with their own temperature, starting around 91° and climbing from there. The hottest I could stand was the “Columbine” pool, which maintained its water around 109°. The “Lobster Pot” held water that ranged around 113°. Unthinkable!

  • The Boss Hogg Restaurant. If you go, their Prime Rib is good, and their au jus is incredibly delicious.

  • For the ladies: take time to have lunch at Victoria’s Parlor, a little luncheon place with umbrella tables out on the front lawn.

  • Take the drive over to Durango, and then on up to Silverton. The vistas are awesome. Here are just a few photos:

Until next time…


  1. Beautiful, that is one of the states I have not been too...yet. Glad y'all made it back home safe & sound

  2. Wow. Sounds wonderful and looks beautiful.


  3. Welcome back! Glad you caught some inspiration in the mountains. I love travel for that very reason. I never come home from any trip without a pile of story ideas. Something about the change of scenery freshens my vision and makes me sharper.

    About the chapbook: I worked on it yesterday for a few hours and was greatly impressed by the terrific stories you guys wrote in April. You are all very talented writers.

  4. Welcome back, amigo. Thanks for sharing the pics. I really need to win the lottery or get a six figure book deal one day so I can visit all the places. Damn day job.


  5. Welcome back! Glad you had some fantastic R-and-R and are ENERGIZED to write - again! Cool on the chapbook; enjoyed reading y'all's Sixes. I would've joined in myself but you wre competing with NaPoWriMo, which I participate in every year. A Poem AND a Flash every day would land me in the loony bin. Peace, Linda

  6. Thank you, everyone. It was good to get away, but now it's time to focus again on writing and submitting. I'm way behind.

  7. Welcome back. Glad you had a great time. I love Colorado, what a great place to go for inspiration.

    Love the chap book concept. Can't wait to see it. Good group you're working with there. :)