Friday, May 02, 2014

52 Author Dates ~ Week 18

Take A Different Route Home

Sheraton Surabaya

Last week, I accompanied my Beloved on a business trip to Indonesia. He did his thing in the corporate arena, and I spent my days at the keyboard, spitting out those words we all love to chase.

No household chores beckoned, and there were no kids to drag me out of my writing world. I did have a very kind team of butlers (I know... don't hate me) who serviced the hotel's lounge where I spent my hours. 

Can you imagine a more perfect writing day? 

Food and drink on tap, and total quiet. Once the breakfast traffic faded, I was glad to call that lounge my own for the rest of the morning... and well into the afternoon. I know you will not be surprised to hear, my word count reflected the benefits of full-time writing.

Writing By The Pool
My butler-friends delivered a steady stream of coffee/peppermint tea/water whenever my cup ran dry. They replenished the buffet where tropical fruits and sinful pastries winked at me all day. And smiled their encouragement when I took laps of the room to stretch my legs and roll my author shoulders. 

And then I had to come home.

Home to the real world, which in my case, is sadly understaffed in the butler department.

In my real world, words come slower, chased by the many demands no one could ever juggle as well as I'm meant to. Here, my words are couched in the realities of life which dictate mood and enthusiasm. Tempered by commitments. Shadowed by my other loves. 

Coming home meant walking into the imperfection of life at its most real. 

I pondered this on the 4am taxi ride to Surabaya airport. I watched others who'd woken before the dawn start their day as street vendors, early shift workers, and those on their way to unlock workplace doors in a city I hardly know. 

I smiled at airport officials who took issue with my passport and visa, thanked them when they made up for oversights out of my control, and hightailed it out of Immigration to the terminal where my flight would start the journey home. 

Sheraton Surabaya
24 hours later and back on Aussie soil, another pre-dawn filled my senses. Hardly a soul stirred, except one or two others in the distance who shared the lonely road home through the weariness of travel and transit. 

We almost flew through the emptiness of Sunday morning streets normally congested with traffic, and directly home to where our kids slept and the to-do list awaited. 

A terrifying prospect somedays, that to-do list. If I could have slowed the taxi down, I would have. I knew the road home to Crabapple House meant all things writing would fade until I'd ordered the laundry and fridge.

Even worse, the deserted streets echoed the fear I'd eventually sit for my allocated writing time, and still struggle. What if my head's not in tune with the task? How do I find Author Dotti when Mama Dotti is still in the room with a basket of washing on her hip? How do I dismiss Friend Dotti when she needs to cry for a sister, or Real Dotti when her own burdens are too heavy?

And then I remembered a prayer by Sandy Tritt. It's helped me face the writing hour before, under the banner of Him who loves me most. And I needed it again.

Because time and space to indulge in my passion are not the most important elements. It's surrendering the passion to Him who's placed it in my heart. 

Author Selfie ~ Sheraton Surabaya

The Writer's Prayer by Sandy Tritt

Open my mind, Lord. 
Grant me the talent to write with clarity and style, 
so my words go down rich and smooth, 
like fine wine, and leave my reader thirsty for more. 

Open my heart, Lord. 
Grant me the sensitivity to understand my characters...
  their hopes, their wants, their dreams,
 and help me to confer that empathy to my reader. 

Open my soul, Lord, 
so I may be a channel to wisdom,
 and creativity from beyond my self. 
Stoke my imagination with vivid imagery and vibrant perception.

But most of all, Lord, help me to know the Truth,
 so my fiction is more honest than actuality, 
and reaches the depths of my reader's soul. 

Wrap these gifts with opportunity, perseverance,
 and the strength to resist those who insist it can't be done.  Amen.

Blessings for a wonderful weekend,