This guy is a bit north of his range for the season.
Happy new year.
So I went to Guatemala the other week.
I don’t get to travel that often. Travel costs a lot, and my life strategy has been to spend just barely enough of my time working to keep myself alive, so as to have as much free time for writing as possible and not much else. I have heard this strategy questioned more than once exactly on the basis that it doesn’t permit me to travel. “How can you have anything to write about,” goes the conventional wisdom, “when you haven’t done anything?” My college advisor asked me that, among others. It sort of pissed me off. I’d like to give more credit than that to the imagination: sure, you can’t write compelling fiction in a vacuum, and yes, uncountable great writers spent their lives wandering the earth. But it’s a matter of how you look at the world, not what you’re looking at. Thoreau never left New England. Emily Dickinson barely left her house. There are new and unique things to see, even in things you’ve looked at a hundred thousand times.
That said, every time I do manage to abroad, I come back with ideas spilling out my ears–like what happened when I went to Yucatan. The conventional wisdom isn’t wrong, it’s just narrow. And it presupposes a certain level of financial independence, doesn’t it? Travel is hard–not just emotionally and physically (as I have well learned), but financially. So is writing. Just ask Nabokov, Lord Dunsany, or Anthony Bourdain: it’s a lot easier to bum around the world telling awesome stories when you don’t have to worry where your next meal is coming from. But nothing beats experience.
Upon returning from Guatemala, I have gained the following:
Was all of the former worth the latter? Yes.
So for a little while, this blog is going to turn into a travelogue.
More next week.
Is what this sign used to say, before I messed with it, when I found it in the woods full of bullet holes and being eaten by this tree:
Not sure what I’m going to do with it now. Already got a perfectly good, conveniently scalable mossy skull for graphic purposes. Probably not going to change it, if ever I get around to designing ye blog theme v.3.
So. Anybody got a noble cause for which they might require a picture of some words, any words at all, on a bullet-riddled street sign getting eaten by a tree?