It’s Sunday, the blog is pretty much established, the dogs are walked and I have a fresh, hard-cover copy of Frances Mayes’s A Year in the World: Journeys of a Passionate Traveller. I also have a bad case of jealousy. Oh, to be able to wander Europe for a year, and be paid to write about it! To be, as she says, “out in the world with a small stuffed suitcase and a notebook . . .” Sigh, I want to be out in the world, too. But then I think about Emily Dickinson and Flannery O’Connor, both of whom stayed home and wrote fabulous, enduring poems and stories. So, is travel good for the writer’s soul or not?
I always think I’ll write wonderful things when I travel, and already I’m day dreaming about this coming summer and driving cross country, just me and Duncan the dog, seeing my picnic lunch in a green park somewhere between Denver and the coast of Maine and a good book and, of course, the notebook. I promise myself to notice everything and everybody. But I also know that the business of getting from Point A to B will intrude and at times I’ll lose myself in reading maps and booking rooms. Maybe, though, just maybe, if I practice I can learn to write on the road. It worked for Kerouac, and he was under the influence of more than road rash, rage and regret.