Writing while away from home

Why is it easier to write while away from home?

Is it because, once out of your normal environment, you feel free of burdens, free of constraints, free of all of those nagging doubts and insecurities that settle down wherever you call home?

Last week I left Anchorage and flew to my sister’s in Philly, where I met my son and we all drove up to northwestern Pennsylvania for a very brief visit to celebrate my  mother’s 80th birthday.

It was a whirlwind visit, since I still had to put the newspaper o. There was no time to write, barely time to breathe.

After returning to Philly, I accompanied my sister on a work trip to D.C. and something happened there, something sparked my writing muse. I’m  not sure if it was the magic of walking around the monuments at night or the way I cried at the Vietnam Memorial that opened something upside of me, reintroduced me to my own vulnerabilities, my own softness.

The next day, running in the sunshine over wooded trails hidden in the middle of the city, I suddenly began to write in my head.

And I haven’t stopped. I’ve been up past four in the morning most nights, working on a new story. I’ve finished a poem, began another. I wrote a few pages of my novel and made notes for the next one.

Recently I came across this quote:

“Stretch out your tongue and let the words drip on the world like savage shooting muses, never, never to be forgotten, if once fallen on earth, they stand in glittery defloration.” –Laura Gentile, Seraphic Addiction.

Don’t you love that– savage shooting muses? For writing is savage. It tears my guts, eats holes inside my muscles, burrows up through my tendons, invades my bones.

Since I’m feeling soft and mushy and savage with emotion, here are pieces of my week, such a different mood than my Alaska lifestyle but still filled with wonder, still moments to be treasured.

Farmland where I grew up–this is what I saw when I looked out my bedroom window.
My mother, sister and son at the shore of Lake Erie.
Gramma & Chris
My son and my mother (oh, my heart!)
Washington Monument at night.
Running trails in D.C.– these were right smack in the middle of the city, such a treat.



Boat House Row, in Philly.
Philly night
Philly skyline, from the art museum, i.e., “Rocky” steps (which of course I ran up).
kelly drive
Sitting at the lake, from Kelly Drive bike path in Philly.

3 thoughts on “Writing while away from home

  1. What great photos! I grew up in a very small town, surrounded by farmland. Outside one of the bedroom windows was a cornfield. What great memories your photos evoked 🙂 I’m glad to hear you’re writing and writing in that furious, desperate way that is inspiration.


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