Hey, Susan here. I’m on vacation in the Southwest. Right now, I’m in Tucson, Arizona, and we’re leaving this morning to go back to Santa Fe. (My favorite place on this trip.)

What does a writer do on vaca? I’m not sure about other writers, but for this one, it depends on–

  1. Where I am in the current WIP. (WIP=Work In Progress.) If I’m in a part that I’m excited about, I write. If I’m dragging, I vacation from writing, too. ūüôā
  2. What I have planned for  future WIPs.
  3. How much downtime I have.

I was hoping to find a place to set a series I’m planning to write, and I just might have done that. Or maybe not.

Anyway, when I’m on vacation, I learn. I’m always amazed at the things I don’t know, and visiting different places is a great way to learn. On this trip, I got excited about¬†Saguaro Cacti. They grow here, around Tucson, like¬†cedar trees grow in Okie-Land–except people like them more. I don’t blame them. They’re beautiful! They have mountains covered with them.

Yesterday, I learned (from my walking buddy back home) that Arizona is the only state where the Saguaro grows. AND the only other place in the world where it grows is a part of Mexico.

I take a lot of pictures while traveling. I’d probably do it anyway, but as a writer it comes in very handy. Especially if I can find those pictures when I need them. (I’m not the most organized person in the world. ūüėČ )

Why take a lot of pics? Because I like to. And, I just might want to set a story in¬†a locale I’ve visited. Having pictures is a great way to remind myself how¬†a place looked like, smelled like, even felt like.

It’s also a wonderful way to share with other writers. (Hey, I’ve been there. Want to see my pics?)

I happen to¬†be a¬†flower lover, so I take a lot of pictures of¬† the flowers and vegetation when I’m on vacation. Again, gotta have it when I write a story.

Yesterday, we went to the Kitt Peak National Observatory. It’s a million miles high and, as usual, it was my job to hold the car on the road on the way up.¬†My man drove (or we’d never have gone.)

I don’t have a way to record my actual¬†emotions on the drive up (pure, unadulterated terror)¬†but when I see the pictures I took while¬†there, the memory of that emotion will come back. (My toes¬†tingle and curl–sometimes all the way to my shoulders.)

We saw a couple of “Beware of Snakes” signs, even six thousand feet above the earth (who knew snake could climb mountains?) and a bunch of lizards. Most of the lizards were two, three or four inches long and about as big around as a pencil. But we saw a few that were six or seven inches long and bigger around than a first grader’s pencil on an eating binge. (Do first graders still use fat pencils?) When the lizards¬†got that big, their tails were a beautiful, iridescent green.

No, I didn’t catch one to bring home. They probably had teeth. (I didn’t look.)¬†And those puppies could jump. Oy!

The funniest thing I’ve seen on this trip? When we were leaving a building after seeing one of the humongus telescopes, I heard something pecking on the glass. I glanced around and saw a crow so big, he could have beat up Heckle AND Jeckle with one wing tied behind him.

Anyway, Bigboy was¬†pecking on a floor-level glass window, trying to get a moth on the inside of that window. He looked so puzzled that he couldn’t catch the little bug. LOL.

When Bigboy Crow saw us, he took one hop, landed on a nearby rock wall, and then just stepped off into space. (That curled my toes.)

The moth? He lived to see another day.

Now, a few questions Terminally Curious asked me to post. What do you like to do best on vacation? Where’s your favorite place to visit–someplace you’ve been before or someplace new? Do you write or just chill while you’re gone?

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2 thoughts on “Vacation

  1. Hmm . . . I prefer places I’m already familiar with, though I’m happy to do new things while I’m there. I take tons of pictures, too — and of odd things, like nothing-special shots of streets or storefronts — to help jog my memory. I go EVERYWHERE with the intention of using/doing/learning something for a future book.

    I can’t write much when I travel, though. My brain just doesn’t function that way.

    • I don’t like having to make arrangements to stay places I’ve never been before. I figure I’ll pay too much and get a really bad place. But as long as I stay in nationally known hotels (or one recommended by someone whose been there) I’m okay.

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