Back on board, I begin my last five pages before lunch. The short brisk walk has energized me, and I scribble happily. My characters are coming alive. The dialogue is crackling. I’m humming along so smoothly that I decide to have lunch in my room so I can keep going. I put my head out the door and summons my attendant, Jose. “A veggie burger, please,” I call, “when you have a minute.”
Soon a veggie burger arrives. I munch away writing happily as mustard stains a margin. Who cares? It’s the first draft. I pause to look out the window at five horses nudging each other by a wooden fence. Then I focus back to the page. The writing is always waiting.
After five more pages, I lean against the back of my seat. I’ll take a little twenty-minute snooze. I close my eyes, and the last thing I see out the window is a small creek winding through a mass of trees. When I awake, the twenty-minute snooze was forty minutes.
Back to the writing. I’m on a roll. The characters are speaking the way I want them to–funny, witty, well…… so it seems at least for now.
My dinner reservation is for six, so I stop and go to the shower area. I unpacked clean slacks and a new blue sweater. I shower, change, and proceed to the diner.
I’m seated next the woman with the clip board. She says she is going to China and is studying her route. I assume she’s going to New York City to catch a plane at Kennedy Airport. Wrong. She tells me she’s going to take a boat to England. She’s a professor who will be a guest speaker at a Chinese University. When they asked her to lecture there, she stated she did NOT fly. They said: “No problem.” she has been routed across Europe on trains to Russia, then on the Orient Express to China. I playfully ask: “Why don’t you just send a video.” She doesn’t smile, and I wish her happy journeys.
Back to the room. I write three or four before we pull in to New York City. Lanie will meet me at Penn Station and help me with my suitcase. New York City. I’m excited. I hope Lanie’s nerves are under control. I wonder how I can help him. We always find things to laugh at. Laughing is the calming thing.