Monday, June 14, 2021

Writing in Paradise...Usually

 I’ve enjoyed some of the blogs here on Type M that detail locations where our fellow bloggers like to write and some of their writing habits.  As many of you know, I live on the coast of North Carolina.  We have a house on Bogue Banks Island, which is a barrier island south of the Outer Banks.

It sounds exotic—saying I live on an island.  It’s about twenty-one miles long and at its narrowest point, you can see both the ocean on one side of the island and Bogue Sound on the other. It’s a vacation destination with thousands of vacation homes, about ten hotels, and fabulous restaurants, boutique shops, and stores where you can buy anything from swimming suits to fishing tackle. 

In the “off season”, late autumn, winter, and early spring, it’s very quiet here.  There are times you can walk the beach and not see another soul.  That’s when I enjoy this island the most.  

But this is June and while it’s not yet officially summer, we are inundated with tourists.  The restaurants all have long lines, the grocery stores are overcrowded, and the roads are clogged with people trying to find their way around. 

I’m not complaining because this is when businesses here on the coast make their money.  Our county has a year-round population of slightly less than seventy-thousand people.  During the “season”, that grows to over two-hundred and fifty thousand people.  It can put a strain on infrastructure and that includes the internet.

Think of it as a pipeline from one end of the island to the other.  During the “off season” demand isn’t particularly stressful.  But when we have two-hundred thousand people out here, all downloading Netflix or playing World of Warcraft, that internet pipeline clogs up quickly.

Case in point, my publisher has re-released my first book Random Road. Our publicist arranged to have a Zoom interview with me and Barbara Peters from the Poisoned Pen Bookstore.  Full disclosure, Barbara has been one of the editors on all of my Geneva Chase mysteries.  

She told me that the interview would go anywhere from a half-hour to an hour, depending on how well it went.  

It was awful.

The internet kept dropping the Zoom connection.  She’d ask a question or make a commentary to which I’d start to answer and about halfway through, my screen would freeze.  The only way to get back in was to start the process over…every damned time.  Once, when I popped back onto the interview, I held up a glass of wine and said, “I’m turning this into a drinking game.  Every time I drop out, I take a drink.”

Barbara grinned at me, held up her own glass of wine and said, “Way ahead of you, kiddo.”

Unfortunately, the connection did not get any better.  Needless to say, the interview was over at a half hour.  Blessedly.

But all in all, this is a lovely place to work.  My home office has a window overlooking our front lawn. If I feel like a stroll, the ocean is a few minutes from the house.  

And now, I must get back to my WIP.  I have a July first deadline for my fifth adventure with Geneva Chase, and yet again, I’m putting the poor woman through hell. 


Anna said...

Thousands of people visit your matchlessly beautiful island in the summer and occupy themselves with Netflix and World of Warcraft? That blows my mind.

Thomas Kies said...

Anna...I know, right?

Tanya said...

Thanks for the beautiful photo. Reminds me of Corolla in the OBX, where I spent many vacations over the past few decades. Loved visiting late-season or off-season to enjoy the peaceful walks on the beach that you described. Very good for mental health and the creative process!