You’re probably all like, “I have lots of stuff going on in my life, but what about Sally? When’s Sally going to update her blog already to tell me what she’s doing with the next two months of her life?”
Well, people, put on your anticipation pants because do I ever have some summer plans for you!
But, I’m going to need your help.
Don’t worry. I’m not going to ask you for money. Not that I would refuse money if you were just going to start throwing it at me, though. (Now, if you are going to start throwing money my way, remember I bruise easily. Coins are out. Make sure anything you throw is in the form of paper bills or credit cards or Paypal money transfers.)
I’m not going to ask you to buy me a plane ticket. Again, not that I would refuse — I mean who am I to look a gift horse in the mouth? (Not that I’m calling you a horse or anything. But you have been looking a little hippy lately… just saying.)
I don’t even need a place to stay for the summer. But, should you happen to have a spare beach bungalow that needs an occupant, I might be willing to change my plans. (Yep, I’d do that for you. Really. I am that nice.)In fact, I have my summer plans all sorted out – which is a good thing as my summer vacation starts next week. My classes ended last week and once I wrap up grading and testing this week, I’ll be looking at two full months of summer vacation.
Let me just say that again, you know, in case you missed it:
TWO FULL MONTHS OF SUMMER VACATION.
I’m no mathematician, people, but that’s, like, a lot of days.
I bet you’re all like, “Wow, Sally, you could really take a big trip with that kind of time! You could train-hop through China or backpack through Vietnam or practice your yak-herding in Mongolia. You could finally visit Angkor Wat. You could study Balinese dancing or Thai massage or Vietnamese cooking or whatever it is they do in Mongolia besides herd yaks. Heck, you could even leave Asia and go to one of those other continents!”
I mean, this is a big opportunity for me. I have two months off. I am footloose and fancy-free. And after a semester of getting paid in cash-money, I finally have a balance in my bank account once again.
As they say, the world is my cupcake! (Yeah, yeah, I know I’m the only one who says that, but I don’t get that whole “the world is your oyster” thing. Oysters are gross and slimy and look like something the ocean barfed up. Cupcakes, on the other hand, rarely disappoint.)
But, instead of jetting off to some, fun-filled, action-packed, popular tourist destination, I’ll be keeping things low-key this summer. No tourist traps or backpacker hostels or overcrowded wats for me. Nope, this girl won’t be guzzling Thai buckets or poring over guidebooks or haggling with night market vendors for a new pair of harem pants.Instead, I’ll be tucked away in a secluded, little locale all by myself.
Where am I going to be, you ask?
Oh, I’m sure you haven’t heard of it. It’s very exclusive, you know, totally off-the-beaten-track. It’s not in any of the guidebooks. It’s not on any of the other travel blogs. I’m certain you’ve never, ever been there. There’s not even a sign there to tell you where it is. Only the locals know about it. And there’s not even a whole lot of locals there to know about it.
What is this wonderful, undiscovered gem of a place, you ask?
Yep, I’ll be spending the next two months holed up in my apartment.
Okay, I’ll admit that maybe this doesn’t sound like the most exciting of summer plans. I’m sure you’re all like, “What? Come on, Sally, can’t you just fit in a tiny little beach break? For me? Or maybe herd just a few yaks around Mongolia — maybe a couple of the smaller yaks? Heck, you wouldn’t even have to herd yaks! You could herd pigs or dogs or pigeons — you know, one of those animals that’s better at taking direction. Pretty please! Think of me!”
Well, funny you should say that.
Because I am kind of doing this for you.
Yep, it’s all your fault I’ll be spending the next two months on a staycation rather than on a real-live, actual vacation. (And, while we’re on the topic, who ever dreamed up this term: staycation? Is staycation supposed to make the idea of staying at home sound fun? Because it’s not working. It doesn’t sound fun; it sounds like an unfortunate eye infection.)
Remember back a month or so ago, when I was all like, “Should I stay in China or not?” And, then, you were all like, “You should stay! You should stay!” And, I was all like, “Hey, you’re not the boss of me! But, yeah, maybe you do have a point. I should probably stay.”Well, after you practically forced me to stay in China, I decided I would use the free time that I have here to write more. And one of the things that I would really like to write is a book.
Now, I don’t know much about writing a book, but I have read a few books in my day, so I’ve noticed books tend to have a lot words – like, a lot of words. Now I’m no Jane Austen, but I imagine writing all those words takes a lot of time… especially for me. Heck, it takes me twenty minutes just to put my socks on each morning. So, while it may take most people a year or so to write a book, it’s going to take me, like, forever. And, seeing as, there is a strong possibility I won’t live until I’m two hundred years old, I should probably get started on this whole book thing lickety-split if I ever want to finish it in my lifetime.
But it’s hard to start writing a book when you’re busy working or traveling or herding yaks.
So, rather than an exciting, travel-filled (and, potentially, yak-laden) holiday, I will be having a two-month-long, book-starting sabbatical.
In my apartment.
(Or “hermitage” as I will be calling it for the next two months as that sounds much more author-y, don’t you think?)
And before you get all, “A book? No one reads books anymore! Why waste all your time writing some stupid, old book that no one’s going to read when you could be watching kitten videos on Youtube? Why not make a nice little kitten video instead? Wouldn’t that be fun? Everyone loves kittens! And you don’t even need a lot of time or words to make a kitten video – all you need is a video camera, a kitten and a shoebox and you have Youtube gold! Besides, what makes you think you can write a book?”
Well, funny you should say that.Because this whole book thing is kind of your fault, too.
Mind you, this isn’t the first time I’ve said I’m going to write a book. If you happen to be one of my family members or friends or long-term blog readers, you’ve probably heard me blathering on before about how I’m going to write a book. In fact, I’m sure you’re like, “Oh God, here she goes again with that whole book thing. Blah, blah, blah. Wake me up when she starts talking about kitten videos or cupcakes again.”
It’s true. I have been yakkety-yaking about this whole book thing for some time now. A year and a half ago when I took off to travel around Southeast Asia, I announced on my blog that I would be writing a book. And, to give all my family members and friends and long-term blog readers credit, everyone was pretty supportive of my little plan. I mean, no one told me I was crazy or that I couldn’t do it… at least, not to my face or anything.
But the book never happened.
Now, that’s not to say I didn’t learn a few things about writing a book last year. For one thing, I learned books don’t just write themselves. I know. I was pretty shocked by this, too. Unlike cookies that just seem to eat themselves or hours of So You Think You Can Dance that just seem to watch themselves, books actually require your time and effort before they can happen.The other important thing I learned about writing a book is that you need confidence.
First, you have to have the confidence that you have a story worth writing.
Then, you have to have the confidence that you’ll be able to sit down and write it all without quitting or accidentally watching endless hours of So You Think You Can Dance instead.
Finally, you have to be confident that people will want to read what you’re writing. I mean, your book is going to be competing with kitten videos. Kitten videos, people! We all know how awesome kitten videos are, right?
You have to have the confidence that you can be as awesome as a kitten video.
That’s, like, a crazy amount of confidence.
And, well, I don’t have that kind of confidence.
Or, at least, I didn’t have that kind of confidence.
You see, even though I’ve been talking about writing a book for a while, I never thought I could do it. Sure, I have lots of silly stories, but a book? Don’t most books need, I don’t know, some kind of plot or something?
Besides, I tend to be easily distracted. How on Earth could I manage to write a whole book when I can barely get through writing a blog post without being distracted by Twitter or Facebook or Youtube or websites with pictures of birds with arms photo-shopped on to their bodies?
Heck, even when I cut myself off from the Internet, I am easily distracted. The contents of my fridge become my Facebook. The oscillations of the ceiling fan is my Twitter. And a dust bunny scuttling across my floor is, yes, my low-tech answer to kitten videos on Youtube.Plus, who would want to read the drivel I crank out?
Well, you would, right?
I mean, I know I’m no kitten video or anything.
But you’re reading what I’m writing right now, right?
And a lot of you have been reading what I’ve been writing for the past year or so.
And, well, some of you even have told me I should write a book.
So, really, this whole book thing is your fault.
Before you started filling my head with all your supportive nonsense, I figured I simply didn’t have what it takes to write a book. Now, I’m still not entirely sure I have what it takes, but I am the teensiest bit more confident that I can do it. And I’m giving up my entire summer vacation to give it a try.
So you really kind of owe me one.
No, I won’t ask you to write the first eight chapters. (But, hey, if you’re offering….)
And, no, I’m not asking you for money. (Yet.)But I am asking for your help.
Maybe you’d like to send a few words of encouragement.
Maybe you’ve written a book and you know a thing or two about writing a book that you’d like to share.
Or, hey, maybe you’re a publisher and you’d like to offer me a big, shiny book deal! (Isn’t that how this whole book thing works? I write on my blog “I’m writing a book! Yay!” and then I just sit back and wait for publishers to woo me with scads of money, right? Right?)
Or maybe, just maybe, you’d like to send some cookies. (My apartment, ahem, hermitage is off-the-beaten-track, but, luckily for you and your cookies, it isn’t totally off the map and I do get regular postal service.)
Just, please, whatever you do don’t send me any links to kitten videos or funny animals-with-arms websites. I’m already easily distracted as it is. And you should just see the hi-jinks the dust bunnies have been up to in my apartment since I started writing this blog post!