Journal: My Respite on my Island in the Sun – Nov 3, 2017


Photo copyright Rosemary Carlson

It’s Day 1 of my respite on my island in the sun and Day 3 of NaNoWriMo 2017. I arrived around 2 p.m. on my island after several rather hard days of traveling by car. I feel like the interstate highways, or at least the one I was on, have become highways from hell or at the very least, international speedways populated mostly by 18-wheelers. I seriously almost got run over once. I had a less serious close call a second time. I feel like I was lucky to get here! But, here I am, at my home on my island and it is so good to be here.

There was a hurricane. Hurricane Irma. It shows and I’ve only seen a small part of the island so far. The islanders and outside help from various states have done an excellent cleanup job. But there was a hurricane and it was a serious one that almost directly hit my island. You can tell. Did I have damage? Yes, but very little compared to some people. I feel lucky.

My island is still the wonderful, magical place it has always been. Hurricane Irma, I have one thing to say to you. You failed. Big Fail. At least on this island. Other places were harder hit.

After eating some soft-shelled crab for dinner at one of my favorite bars on the island, I came home and took a three-hour nap. Hanna, my puppy, joined me. Unpacking could wait, I decided. The picture at the first of the post? That sign stands at the front of my favorite bar and I love it!

Speaking of Hanna, she had serious motion sickness when we left home. She’s only seven months old. By the time we arrived, Hanna was a big girl with no motion sickness at all. Trial by fire.

National Novel Writing Month 2017 (NaNoWriMo17) started while I was on the road. Have I managed to write? Yes! The goal of the competition is 50,000 words during the month of November. My goal is not that lofty because my WIP is going to be about 30,000 – 35,000 words – a novella. That means I must write 1,167 words/day to finish my first draft this month. So far – DONE! I will keep you posted.

I can’t wait until tomorrow. Isn’t that a good feeling to have? Groceries – healthy food – is the first priority and I hear there is an awesome new produce market on the island. I will work on unpacking. I will enjoy the bright blue sky and sunshine here. I would like to get up early enough to photograph the sunrise. I’m pretty tired from the trip. If I manage to get up, I’ll share the photo with you. Until the next installment….



The Reluctant Traveler


The housesitter has been employed. Everything is packed. It’s time to leave. I have a little reluctant traveler on my hands. Hanna, my seven-month old puppy who has owned me since mid-July. She is, in equal parts, adorable, stubborn, sensitive, and special. She is also unhappy in the car to the point that she is car sick, like a child.  She is so sweet and innocent and so incredibly attached to her home that I can hardly bear to make her travel for 1200 miles in the car.

She tries to enjoy it. She really does. Last time she was in the car, she tried to look out the windows, enjoy the view, but then it happened. She started drooling heavily and was car sick. We tried every medication known to man and vet. So tomorrow, we resort to the last resort and try a heavy tranquilizer, hoping Hanna will just sleep through it. I’ve added a day to the trip hoping she will adjust. Tomorrow will be a short day. We’ll only go about 200 miles and stop for the night, and we will gradually extended the length of the driving days. I hope it will help her get used to it, but I fear it won’t.

You see, when it was prime time to socialize Hanna, the breeder didn’t bother. So I bought her at almost four months old and she hated travel, she hated other people, and she hated other dogs. My trip to Florida is partly  about Hanna. She will meet people and other dogs. I will help her learn that people and other dogs will not hurt her. By the time we get home, she will be over a year old and all grown up.

I will spend the month of November doing NaNoWriMo, which for me this year, is writing a mystery novella. 50,000 words, but I will write a little less since I’m writing a novella. My goal isn’t to win, just to finish my WIP.

So wish us luck. I will write part of the day and the other part of the day, I will show her the birds, wildlife, and scenery of South Florida on long walks. She will see the ocean and the beach. I will gradually introduce her to people and other dogs. Then, I will give her time to process it all.

Off and on, I’ll post here. A blog post entitled “The Reluctant Traveler.” Stop by and read about Hanna’s progress and about my progress on the novella. If you are doing NaNoWriMo and need a buddy, seek me out! I’ll blog some, but not as much as usual, especially during November since I have to write 1,667 words per day.

After November and NaNoWriMo, I’m back to work on my novel, but I hope to spend long hours enjoying and drawing inspiration from my island and I want to take a number of side trips. Some ecotours, a trip to Epcot, trips to the most outer barrier islands, a trip to the Tortugas, and much more, getting photos as I go. I’d like to go to Miami and spend a little personal nostalgia time at South Beach, getting some good photos while I’m there. I hope Hanna can go with me, wherever she is allowed. All good material for books and blogs.

Off to see the wizard!