Personal · Travel · Writing

On tears and travel plans and the use of time.

On Monday we got to leave the office early and go see a screening of The Fault In Our Stars. I can’t stop thinking about it. I liked the book well enough, but I think I actually liked the movie more. Which is a rare thing for me. I tend to feel dissatisfied with adaptations. The biggest reason was probably that Gus came alive on screen in a way that made his character feel so much more real to me than the book ever did. On paper I found him to be a bit too quirky.

By the end of the movie I was struggling to hold back loud, heaving sobs. Even as we reached the end of the credits I couldn’t stop. It felt like something of a betrayal for my body to pump out all those tears, ignoring the fact that I had read the book; I had the ending stored away in my memory; I was, in theory, fully prepared for the devastation.

I think I maybe cried extra hard because I brought Loren with me to the screening, and as I sat there clutching his arm all I could think about was how I would crumble into a pile of nothing if he suffered like that, if he moved on out of this world before he’d had his fair share of life.

***

On a more cheerful note. Honeymoon plans! They have completely changed! I totally pulled a switcheroo on Loren. We’d had it planned for MONTHS — we were going to get married, and then we were gonna go to the Adirondack Mountains and have a peaceful vacation there. I still want to go to the Adirondacks. But I couldn’t help wilting a little every time I thought about that being our honeymoon. I just wanted a Big Exciting Adventure in a new and strange-feeling place.

So today we booked tickets to Alaska. ALASKA, YOU GUYS. I’m so effing excited. Give me all the glaciers! All the sea creatures! It’s going to be amazing. We fly out the day after our marriage celebration shenanigans.

***

This morning I was running horribly behind schedule. By which I mean the schedule I set for myself in order to accomplish my projects outside of work. I purchased breakfast and barely had twenty minutes to spare before I had to head into the office. Days like this I find myself thinking, well I could just go into the office early. Which means skipping the morning writing entirely. Occasionally I actually do that. It’s so easy to believe twenty minutes isn’t enough time to do anything real.

But I forced myself to sit down. I pushed my breakfast aside and opened my laptop. I told myself that in those twenty minutes I was going fix at least three things in the scene I was editing.

And I did it. Twenty minutes. Three things. I smoothed out mentions of a character’s injuries from a new scene added to the previous chapter. I fixed a bit of dialogue that was inconsistent with a character change I’d started implementing. I planted something for a new plot element I’m weaving into this draft.

I packed up my computer feeling immensely satisfied. I don’t know why it’s always so surprising to me. The little snatches of time can be so valuable. And it’s like the brain snaps to attention and knows to focus now. Twenty minutes is always better than zero minutes. I try to remember that, but it’s the kind of certainty that my brain just refuses to retain.

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