Guys. I am currently staying in a (surprisingly busy) hostel in a small town in County Kerry, Ireland.
That small town is the setting for my current work in progress, The Long Road Home.
*cue ALL the geeking out*
For someone who has never (successfully) written anything set in contemporary America, being in Europe has been especially amazing. I'm getting to actually see the places I'm writing about and reading about and studying, and there really are no words to explain how perfect that has been. (I think my reaction to being in Paris was something like ASKJLWREKJZS;CLJWERFSDFKJQWER. In other words, completely incoherent joy.)
It's something else again to be in the place that is so integral to the story I haven't yet finished. I get to shape the story around being here now, around actual experience. When I go home, I'll be able to pull out the photos I've taken and say "right, that's what that looks like." This is the ultimate research; it isn't multiple maps and books and internet sources woven together with a little bit of guesswork and embroidery. It's real. I'm here.
It's also really nice to be in a new place and yet be relaxed about it. I have absolutely loved all the running around and sightseeing I've done this semester, and I would do it all over again and then some, but I'm getting tired. It's nice to spend the day walking around, nonchalantly exploring a new town for several hours, and then heading back to the hostel to poke at your Word document and talk to your friends online. Today, I went for a trail ride (somewhat recreating Maire's wild ride with the Secrets Man, although nowhere near that fast!! Fittingly, I don't think my horse was very fond of me, although she wasn't a demon horse, she was just a bit cross with the world I think) which was great fun. I made friends with a really adorable barn cat and saw the town and the surrounding country from the top of the mountain (well, more like a veeery large hill, but still); plus, it's been so long since I've ridden a horse, and it was quite nice to be back in the saddle, even if, like I said, Dubai didn't like me very much. I am now completely worn out, though, but that's okay, because I can absolutely spend the rest of the evening in the hostel, drinking tea and writing and interneting. It's really nice to have that sort of freedom to do whatever the heck it is you want to do - even if that something is nothing much at all.
The other people in this hostel might think I'm a bit strange though. It's really quite busy - the internet works best in the common room downstairs, so I've been spending a lot of time there and seeing an awful lot of people come and go. There are a lot of very outdoorsy types - which makes sense considering there isn't too much to do here if you're not inclined to go hiking or boating or riding - so they must think it odd that I spend so much time with my laptop. But oh well. I have claimed a chair in the common room (the one next to the outlets, heh) and I shall continue my wonderful stay here with a mix of wandering, adventuring, sleeping, and just sitting around.
I should really get to work on that writing thing then, shouldn't I? :)
*The title of this blog post, by the way, is a line from this song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kG2hW-Ax3TU