I was all ready to write entries the last three days, but I've been without internet. So here, you get them all in one blog.
I took a tour of Loch Lomond, the Highlands, and Stirling Castle. I listened to music as we sailed through the Scottish hinterlands, and it was gorgeous. Here, of course, are some pictures.
I came home, grumbled about not being able to do the vault tour because of my leg, and then went to the pub to write instead. Most of it came out scribbles, but here's a picture of the writing space.
It's weird when you travel for so long, it starts to not be a vacation. Vacations are short amount of times when the world is as we would like it to be. We get to go where we want, we get to see what we want, we don't have to worry about money (if we've planned right), and we get to pass all those working slops on the street as we go through life like touring kings.
A month-long vacation for the sake of seeing new lands turns then into a job of its own. A lovely job, and one I am currently missing, but a job nonetheless. I guess what' I'm saying is, if you do something new for a lengthy period of time, it becomes routine.
The trip had started to become routine. Wake up in the morning, get free food where you could, start in on the sight-seeing, rest for lunch and a quick nap if you could, make sure your leg is feeling okay to do the next half of the day, keep sight-seeing, find something to eat, don't let yourself go home until it was unsafe so you don't miss out on anything, go home, talk to Alex, sleep, get up, pack your things, leave a tip, eat free food, squeeze in one more thing, get to the airport/train station, travel, get to the next hotel, check in, take a thirty-minute nap, do something low-key but still out in the world, come home, shower, sleep, wake up in the morning, get free food where you could ...
To step out of the rail station and see a completely new world was an experience I will never ever forget, and one I enjoy. But it was time to come home.
I stopped at Edinburgh castle to sit in its highest tower where one man awaited execution, and I looked down at the beautiful city he'd never touch again. I scribbled about it. I've become an excellent scribbler as of late.
Then I walked around St. Giles, which was so beautiful I didn't take any pictures. And the less poetic sentiment, it was two pounds for a photo permit and I was on my last leg of the trip.
Then I walked through the park, and got on the train.
I love that train. It goes 100 miles an hour past the Scottish coast. It literally feels like you're flying.
The four-hour ride was spent writing the turning point of my novel. It was a good session. I got off at King's Cross and touched the wall that Rowling was envisioning when she wrote Platform 9 3/4ths, and I had 18 solid pages of writing done from the last four hours.
I walked around London, my leg giving out, me going further than I should. I texted Alex: We have to move here.
I've never felt like I belonged anywhere. When I lived here in my hometown as a child, I felt as if I was cooped up in a cage and would show my worth when I got to the big city. When I got to the big city, I felt as if everyone and everything was cold and much too cynical for my conviction. I slumped into sadness in both places, but I'll be damned if there is nowhere on this earth I belong. England has been the thing that feels most like home. So it is to England we shall go. Not today, not next year, maybe not in five years. But I've seen people do crazier things. We will make it to England.
I then took a train and a bus to my hotel room. Which was small and a closet and obviously meant for a few hours' rest before flights. I fell asleep, feeling like I was in a crypt.
I went home.
I got up at 4 in the morning, took a cab, got through security, and then I was on a plane for eleven hours.
Eleven hours, because one for boarding, two because the engine literally blew right before we took off and we had to fix it ... or, they had to fix it, I didn't, and then the rest for flight and waiting on the runway in Chicago, because our plane lost power right after we landed.
So yes, that happened.
I sped through security, got through customs, and ran onto my flight home right as the gate was closing.
I think they were trying to give my seat up to a standby. Not bloody likely.
On the plane ride home, all I wanted to do was get to my apartment and see my husband. It had been a great trip, but I have never wanted to simply sit on a couch in the middle of my Shire for so long, and I knew that feeling would quickly rub away, so I enjoyed it as long as I had it.
I also read the entirety of Go Set a Watchman.
Seeing as in real life, I am Scout (minus her awkward and disturbing views of the black community), I really enjoyed the book for what it was: a first draft. I think that's what I took away from the book. You can still turn out a great writer when you have a crappy draft.
I landed. My parents picked me up. They immediately started updating me on what has happened the last month, from family gossip to national news. I suddenly felt very overwhelmed, and I thought back to Bilbo coming back to his Shire.
Nothing ever looks the same when you've seen the larger picture.
"You change change the world and expect it to remain the same."
I collapsed in my parents' living room, waiting for Alex to collect me. He did, eventually, and we jetlag-ate a pizza before going to bed.
I don't have coherent words for the trip yet, but I do know that I'm a stronger writer because of it. It allowed me to gain confidence, meet amazing people, and understand the scope of the universe (although it is so much bigger than what I saw). It's been humbling, gratifying, imaginative, and amazing.
Now onto the writing session for today.