Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Wednesday On Summer

Hey, guys! I know I've fallen off the radar for the past couple weeks, so if you thought I'd been eaten my sharks or something, I'm sorry to disappoint you. The month of July was kind of crazy for me, but I'm back (for the moment) and I hope you'll forgive me.

The last time I blogged, I wrote about my annual trip to the beach with my family. It was a great week. I bought a quilt, went on a scavenger hunt, wiped out a couple times, ate a lot of ice cream, and helped some toddlers dig a trench. One of my favorite things about writing, aside form the relationships between characters, is creating realistic places. Being in places that I love, like the beach, helped me think about how to create a place in writing that seems real. I can't say I came to any stunning conclusions, but changing my surroundings did change the way I wrote and thought, so if you're ever feeling stuck on a piece of writing, tell your parents to take you on vacation. Or you can just walk down the street to the park, if all else fails.

At the beach with my little brother. He's cute and also evil. 
 The following week I flew to Nova Scotia with my youth group. We started out in Cape Breton and I can easily say it was one of the most beautiful places I've ever been. Being a visitor in a different country forced me to look at things differently and it was nice, for the first few days of our trip, to be so far removed from the rest of society. None of us had our phones or computers. The nearest grocery store was about an hour away and the hostel we stayed in overlooked one of the largest salt lakes in the world.

My favorite part about Cape Breton was being able to write in nature. We would go sailing or hiking and then be given half an hour to sit and write. It wasn't everyone's cup of tea, but I loved it. I felt like I was sitting in the middle of an Emily Dickinson poem. The places we went-- Lake Bras D'or, the Cabbot Trail, and other places I forget the names of-- looked like the kind of places people write poetry about. It was incredible.

We left Cape Breton for Halifax, the biggest city in Nova Scotia, which was kind of a shock after our silence-and-meditation kind of deal. I loved it just as much, though. I'm kind of obsessed with cities. Halifax was just the right mix of charming history and excitement. It didn't hurt that it's a major port (I'm also kind of into water, hence the obsession with beaches, rivers, lakes etc.). I think the reason I love cities so much is because it seems like they have so many stories. You can't turn your head without wondering "What if?"

Cabbot Trail, Nova Scotia.
Halifax (or as we obnoxiously called it, "Holla Fax").
I wish I could have had longer in Canada. I miss Tim Hortons and I even kind of miss the hostels, despite the freezing cold showers. Those were not my favorite. Coming home was easier than it would have been, though, because I was looking forward to my penultimate adventure of the summer: Irish dance camp. As some of you may know, I have been dancing for almost eleven years and I'm certifiably obsessed with all things Irish. On St. Patrick's Day, I look like the Irish flag exploded all over my body. For the past couple years, I spend a week of my summer at Camp Rince Ceol. Rince is Irish Gaelic for dance, and ceol translates to music. It's your typical summer camp, except campers spend 8 + hours a day in dance classes with members of Lord of the Dance and Riverdance. The rest of the time we swoon over said instructors. I kid, I kid..kind of. We have a fake bonfire where we sing irish drinking songs, trivia night, and a final performance and party at the end of the week. I will never forget watching two former leads in Riverdance trying to break dance to Brittany Spears. It's basically a week of being obnoxiously Irish. I didn't get to write very much last week because I spent the majority of my time sleeping and dancing, but it is always one of the best weeks of the year. I'm majorly camp sick right now and I'm coping by crying, hugging my Riverdance poster, and going through the copious amounts of ridiculous camp photos on facebook. Thankfully, I'm driving to Baltimore this week to hang out a few of my infamous cousins, so I'll probably recover.

Campers dancing at CRC.

What have you guys been up to this summer? Where have you been that's inspired you to write? What was your favorite part?

Hope you are making the most of your last few weeks (or days, for some of you).