Charlotte Rains Dixon  

Pave the Way, or Roads to Hell


Saturday Night–A quiet evening at home spent on an obsessive Mad Men watching marathon.  (We're finishing up Season Two, so no spoilers on the current sesason, please.)   The space of the evening allowed me to think about what I wanted to work on in my Sunday-morning writing session.  I set an intention to write longhand in a journal dedicated to a new project I'm working on, which is in that too-early-to-talk-about-because-it-may-not-go-anywhere-stage.


Sunday Morning–Ah, creativity.  It makes me feel like I'm in love with the world and everything in it.  I had a great writing session this morning.  Woke up knowing exactly what I was going to work on, thanks to my intention from the night before, and got right to it.  Wrote and wrote and wrote and felt fabulous about it and my life.  I'm especially excited because its my sister's birthday and we're celebrating by going hiking on the north side of Mt. Hood, at Cloud Cap, where you can drive a long, tortuous gravel road to the trailhead and within a few minutes hike (never mind that it is nearly straight up) find yourself within view of Eliot Glacier.

Sunday Night–While the time at Cloud Cap was wonderful, the day didn't end quite like we'd planned.  Intending to get home to Portland in time for my nephew's appointment at 5:30, I'd planned another quiet evening at home–wine and dinner on the new deck.  This way, I could again think delicate, intentional thoughts about what I'd write in the morning.  Wrong. Note above picture.  It shows my sister's van being towed, after we spent two hours on the side of the semi-remote (remote enough the tow truck driver couldn't find us) mountain road waiting to be rescued.  We had a flat tire, you see.


After waiting for the tow truck to find us (took the help of the local sheriff to track him down), attempting to dislodge the emergency spare from its spot beneath the chassis of the van, and peeing by the side of the road, we discovered that the spare didn't have enough air in it.  And the tow truck driver didn't have any air with him.  (Don't ask, we don't know.) So we had to be towed to the gas station in Pine Grove, where we could get air.  And then we drove 50 miles an hour back into town, arriving at 8:30 instead of the expected 5:30.  After a couple glasses of wine and a hurried dinner of salmon slapped together and thrown in the oven and salad, fell into bed.

Everystockphoto_241635_lMonday Morning–Climb stairs to my office, coffee mug in hand.  My brain is dull.  I'm forcing myself to open my journal and pick up my pen.  But I got nuttin.  Just nuttin.  The wonder and awe over the joys of creativity from the day before are gone, evaporated in a haze of cold mountain air.

Moral of the Story–A little bit of advance preparation and intention setting goes a long way towards contributing to the writing.  But sometimes you don't do it and you just can't help it.  At any rate, I got a blog post out of it, didn't I?


Photos:  Don Draper from the Mad Men site, Mt. Hood from Wikipedia, tow truck from my Iphone, and the panorama of Pine Grove from Wikipedia, taken by Tedder, and used under Creative Commons 3.0 license,wine glass from Everystockphoto.

0 thoughts on “Pave the Way, or Roads to Hell

  1. Roy

    Hey Charlotte:

    Wow, that sounds like an adventure. Sorry to hear about the time on the side of the road! 🙁

    Later, Roy

  2. Charlotte Dixon

    Thanks, Roy. I did get a blog post out of it, so I continue to believe that for a writer, no experience is every wasted!

  3. Jessica

    I wholeheartedly agree with the moral of your story. I find if I make a list the night before, I get so much done. If I don’t settle my mind on what I expect to accomplish beforehand, I procrastinate like crazy.

  4. Charlotte Dixon

    And my favorite way to procrastinate is to go right to email and the internet first thing in the morning, instead of the page.

  5. Jessica

    Now, a couple of weeks ago I would have said to you that I HAVE to go to my e-mail first thing in the morning because my head is not good for much else other than staring at a screen.

    However, for the past couple of weeks I’ve been writing Morning Pages in my journal, and have since discovered that I can ‘write myself awake’ as long as I don’t expect to actually be writing a story or blog post at that point in the morning. Brain dumps do help me wake up.

    So there you go, I’ve learned something new about myself these past weeks. And in the process I’ve almost finished my journal which means I have to find myself a new one… What a problem, eh?

  6. Charlotte Dixon

    I love when I finish a journal and I “have” to go buy a new one. I love doing morning pages, too. And I find that getting up first thing in the morning and working on a novel or whatever is great because I’m so half asleep that there’s not judgment and no hesitation, I just write. Brain dumps can be great for creative projects also!

  7. mousebert

    At least it was pretty where you were stuck.

    Could have been worse – could have been raining.

    per Young Frankenstein

  8. Roy Burkhead

    This is true. Having a tire on the side of the road is a universal experience, I think, and now you will be able to describe it in detail! 🙂

  9. Charlotte Dixon

    Mousebert, it was gorgeous and clear, though a bit cold, being the mountains. And the road was deserted so we could dance down the middle of it and sing and entertain ourselves. So it could have been worse!

  10. Charlotte Dixon

    Roy, good call. I’ve probably written all I care to about it for the moment, however!

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