Day 5 didn’t have to work very hard to surpass the bar set by Day 4. I mean, watching back-to-back episodes of Saved by the Bell (back before A.C. Slater was in A Chorus Line) would have been better than Day 4.
But the universe works in mysterious ways, yin and yang and all, and Day 5 turned out to be the Best NYC Retreat Day Ever.
First, I headed over the the West Side for an iced latte and a long meeting with my agent, who is fabulous and well-suited to soothe my neurotic, insecure, self-inflicted writing freak-outs (despite the Jack Nicholson comment, which was well-deserved and directed more at my questionable mental health than my writing). Not once did he look across the patio cafe table and say, “Sarah, it’s great that you’re in New York and can call on me whenever you need to chat. So, do you miss Denver? Do you ever think about moving back? Maybe you should? Do you need any help packing?”
Faith in my chosen career path (and associated life’s dream, driving passion, singular raison d’être, etc.) restored, I headed to Barnes & Noble for a fix. Five fixes, actually, including Christopher Moore’s LAMB and a book for Alex.
Hey, you say “obsession,” I say “research!”
After the book indulgence—er, research investment, I had to get back to the East Side and thought I’d walk through Central Park. You’d think it would be a pretty simple task to walk straight across a big green rectangle, but…
Those of you who know me won’t be shocked when I say that I got totally lost—er, turned around. Off the path. For an hour and a half.
But getting totally lost in Central Park turned out to be a great idea.
Life’s Little Surprises (the good kind)
A turtle! But not just any turtle. This is a New York turtle.
“Are you talkin’ to me? Oh, I’m funny, huh? Like a turtle-clown, huh? I’m here to amuse you?”
I didn’t take the bait. Despite his tough exterior, this CPW turtle is a big softie on the inside.
Go read that last part again.
Ha! (Thank you, thank you, I’m here all week…)
I loved watching this fountain scene from an unnoticeable distance. The photo is kind of scattered, but if you look closely (or click on it for a larger view), you can see how much is happening and just imagine what people are thinking and talking about, paths crossing, all connected for a single moment by the fountain.
First, there’s hula hoop 101—so random. So cool.
And, what’s got these two so engrossed?
Oh, right. She was actually bending over and twirling (not at the same time), but I opted for the wholesome family shot instead.
After watching paths cross at the fountain for a bit, I thought I’d finally found the right path to the East Side. I walked another several minutes, only to end up… right back on the West Side, ten blocks south of my original departure (and planned arrival) street.
That’s when I stumbled onto the best little surprise on my wandering journey through the park.
Listen to what it says. Really listen.
It’s a good directive for us neurotic writers. And everyone else, too.
And in the end…
This evening, my 6th NYC retreat day, I packed it in a day early and headed back to Queens. I was missin’ on my husband, and ready to come home. I’m not finished with book 2 yet, but that’s okay—I got a lot of writing done and reveled in the relatively uninterrupted solitude as planned.
Despite day 4’s katsaridaphobic1 meltdown, my NYC writers retreat brought me to a place of peace with this book. When it’s ready to be finished, I know it will be… and then it’s on to the next one.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. I can’t handle that much pressure!
1. Katsaridaphobia: fear of cockroaches! Ewwwww!