Here in Jersey we are enjoying a true autumn--golden October days and nippy nights, with the occasional balmy surprise of a day that reaches into the 70s. Knowing that winter chill awaits only increases my yearning for one more day at the shore.
This past season I made more than my usual number of treks down the Garden State Parkway. Because I was in the revision stage of my second novel, a process marked by anxious fits and less-than-enthusiastic starts, I needed breaks to clear my head and ease the stress of my self-imposed deadline. (The previous summer I was composing the first draft, and faithfully followed the Nora Roberts dictum of "ass in the chair" for six hours each day. The farthest I got was the bathroom and the kitchen. Not necessarily in that order.)
Since my work is set at the shore, I can tell myself that I am, after all, doing research. I need to park myself in that beach chair and dig my toes into the hot sand. I need to capture that feeling of the late day sun on my face, to memorize the view from the black rock jetties that reach into the surf. And it's vital that I make that stop on the boardwalk to eat a sausage sandwich, followed by a Kohr's custard--otherwise, how can I accurately render that experience in print?
And now as I sit at my desk on crisp fall day, I dream about that same day sixty miles down the coast, imagining myself walking the beach in a big sweater, maybe stopping for hot coffee at a small shop that stays open all season. Taking one last look at the Ferris wheel and one last sniff of saltwater taffy.
Because June is a long way off. . .
Causes Rosemary DiBattista Supports
The Alzheimer's Association