One of my dear friends calls the time preparing to take a vacation, and getting back to work afterwards, "vacation punishment." I must admit that it does feel punishing to me. After I deal with the unpacking, the laundry, putting away the assorted souvenirs and gifts and getting my surroundings back into some semblance of normal, I still have to get myself back into the groove of work.
I think that is harder for me now that I am writing than it used to be when I had a nine to five job. After all, now I am the one determining the workload and driving the timeline. And the blank page doesn't come with directions.
I reenter slowly. This week I spent two days writing up my notes about the trip: where we went, what we saw, my reflections on the different cultures we encountered. This particular trip was to Panama, and aside from the Canal and Panama City we were on the Pacific and Caribbean coasts, went downriver to visit the Embera Indians, an indigenous tribe, and snorkeled and kayaked and fished. So there was a lot to reflect on.
After getting my fingers active on the computer keys again, I am ready to get back to my linked short stories. I've been thinking a lot about them, teasing out the themes and the characters and wondering if the thirteen stories I have are enough to make the collection or if I will have to write one or two more. I already know I will have to re-write sections of stories in order to make them work well together.
So although I haven't written anything new for my story collection, I have been working on them in my head while I walk, cook, drive and dream. Now I am ready to get back to the written word.