Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Surrey - Sitting in an Airport Terminal

Somehow, not quite the same ring as "the railway station". Or maybe I'm showing my age. Anyone else remember that song - "Sitting in the railway station, got a ticket for my destination, oh..." Who sang that anyway?

Somehow I ended up with a four hour layover in Salt Lake City. Well, I know how. I originally had an earlier departing flight, that allowed me to connect earlier in Salt Lake and arrive in Vancouver around noon, instead of 4:00. It was the old bait-and-switch. Almost as soon as I booked my flight, I got a notice of flight changes which meant I wouldn't make my connection and so here I sit.

On the upside, my first flight was upgraded to first class, my first time. On the downside, I had an annoying "roommate" in first class (and what else can you call the space in first class, having spent my life riding with the peasants in couch). She obviously decided that extra space required sprawl - like the suburbs surrounding a major city. No less than 7 magazines drapped out of the seat pocket in front of her, bottled water, power bars, packs of tissues, an assortment of medications, etc... littered the arm rests between us, her leg brace (which I can feel some sympathy for) lay on the floor between our two seats, and her backpack squeezed under the seat in front of me! (Those "under seat" spaces in first class being taken up by motors to control seat positions - including leg rests! - leaving too little space for my full-size backpack.) But this meant that every time she needed something from her backpack (what more could she need?), she had to climb over me. Then she went to sleep, leaving me no escape without climbing over her legs (and the leg brace) because the drapping magazines blocked the little existing space between footrest and seat back.

Not feeling sorry for me? Okay. First class was nice.

So, I'm sitting here with my 4-hour layover, and remembering a Muse Exercise we did in April over on the Compuserve Books and Writer's forum, here. The exercise was to find someplace different to write - someplace you do not normally write. Write by hand (no laptops). Observe your surroundings for 5 minutes. Write stream of conscious for 10 minutes - focusing on sensory observations (sights, smells, sounds, emotions). Then review your writing, looking for tidbits of excellent description. Use those gems and write a scene .

I'm obviously not in the mood to be creative. My observations this time were lackluster. But then, with four hours to spare, I should be working on my novel and here I am blogging!

So, as a warm-up to Surrey, want to try it? Go someplace different to write. It doesn't have to be an airport! Your living room. Outside (in the nice fall weather might be nice). A coffee shop. On a bench at the park. Just someplace different. What do you see? Smell? Hear? Write about it. Did it feel different from your normal writing sessions? Did you come up with anything good?

How do you respark your creativity after a long break? I'm hoping this weekend will do it for me!


Gerb said...

Simon and Garfunkle. (Sitting at the railway station, got a ticket for my destination, mmmm...) :)

Guess I'm showing my age, too...