Thursday, August 24, 2017

Alonissos, Greece and the Weird Writer Who Goes There

Karfelt, WRA, Leftos, Beach, Favorite Beach, Alonissos
S.R. Karfelt/The Glitter Globe
My Favorite Beach

Nobody wants to hear about my trip to Greece. For the last few years I've been going there to attend a writing workshop. At first I tried to tell people about it. Here's the thing though, there is nobody who wants to hear about anyone's magical multiple week long vacation to Greece. 


Shut up. Some people have to work for a living. The kind of work that doesn't give you weeks to travel.

Do not make us kill you.

Do not ruin our time at the beach by a lake with your amaze-balls Greek photos.

I totally get this. 

So I stopped talking about it. After posting a freak ton of photos to Instagram I mean. But that's showing, not telling. Nope. I tuck it all up inside the magical olive tree growing beside my favorite beach, and set it just under my heart. I hope with all my wishful dreams that I can return again next year, and I know how fortunate I am to have gone at all. During the year I look at that secret wonderful and can barely believe it happened. I often wear a silver ring from Alonissos, and I don't wear rings. But it's beautiful and lightweight, and doesn't bother me as much as most rings do. 

Writing events are difficult to explain to non-writers. The best I can say is this. Writers are weird. We know we're weird. People like to joke about how weird they are, or how weird other people are. But writers are no-joke, to the bone, weirdos. 

When you're a genuine weirdo, being weird isn't fun. It got old somewhere around grade school. When you see the world differently, and take in overwhelming amounts of data every waking moment, and process your thoughts on paper to even get them into some type of order, well, it can be a deeply lonely experience.

At least until you start making up imaginary characters and having a blast with them.

Controlling your own universe is way cool. 

I digress.

Getting together with other writers is how I imagine most people feel when they truly connect with other people. I don't mean loving people. We love people. I adore my hot husband. I think my kids are the coolest. My friends put up with my crap and have fun with me.

But my writerly peeps understand my weird ass. They don't just tolerate my shit. They have the exact same weird shit. It's like being an alien and finding your people. I wish it for all writerly types.

You should see a writer conference. Everyone is talking at once. Like freaking extroverts or something. (Although there are plenty of writers who ARE extroverts. Talk about weirdos.) 

At writer gatherings I can hardly sleep I'm so excited and wired. Afterwards I really need a vacation to recover. Writers don't make me tired like most social interaction. Lack of sleep does. The magic of the gathering is that I can plug the cord to my freak flag in and be as weird as I can (it's a lot of weird). They don't even notice.

This shouldn't make those who love writers envious in any way. As much fun and connection as we have when we gather together, if it lasted too long we'd probably go cannibal or something. It's like a matter anti-matter thing. At first it's a blast, and then the universe is imploding.

We don't love each other more. We just share our weird. It's a relief. If you love a writer, I highly recommend getting them with other writers. It's like sending them to therapy. Everyone benefits.

Still. Nobody wants to hear about my kick-ass Greek vacation. I can probably tell you about the bus tour I took before the writing workshop started. I spent a couple days in Athens and went up to Meteora to see those monasteries in the clouds. But if I launch into the real reason my house looks like this and how I use my money on a trip that takes me nearly three days of travel just to arrive at the destination, and how I end up spending days on end huddled knee to knee with a bunch of other women writers, barely looking up, and just writing and then reading it aloud, well, that'd just be weird wouldn't it?


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