Pandemic Road: It’s Getting Crowded

Happy July 4th weekend. From reviewing social media and listening to the news, I’ve discovered that a lot of people are traveling right now. The destinations are many and varied. People are going to Europe — all over Europe, Canada, and a lot of northern states. I received an email from one friend in one of the Dakotas bragging that she went for an eight mile walk and never broke a sweat. I’ve seen pictures of cathedrals and one friend is even staying in an honest to god castle. Interestingly, I have not heard from any one who is traveling to the Southern United States. I guess it’s too hot and tropical weather is beginning to kick up.

Since I am not traveling, I don’t have any travel pictures to use in this blog post. But, don’t worry! Whenever I need a picture, there is always my cat, Hannah. While I am not traveling like so many others, I am getting laundry done. Hannah loves laundry day, especially when I wash and dry a load of towels. During the last couple of years doing things like laundry over a holiday weekend wouldn’t have been so noteworthy. During the pandemic, travel was much more complicated and restricted. Staying in hotels and all the variations of B&B’s had their own unique dangers. I’ve stayed in a hotel once during the past 2 to 3 years and I kept wiping everything down with Clorox wipes. I am pleased to report that I survived the ordeal quite healthy!

Now that July is here, I have completed the June Writing Intensive that I attended literally all month long. Many thanks to Max Regan for holding this retreat every year. I was pleased with the writing I accomplished and my story arc seems solid (at least at this moment in time). Now the trick is to keep up the momentum of my writing until next June. In addition to attending many zoom sessions and spending lots of time writing my current story, I listened to the news. My head is still reeling from everything I heard. I don’t care what your political affiliation is, this has been a wild time to be alive and alert. In the current stories I am writing, the main character is a Grim Reaper. One morning before a zoom class I walked into my office to find my friend sitting on my desk. She was expressing her displeasure with what she had heard recently. Why yes, my characters keep up with current events and express themselves as appropriate. One of the great parts about being a writer is that I can always conjure up a cast of characters to demonstrate my ideas and opinions of society. In case you’ve never seen the Grim Reaper, this is her picture.

Okay, to end on a happier note for a holiday weekend, I did get to go to see the Houston Ballet. My date and I wore masks, because we were inside at a crowded event. I am always delighted that the Houston Ballet gets the crowd it so well deserves, but I am very disappointed at the number of audience members who go without face masks. I understand that this pandemic is slowly getting better, but I still prefer to take safety precautions. Don’t take it personally if I try to avoid you if you walk around with a naked face. But the Ballet was wonderful. I have come to expect nothing less from a company with so many talented people.

Until next time.….

Happy Birthday! RoadBroads Is Four Years Old!

Has it really been 4 whole years? My how time flies. The RoadBroads Blog is actually 4 years old. Wow! No wonder I am feeling older all the time.

This project started out as a writing diversion for a couple of writers who were headed for Boulder, Colorado. That’s where Max Reagan lives and that’s where he used to always hold his June Writing Intensives in person. In 2018 a group of Houston writers made the trip out west. This was my first time to stay in an Air B&B. We would enjoy group meetings in the Boulder Bookstore. Post COVID I understand that this establishment is still going strong. Just like I have attempted to support local bookstores here in Houston during times of lockdown, the people of Colorado have supported their bookstore as well. I can’t wait until the day when I can see it in person again.

In 2018 when it came time to have one-on-one meetings with Max, we always met at the Dushanbe Tea House. Whether we sat inside or outside, this was the most relaxing place full of wonderful teas and good food. Of course in Boulder, unlike Houston, it was very comfortable to sit outside and have a meeting during the middle of the day. Good times. Last I heard, this restaurant is also still open like the bookstore.

It seemed like that wherever I was in Boulder, I could always look up and see the flatirons. I saw other mountains as well, but I had no idea what their names were.

Strolling on the Pearl Street Mall was always an interesting excursion. On the weekends there would be street performers that always drew a crowd. Back in 2018 there was no need for social distancing or masks. I understand that Pearl Street is coming back. I hope it continues. Again in Boulder, unlike Houston, one can walk around during the day without risking heat exhaustion.

We enjoyed writing for this blog so much that we continued with it after returning back to Houston. In 2020 writing a blog about road trips became quite tricky during lockdown. That’s when I started writing about the Pandemic Road.

Four years ago, I was so proud of myself for learning how to write and produce a blog. Now I have also added zooming to my technical repertoire. That is how I am attending this year’s June Writing Intensives. The first one begins this Friday. I’ll catch up with you in two weeks to let you know how it is going.

Happy Birthday to RoadBroads!
Also many thanks to everyone who has worked with this endeavor and helped to make it a success!

Until next time.…..

Pandemic Road: Week 16

Has it really been two years? Just over two years ago in May of 2018 I retired from my long long time career as a Social Worker and set off to become a full-time writer and artist. One of the first things I did was to take a road trip with Melanie to Boulder, Colorado to attend Max Regan’s Writing Intensive. It was magical. Pearl street mall, Boulder Bookstore, the Flat Irons. I attended classes with Max at the Boulder Bookstore and then we met at the Boulder Dushanbe Tea House for one-on-one meetings. No matter where I was in Boulder, I could look out and see the Flat Irons. I was happy. I was writing. My future and my next career were in front of me.

This is how our blog, RoadBroads was born.

Two years later I wanted to go back to Boulder. I wanted to revisit the Boulder Bookstore and the Pearl Street Mall. I had made reservations for living arrangements and paid a deposit for my space at the Max Regan June Writing Intensive. Then Covid-19 happened. Travel cancelled. The Writing Intensive moved to an on-line class. There are still approximately 20 of us who want to engage in this writing exercise. Those of us who want to develop our writing craft skills are willing to meet online and share our collective wisdom. Share our stories, exchange ideas, and listen to one another. But it won’t take place in Boulder. Instead of looking out at the Flat Irons, I will look out at my living room. I will see all of the wonderful writing companions via Zoom. Little boxes with heads inside of them.

Online is not as good as being there; however, it’s what I can do for now. I love my writing community. I value their input. I will enjoy spending time with them for the next 10 days even if I’m not in Boulder. This promises to be a new adventure in my writing life.

Until next week.….