“Calm” And “Unremarkable” Travel: Not Good (For A Writer)

Hello again! A view from London Heathrow Airport’s Terminal 5 back on Tuesday morning:

View from Heathrow Terminal 5. [Photo by me, 2016.]
View from Heathrow Terminal 5. [Photo by me, 2016.]

The journey to the U.S. was fine. This morning I’m still in rural Pennsylvania. I stuck this photo up on Instagram yesterday:

Autumn leaves, behind my dad's house, northeastern Pennsylvania, 19 October 2016. [Photo by me.]
Autumn leaves, behind my dad’s house, northeastern Pennsylvania, 19 October 2016. [Photo by me.]

Dad’s doing well. He was looking haggard and even “depressed” on Facetime in recent weeks, which concerned me. Thankfully he’s much better in person and I’m greatly relieved about that.

Selfie, on my dad's driveway. Pennsylvania. [Photo by me, 2016.]
Selfie, on my dad’s driveway. Pennsylvania. [Photo by me, 2016.]

Grabbed a quick “selfie” yesterday in my rental car on my father’s driveway. Trying to strike a “cool author in sunglasses” selfie pose. I gave it my best, uh, shot.

A bit of personal travel insight I’ve developed about transatlantic flying.

My “day” on Tuesday began in London when I awoke at about 6am, which was 1am in New York. My flight left Heathrow about 10:30am, which was 5:30am in the Eastern U.S. It being a daytime flight, I tried to avoid sleeping on the plane. We landed at Newark at 1:30pm Eastern time, which was 6:30pm in England. I got the rental car and reached my dad’s about 4pm, which was 9pm in England. I forced myself to stay awake until 9pm here at my dad’s, which was 2am Wednesday morning in England. Essentially, I went to bed REALLY late after a long day.

I woke up yesterday here at my dad’s not feeling too messed up or “jet-lagged.” The big problem I usually have – as a lot of people do – is when we fly eastbound and the flight leaves New York in the evening and lands in Europe in the morning. That eastbound flight is usually too short to sleep decently – the Gulf Stream means flights to Europe take only about 6 hours (while flights to America are about 8 hours) – so you miss most of a night’s rest and find yourself thrust into Europe’s morning and still have that whole day ahead of you. That’s not fun. That may take some “recovery” time.

Oh, I want to mention this, too. The Tuesday flight from London to Newark was indeed calm and unremarkable. Nope, nothing like this happened:

Excerpt from "Distances." Click to expand.
Excerpt from “Distances.” Click to expand.

That “couple” of many years ago have no idea they made it into a novel.😂

Writers are a fickle bunch. There’s no satisfying us, is there?

We declare we want “quiet.” And we do need it – to some extent at least. Now with fewer restrictions on using tablets on a plane, I was able to spend a few hours writing using my Microsoft Surface.

However, we always also need to find new story material. We perpetually need new inspiration. We can’t stand still.

So “calm” and “unremarkable” really doesn’t cut it for a writer. Ah, well, there’s always the return leg end of next week, of course. We’ll see if anything “happens” on that flight. 😉

Have a good day, wherever you are in the world. 🙂

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Author: “Conventions: The Garden At Paris,” “Passports,” “Frontiers,” and “Distances.” British Airways frequent flier. Lover of the Catskill Mountains...and the 1700s. New novel of 1797-1805, "Tomorrow The Grace," due out in 2019.

One thought on ““Calm” And “Unremarkable” Travel: Not Good (For A Writer)

  1. Now THAT is what writers appreciate, those appreciable moments that fit within a story. Lost baggage and missed flights somehow don’t have that buzz to it.

    But being stuck in a terminal? Some quite memorable movies like http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0057634/ “The V.I.P.s”

    “Fog delays a group of travelers headed for New York. They wait at the V.I.P. lounge of London Airport, each at a moment of crisis in his or her life.”


    Liked by 1 person

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