Thursday, July 19, 2012

What Do You Do at the Beach? (book inspiration!)

This beach is located on Lake Texoma
in Oklahoma. It's called West Burns
Run. It's an awesome beach for
swimming. Not so much for thinking...
well, not in July. It's too hot!!

I’m very much in love with the idea of the beach. I want to be the kind of person who uses the beach like Kate does in my little ebook, One Crappie Summer.

Kate uses the beach to help her think. She’ll drag her lawn chair down there and plop down with a glass of iced tea for a good long think. In one scene, Kate and a cute television reporter take a walk on the beach. Evening gray-blue sky. Waves. Gentle breeze.

In reality, I’m very much in love with the beach, but the use of the beach is much, much different.

Take today. I took my children there at 9:30 this morning. The sand was already so hot that they insisted that I apply the sunscreen while they stood in an inch of tepid water.

Then, (in my vision as I packed the car this morning) I planned to the latest issue of O (it has quizzes!) while the children splashed each other in the water.

In reality, the sun was so hot and blinding that I sat on the chaise lawn chair I’d brought with me for no more than sixteen seconds before I dove in after the kids and got wet head to toe.

I had fun. We had fun. But this is not the beach I envisioned Kate using to think about how to get her life together after college. 

The beach I envisioned in One Crappie Summer was the one I used in late afternoons after work during high school. I kept a lawn chair in the trunk of my car. I'd stop at the convenience store for a diet orange soda and then drive over to a little strip of sand that very few people knew about. I'd plop the chair in shallow water and lay out in the sun until the chair's legs had sunk into the wet sand so deeply that I could feel the water under me. I thought about a lot of things on those days.  I was restless then, waiting for the next phase of life, impossibly unsure of how to make it happen.

And so badly, in this book, I want Kate to find her own way. I want the beach to work out in that way for Kate.

What do you do at the beach?

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