I spent a week in New Orleans for work. Six days in the Garden District, near where one of my favorite novels, The Witching Hour, takes place, where Spanish moss and Mardis Gras beads drip from the trees. The fragrance when we decabbed from the airport was heady: warm, moist, earthy, with elusive hints of rose, azalea, jasmine. Every time I walked outside I chased floral ribbons of air. I could not get enough of the scents.
The city is seductive. It is raw, base, and passionate. It is artists and tourists, eaters and drinkers. Musicians. I had a lot of fun there. I cut loose. My work group was small enough, and I was comfortable enough, that I drank and ate, and joked with abandon, as I do with my oldest friends. I ate sweet potato beignets, pecan-crusted redfish, blackened fish tacos, Luca-made risotto, Brie-made cheesecake, lavendar honey ice cream.
I went to Bourbon Street on St. Patrick’s Day, and live jazz on Frenchman St. I walked along the Mississippi River at night, in a blanket of fog, and listened to water lap the shore. I imagined the foggy river in true darkness, without streetlights, and thought, No wonder there are so many ghost stories here.
And of course, I wrote nothing. Not a word. I’ve neglected my 10-minutes a day for several weeks, and as we approach the end of the first quarter of the year, it’s time to change that. It’s time to make writing happen again.
Now that y’all have helped me fill my prompt box (thank you!), I’m ready. For the next month, to hold myself accountable to my goal of daily writing, I aim to publish one ten-minute write per day, initiated by a slip of paper from my prompt box. If I can barely time find to write, I definitely don’t have time for polish, so these will be raw and unedited. The goal isn’t perfection or story, but to get words onto the page. Just warning you now – they might not be pretty.
6 thoughts on “After New Orleans”
Glad you got to take a trip! New Orleans is on my To Visit list; it’s also one that’s likely to actually happen.
We all need these pauses in our writing lives – times to let the well refill. Your New Orleans trip sounds like the perfect end to your timeout-from-writing chapter. It sounds like an amazing city.
All the best for your ten-minute sprints.
The Garden District is enchanting, so magical!!
You’re a great writer and I look forward to reading you 10 minutes a day. It inspires me to do the same. Let’s see what happens!!
I love New Orleans and you really capture the feeling of the city well. In fact, my husband proposed to me there- in Jackson Square in front of the cathedral. It was a wild, exhilarating weekend filled with food, drink, music and romance. Secondly, I have learned the hard way that perfectionism can often lead to paralysis. I look forward to reading your ten minutes. For myself, today was my first day of trying to get up before the family to drink coffee and write…. I hope I can keep it up.
I was a voodoo priestess in New Orleans in a previous life. Or a pirate. Jean Lafitte’s mistress? Or maybe one of those witches in The Witching Hour. I don’t really know, but I have a serious attachment to New Orleans, the French Quarter in particular. I so much enjoyed reading this post – it took me back to a life I once had. Or think I had.
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