Water Zorbing and the Joy of Writing

I have nothing against hamsters. In fact, I think they’re kind of cute. With the exception of when they eat their young. That’s too Greek for me. However, after this past week, I know how hamsters feel.

Again, not how they feel when they eat their young. Cause that’s gross and I don’t eat babies.

As I mentioned earlier, reading week (a time when little reading actually occurs) just happened. I spent a chunk of my time in Edinburgh, one of my favorite places ever. It’s the only city I’ve visited which melds the shiny and new with the old and fascinating in a way that doesn’t make me cringe. Plus there are bagpipes everywhere. Sometimes they even sound good.

But I’ve never before experienced the wonder of water zorbing, available just outside of Edinburgh in a place called Leadburn Manor, and this is what led to my hamster sympathizing. I think the following picture explains pretty much everything.

water zorbing
Me attempting to walk on water

Yep. Water zorbing is where you climb into a soft plastic bubble and then a man inflates it with what looks like a leaf-blower. He then shoves you out onto a pond–after making sure you don’t have any buttons, zippers or other sharp objects on your person–and pulls you around by a long rope. There are no rules to what you do inside the ball, but as you can see I tried to stand. I pictured myself running along the water, much like the hamsters do in their hamster balls. I don’t know if you can see the pained expression on my face, but it’s not as easy as it looks.

Difficulty of walking on water aside, water zorbing was a lot of fun. I probably had more fun taking pictures of Gavin looking silly once it was his turn, but that’s only because it was less exhausting. And because I don’t get to make fun of him nearly enough.


As always, a quick word about NaNo.

Something I didn’t expect to happen during this crazy month of November was how much I’d enjoy pounding out words. I’ve always loved writing…well, no. I’ve always loved having written something and completed it and finished editing it and having people say oh that’s a nice story, good job. For the first time I’m really understanding my characters and know where the story’s actually going. I’ve known the overarching ideas for a long time, but now I’m getting into the day-to-day lives of these people. It’s wonderful. Writing so many words a day has forced me to forego agonizing over each turn of phrase and has allowed me to simply throw everything down on hypothetical paper. I’m throwing up on the page and loving it.

I understand that once November is over and I’ve (hopefully) reached 50,000 words that the writing process isn’t over. I’m sure by the end of it all, much of what I’ve written this month will be gone or changed or hidden under my mattress, never to be spoken of again. But I think it’s going to help me in the long run. I’ll have a great kicking off point for actually achieving something tangible. Something written. And damn I’m excited.

So for everyone not doing NaNoWriMo but wanting to write–just do it. If it’s your first draft, don’t worry about the nitty gritty. You can go back and fix it later. I’ve loved writing my entire life, but for the very first time I’m experiencing the joy of it.




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