In the middle of the first night, after I’d fallen asleep, the group in the site closest to mine got back home after a day of fishing. They were a father and two sons and a few friends. They were all drunk (even though I’m pretty sure some of them were only 14 or 15), and the father was one of these guys who has to tell everyone exactly how to do everything. So for about an hour, I listened to him telling these kids how to set up their stuff and pack away their fish and brush their teeth, etc.
At one point a wolf howled and silenced them (and everyone else in the park) for about three seconds. It was a nice three seconds.
I eventually fell back asleep after listening to them arguing for 20 minutes about how to start a fire. When I woke up, they were gone, and I saw that they never did get the fire going.
That day I drove the hour and a half to
It was lunch time so I walked over to the gift shop/cafeteria to get some food, but there were like 600 families in line, each with 15 or 16 screaming 4-year old children.
I grabbed a can of refried beans from the back of my van and ate it with a sleeve of saltines in the parking lot (I’ve run out of quick snack foods to eat).
After eating I went into the store and asked the dude working there if there were any WiFi spots in the park. Before I finished asking he said, all rude-like, “no.” Then he said, all contemptuous-like, something about how people come to
As it turns out, there are wireless spots in both
I grabbed a spot in front of
The eruption was twenty-five or so minutes late. At the ten-minute-late mark the joke switched from firehoses to, “
The family got fed up and left about two minutes before
When I got back to my campsite a new family had taken the vacant spot left by the fishermen. This family was from
I sat near my tent and opened up The Naked and the Dead, a book I’ve been reading since before my onslaught of visitors.
I didn’t get very far. Although Marky was a child of few words and sounds, his parents felt the need to be constantly talking at him.
Get off the coolers, Marky.
Mommy doesn’t like it when you say no to her, Marky.
If you say no to your mother one more time you’re getting a time out.
Stop hanging on that tree, Marky.
If you say no to her one more time . . .
Stop kicking the SUV, Marky.
Stop touching the grill, Marky.
Get off the coolers, Marky . . . You can’t climb on that cooler either, Marky . . . No, not that one either.
Get out of that tent, Marky. We like to be able to see you.
Do you want to take a nap, Marky?
(comes running out of tent) No!
No rocks on your plate, Marky. Don’t touch that.
You have to get down, Marky . . . Get down, Marky . . . Marky! Get down now! Do you want a time out?
Did you check Marky’s diaper, honey?
You check Marky’s diaper, dear.
I did it last.
Do it again! He won’t stand still long enough for me to check it.
This went on for about an hour, until it was dark out. After getting into his pajamas Marky came out of the tent and asked his father why the fire wasn’t burning yet. His father told him the fire pit wasn’t a very good one (though it was the same exact fire pit that’s in every single park ever). Disgusted, Marky through a stick into the fire pit (it barely missed his dad’s head, unfortunately) and went back into the tent.
Getting him to go to bed was another ordeal, but I won’t list all of that. By midnight the kid complied and went to bed despite being angry about the lack of a campfire.
The father’s snoring and gassiness (and like three car alarms) kept me up for a good part of the night. The snoring wasn’t that loud, but our tents were that close.
The next day, while packing up my own site, they piled into their truck to go exploring for the day. Although the exit was clearly marked, it took the father three loops around the campground to get out.
I will never camp in the Disneyworld of wilderness that is
My campground in
I’m picking up my friend Danielle in
Self-Publishing Stuff #5—Writing!
Lots of people ask about my writing habits at my readings, so I will talk about them here for those of you who are interested. Many people also ask what my parents do and what economic class I am. I’m not sure why they ask this, but I will answer that first.
My mother is a nurse at the VA and my dad is an English professor at a community college. I think this makes me middle class.
When writing, I write a thousand words a day. While writing DMR I generally wrote more than this without trying to. The first draft of the book was 176,000 words (close to 700 pages double spaced Times New Roman). The final book is about 73,000 words I think. I do sometimes skip days, but I keep track of these and make up for them later. I try to write in the morning, and whenever possible, I get up to make sure it’s the first thing I do in the day.
I started off by saying “when writing” because I’m not always writing. After finishing DMR I took a couple months off. I didn’t write at all, I just read.
This summer I have been keeping up with the thousand words a day thing for the most part. And yes, I do count the blog entries in this.