Saturday, August 19, 2006
      ( 6:42 PM ) Rebecca  
So my head has been off in the stratosphere, worrying, spinning, trying desperately to balance everything that is going on – workbooknewbookboysshouldIpaythousandsofdollarsforapublicistetcetc-meanwhile a mean old tension headache has wrapped itself around my head and won’t go away. Either that or a brain tumor.

At least I’m writing every day. I appear to be writing a novel that takes place at a camp. So many of my most vivid memories come from camp, be it the hippy dippy camp I went as a youngster, where I felt “cool” for the first time in my life or the camp where I worked as a drama counselor, furiously writing a plays every two weeks for the campers to perform, and falling much too madly in love with another counselor.

I have constant fantasies of escape these days. My Patagonia trip, now five long months ago, has receded into the distance. I can no longer call up the feelings of peace and relaxation that I got from slogging up snowy passes and staring at giant glaciers. There I didn’t define myself by the usual things. My identity fell away – I didn’t have to brag about my hot boyfriend or my book; I couldn’t make myself up or blow-dry my hair; no one knew who I was and no one cared, so really, I was just me – unadorned and unencumbered by all the things I usually tried to define myself by.

So I’m dreaming of escape again. Moving to a cottage in the Cotswolds where I’ll write children’s books and tend my roses. Becoming full-blown travel writer like my friend Amanda, who is always off on another trip – to Norway, Alaska, South Africa. Getting a writing residency somewhere cool, with my own little cabin to write in. At the very least, going to a beach somewhere where I can lie in the sand and my headache will go away. All these things are possible, at least, which makes me happy. If there’s one thing I’ve always thrived on, it’s possibility.

Right now I can only escape in my head, for about an hour a day, to this fictional camp full of confused but lovable characters whose souls are soothed by sleeping in the trees and seeing the stars, by singing songs around the campfire, by falling in love and sneaking off to treehouses. For now, it will have to do. That and the mountains.

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