I was told when I arrived at the Kerouac House this the summer that the heat hadn’t yet made its way to Central Florida. Today, it arrived. It’s closing in on 100 degrees in the city of Orlando. Yes, the Kerouac House, as old as it is, has air conditioning. Thanks for asking. And now I’m sitting inside a very cool, artsy tea shop – Infusion Tea – drinking iced Jubilee tea sweetened with agave. I’m guessing maybe 50 kinds of teas sit in jars along the back wall of Infusion, and on the north side of the building is a co-op art shop. I’ll be back.
I’m doing what I’m supposed to do down here – write, write, write. I spend at least 5-6 hours each day writing or editing. Most days have gone pretty well, churning it out. But yesterday I hit some muddy roads, I can usually get out a solid 500-1000 words a day that I feel are at least first-draft strong, but Sunday I struggled with one potential chapter, rewriting it eight times. Now, redrafting is not unusual, but this was like walking through grainy, slippery sand on a hot Florida beach – one heavy foot after another heavy foot, trudging along trying not to get burned. But oddly, I loved it. Call me crazy.
I broke away this past Saturday morning to get in a round of golf and I met some wonderful guys. One of them teamed up with me to challenge the other in an 18-hole match. We won. The others bought the beer, and we told stories of our families, our travels, our golf games. That’s when one from the losing duo – a self-described “West Virginia hillbilly” – asked if I had a name yet for my book-in-progress. He wanted to know what it was so he wouldn’t “screw up and buy it!”
It was all in fun, but he was apparently done handing over any more winnings to me.
And so it goes from hot Orlando!