If you think the Orlando area is all about Mickey and believe commercialism and “tacky-ism” is everywhere, think – not only again, but again and again and again.
I’ve been here at the Jack Kerouac House in Orlando nearly a month now, and haven’t ventured out much to explore the area, sticking to the writing work at hand and some of the wonderful spots right here in College Park – Infusion Teas, Credo, and Christo’s. But today I spent nearly the entire day checking out some go-to suggestions from the new friends I’ve made here.
Earlier this past week, I was invited to join the Essay Club meeting in the heart of the downtown. It works like this: members choose an essay – old, new, avant–garde, traditional, hard-hitting, lighthearted – read it ahead of time, then grab a bite to eat, a couple of beers or glasses of wine, and have at it, discussing the essay and morphing into anywhere it takes them. First of all – what a great idea! And second – what great people! Delightful group with interesting insight and considerations not only for the writing but for the venue. We went to a design-your-own burger spot in the trendy Magnolia and Pine area. The burger was tremendous, but the beer – Widmer – was terrific. First time tasting the citrus infused brew. It is a beauty for a hot summer night. But also, this group had FANTASTIC IDEAS for a Orlando transplant, and today I checked out some of those suggestions, heading for breakfast at the Briarpatch in Winter Park and a peek at the boat tour there so many have talked about, a walk and a stop near a great cafe in Hanover Park, a bike ride around Lake Eola, a drive to a hidden Cuban deli, and a walk through the downtown.
But in between all this – some writing. Yep, got to keep at it. The first draft is nearly complete, and soon it will be time to tear it all apart and fine-tune over and over. Some don’t like the re-drafting process, but I enjoy it. It’s like shining silver, the more you brush it – the more it shines, and watching it emerge from any early tarnishes is exactly what a writer hopes to see
However, when the process gets tedious – I now have a list of great places to escape to and recharge the battery.