Good day everyone! Today we are welcoming Aine Greaney, author of Dance Lessons, to Peeking Between the Pages. My copy of Dance Lessons arrived last week and I’m hoping to fit it in very soon because it sounds like such a good story! Today Aine joins us with a guest post all about Summer Travel Plans…
I haven’t made any summer travel plans yet. And I’m not really sure why I should get started.
Except that, every year around this time, the travel section of the Sunday newspaper urges us to “book early,” or “grab those summer specials.”
Some years, I just stay home. Or I’m happy to snag a quickie trip to Cape Cod or a long weekend at my favorite writer’s retreat. In middle age, I keep my vacations shorter. I plan them more meticulously. I mitigate against the potential mishaps or missed connections. In middle age, I’ve lost that youthful impetuosity.
I grew up in the Irish countryside—first on a farm and then in a tiny village (a half-mile from the farm). The words “farm” or “countryside” evoke images of rustic bliss. But to a kid with a curious mind and a perpetual eye on the horizon, a country childhood was actually quite boring.
So I spent most of my childhood and teenage years craving adventure. And adventure could only happen in one of two ways: by going on a trip or by reading a book. Sometimes, a book took me away. Or a trip included a book. In this latter case, my young world was complete.
I was about 10 years old when my auntie took me to the city where she lived and we went downtown to a Woolworths.
“Get yourself something,” she said. “Something you really like.”
To this rural kid in 1970s, those florescent aisles and trinket shelves were real nirvana. And … best of all, that Woolworths had a children’s book section. That vacation, my city auntie treated me to two new paperbacks by Enid Blyton (check out the Enid Blyton Society at www.enidblytonsociety.co.uk ). Now, this was an exciting vacation.
All these years later and across the ocean in America, I’m a grown up with a Visa card and a number of paid vacation days from my day job. So I can just book an exciting vacation whenever I please. Right?
But a funny thing happened me on my way to middle age. Now, when I trawl the Internet for bargain flights or self-catering vacation rentals, I’m often tempted to abandon the whole idea before it even begins. What if these shiny travel photos are all fake? What if I get to the airport and have forgotten my passport? What if our rental is a mildewy dump or the landlord has already skipped town and the bank has seized and padlocked the property (I actually know someone this happened to)?
What if? What if? What if?
And what happened to the carefree travel of my youth?
The “what if” questions nudge into my writing, too.
In the early days, I wrote and submitted to editors with a neophyte’s sense of trust in the world. I had a bold courage that was born of passion and naivite. Now, when I’m starting a new writing project, when I’m half-way through the first draft, here are those same ‘what-if’ voices . What if you get started and then, the idea peters out? What if readers just hate this? What if (gulp!) the day job and the bill-paying and the mortgage have eroded all your creativity? Permanently?
But here’s the thing: Whether our journeys are physical or metaphysical, there are two things that move us beyond the fear factor. First, even as those ‘what-if’ voices whisper, we face down our doubts by packing those bags and canceling the mail and double-checking the flight time.
And second, we remind ourselves that, just like last time, it all works out great in the end.
And it does.
What are your summer travel plans? Do the travel plans fill you with joy or fear?
Great guest post Aine! I am so bad for the ‘what ifs’! I can drive myself absolutely crazy with them and any travel plans are thwarted by them for sure. By the time I actually get anywhere I’m so stressed out that I don’t enjoy myself half as much as I should have. lol. I love the pictures you shared with us well. I would love to be visiting that quaint little bakery, not to mention walking along that gorgeous country road! Thanks for being here at Peeking Between the Pages!
About the Book (from Syracuse University Press)
A year after her husband’s death in a sailing accident off Martha’s Vineyard, Ellen Boisvert bumps into an old friend. In this chance encounter, she discovers that her immigrant husband of almost fifteen years was not an orphan after all. Instead, his aged mother Jo is alive and residing on the family’s isolated farm in the west of Ireland.
Faced with news of her mother-in-law incarnate, the thirty-nine-year-old American prep school teacher decides to travel to Ireland to investigate the truth about her husband Fintan and why he kept his family’s existence a secret for so many years.
Between Jo’s hilltop farm and the lakeside village of Gowna, Ellen begins to uncover the mysteries of her Irish husband’s past and the cruelties and isolation of his rural childhood. Ellen also stumbles upon Fintan’s long-ago romance with a local village woman, with whom he had a daughter, Cat. Cat is now fourteen and living with her mother in London. As Ellen reconciles her troubled relationship with Fintan, she discovers a way to heal the wounds of the past.
Deeply rooted in the Irish landscape and sensibility, Dance Lessons is a powerful story of loss, regret, and transformation.
About the Author (from Aine Greaney’s website)
I’m an avid reader of contemporary novels, the occasional memoir, poetry and short-fiction collection.
I’m also a lifelong journal writer, and I love to lead writing workshops with teens and adults.
I have one copy of Dance Lessons by Aine Greaney to share with my readers. To enter…
- For 1 entry leave me a comment with an email address to contact you (no email address, no entry).
- For 2 entries, follow my blog. If you already do, thank you, and please let me know in your comment so I can pass on the extra entry to you as well.
- For 3 entries, blog or tweet this giveaway to spread the word.
This giveaway is open to US & Canadian residents only (no PO boxes) and I will draw for the winner on Saturday, June 18/11. Good luck everyone!
© 2010, Darlene of Peeking Between the Pages. All Rights Reserved. If you’re reading this on a site other than Peeking Between the Pages or Darlene’s Feed, be aware that this post has been stolen and is used without permission.