On Doing Nothing
There is an art to doing nothing. First, you need some good nothing to do. Books are a good choice, or t.v., and the napping option shouldn’t be overlooked. Writing in a blog isn’t a bad choice either. Writing fiction is only for when you get desperate. On board a ship at sea is just about the perfect place to do nothing, as long as you can find a good spot for it. Which, today, was most of my problem. Up until now I’ve been finding myself a spot in the casino when I need somewhere to sit and read and totally fail to work on my story. But I spent a lot of time there yesterday and I got pretty sick of the little tunes the slot machines play, plus everybody else has discovered it, and crowds make for bad nothing-doing. So instead I went to the dance lounge, with my computer and my headphones, and wrote/avoided human interaction until my battery ran out. After lunch (a variety of fried seafoods from the buffet) there was a lecture on ballroom dancing being given there, so I had to find another place. Why didn’t you just sit in your room? I hear you ask (and would you keep it down? I’ve got neighbors, you know). Two reasons, I tell you. One, the only place to sit and read in the room is the bed, since I converted the easy chair into clothes storage, which means that sitting and reading becomes lying and reading, which becomes napping. And two, Megan was in there watching one of those movies where they try to convince you that Jack Nickelson is a romantic lead, rather than his more natural role of serial killer. So I wandered. And eventually my wanderings led me to the back of the ship, which was protected from the wind and largely deserted; so finally I settled down overlooking the wake in a plastic chair and reading ‘The Thin Man’ in one sitting.