By Tricia Springstubb
Some people wish they could fly, but I’m afraid of heights. Besides, I’m kind of lazy, and all that wing-flapping and swooping and soaring looks like work. If I could be an animal, I wouldn’t be a bird – I’d be a dolphin. I love to swim. Slowly. Lazily-dazily, with the water doing most of the work, buoying me up in the sunlight.
I swim at a city pool not far from my house. By the time I ride my bike there, I’m very hot. Back in the day, I took my little girls there to swim, but now I swim in the ADULTS ONLY area where no one splashes or does cannonballs. It’s more boring, but a good place to think.
I swim after I finish my morning’s writing. Lap lap lap, I ferry back and forth, thinking about my work. Mo, Merce and the Wild Child have come swimming with me. This summer, Disney and Paris, characters in my new book, paddle along.
For me, this after-writing time is almost as important as the writing itself. Problems I couldn’t figure out while staring at the computer screen suddenly un-knot. A little line of dialogue pops into my wet head. Sometimes, what-happens-next becomes clear and sparkly as pool water.
Those days, I pedal home cool and happy.