Four years ago yesterday I took off for Buenos Aires to began what was to be an 18-month jaunt around the planet. The photo above, showing most of the 18.5kg of stuff I took with me, was used to illustrate my packing list.
But crossing paths with Hepatitis A just five months later foiled the plan, forced a rethink, and ultimately ended the trip after just eight months. Despite the setback, it remains my most memorable adventure and spawned another trip to South America, a six month visit split between Ecuador and Colombia in 2015.
Part of the working plan for 2013, beside trying to keep up with my blog on a fairly regular basis, was to produce a book-length manuscript documenting the trip. Cutting it way short forced that idea to a barely-lit back burner whose fire eventually died out.
It did leave a stack of notes and ideas however, a pile hefty enough to make me consider to at least try to rekindle that burner. I’ve found that even though I killed the initial idea, I’ve gravitated towards my manuscript master document at least a few times each week over the past few years, adding things here, correcting or deleting things there.
With the unceremonious passing of yesterday’s anniversary and the appearance of some unexpected spare time, I thought it was time to turn up that burner just a little bit more, and re-kickstart the manuscript project.
I can’t say much about where it’s heading at the moment, only that it’ll be part memoir, part reportage, largely framed by those two longer journeys in South America but incorporating several themes, ideas and concepts I’ve investigated, covered or studied over the past three decades during travels to more than fifty countries.
That’s a pretty hazy intro to Book One, Draft One, I admit. I also confess to not having a working outline or even a clear direction. But I couldn’t let yesterday’s anniversary pass without making this proclamation, a public self-inflicted kick in the ass to get that ass in gear.
I’ll share working excerpts occasionally when I think they’re complete enough to warrant sharing, and will post from time-to-time on the writing project process as well. I’ve decided on a somewhat vague goal of hammering together 1,000 words of coherent text per day. At that rate, I should have a 100,000- word first draft by mid to late May. I think that might be a realistic bar to set on the back of a near full-time work commitment. It may also be way off the mark.
If you’re interested, I’ll let you know.
For the record, today’s Pic du Jour, the site’s 1,115th straight, was snapped on 20-Jan-2013.