If I Could Write Like Him

61a6s4+LrDL._SX258_BO1,204,203,200_A few weeks ago my dad bought me Bill Bryson’s latest book The Road to Little Dribbling. I’ve been laughing out loud at inappropriate intervals in public ever since. I have about a third left and I’m already in mourning for the inevitable end to the escape this nonsensical journey around the U.K. has provided.

Bill Bryson is my favorite. I’ve always wished I could write like him – quick witted, barbed with good reason, generous when warranted, oftentimes self deprecating and always hilarious. Reading his books makes me want to be not just a more well-traveled human being, but a much better writer.

My own writing has completely stalled. For months I’ve been working on a full-length memoir and lately it has mostly felt like slow dull torture. Rather than continue to slave over something I no longer know how to improve, I’ve made the decision to stop and send it out into the universe for feedback. I made an agent inquiry, entered a pitch contest through NaNoWriMo and handed over my first 30 pages to a dear friend who was also one of my first writing teachers.

While she takes a look and puts together a proposal for how quickly I should burn it all and pretend I never tried (I jest), I will be left with ample opportunity to experiment with something new.

As if part of a happy accident set in motion by something bigger, I came upon a Facebook post today about the nineteen most beautiful places in Connecticut, my home for the first seventeen years of my life, a place I have revisited regularly for the last twenty, a place I find myself surprisingly (read : somewhat reluctantly) living in again, a place, it turns out, that I know almost nothing about.

Of those nineteen beautiful un-miss-able places I’ve been to two.

So I got to thinking. I don’t have Mr. Bryson’s wit or perfected style. Far be it from me to dream of a day when I could pen such delicious perfection as:

Call me fussy, but if I ever decide to turn my colon over to someone for sluicing, it won’t be at a beautician’s in Skegness…

or to the waiter upon leaving an Indian restaurant after drinking one giant bottle of beer too many:

“You should make this into an Elvis-themed restaurant,” I said. “You could call it Love Me Tandoor.”

Furthermore I will likely never be paid money for my writing. BUT! That doesn’t mean I can’t continue to practice and get better. And it doesn’t mean I have to sit around wishing I could travel when I have so much to explore nearby.

Gas is cheap and so begins my new blog, Vacationing At Home, An Ode to Connecticut. This may not be as awe inspiring as my Thirty Days on Oahu but I hope it will be at least as interesting and, dare I hope, maybe even a little funny. It’s a writing experiment for me and something to keep me engaged and moving towards whatever it is I’m currently moving towards.

As always I hope you’ll join me for the journey. First up will be the coastal town of Guilford, CT for no other reason than a Facebook ad told me I should go there.

2 thoughts on “If I Could Write Like Him

  1. I think you have GREAT talent as a writer so please keep at it! Bryson is my favorite author as well. I have his entire collection – I was smitten when I first read A Walk in the Woods. Yesterday, for my 66th birthday, my son and family gave me The Road to Little Dribbling. And I am laughing already! Keep at it Jennifer!


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