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There Are Other Places

By Denny Stein

Yes, California is notoriously beautiful, and yes the hills of the Tri-City Area are delicious to ponder, teddy bear brown one season, emerald green the next. But there are other places that can be equally beautiful. And if you are somewhere else, then you can (or should) leave your business and your worries behind, even if for only a few days.

I'm in the western mountains of Virginia this week, living in an old farmhouse with six other women, all writers. We’ve been meeting here for years, and most of us come back each summer after summer after summer.

It's hot here and it's humid. But I'm not at home, not doing laundry or fielding solicitors' calls, not cleaning the litter box, and not planning what’s for dinner. All these “nots” leave me free to do: to think, write, nap, and create. To tap into a different part of my brain and into the brains of others. Resting is definitely part of the creative process: poems and songs can come from dreams. Smart, funny conversation is thought-provoking. Listening, to the writing of others, is brain-triggering.

“What’s wrong with this?!” my father would say.

So think about going away, away from home, to somewhere different and peaceful and fun. Go somewhere to do something you love, whether it be writing, or knitting, fishing or cooking. Go away and be silly. And do it somewhere pretty. Use the Google: you’ll find your other place.

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