Sunday, February 13, 2011

My Own Walden Pond

If we're friends on Facebook or Twitter, then you've read my regular status updates saying, "I'm off to the river."

I go there for two primary purposes: 1) To be with my family, or  2) To get away from my family.

When I go with my family, we waterski, kayak, boat, swim and do all manner of outdoor sports and family bonding type things.  (No, those kids are not all mine. Whew. I only have 3)

When I go by myself, it's to write.

The river house is on an island in the Colorado River near Matagorda, Texas. The island only hosts 14 houses, so there is no cable of any kind. No TV, no internet. Heaven.

You have to get to it by cable car (tramway) or by boat. The cable car only holds a few folks at a time:

Below is the view from the cable car:

I call the river house my own Walden Pond.

Now, you remember of course, for a couple of years in the mid 1840's, Henry David Thoreau lived on Walden Pond in Concord, Massachusetts. Being one of those deep thinking types, the writer/philosopher sequestered himself away to ...well brood and write.  Transcendental thought doesn't come easy, you know.  Well, neither does teen fiction. (It's a joke. Laugh. I'm certainly no Thoreau.)

For the sake of amusement, I will now pictorially compare Thoreau's Walden Pond to mine.

Thoreau's cabin:

My cabin (Psst! Mine has running water and bathrooms. I'll only take roughing it so far):

The old road to Concord:

The old road to my river house (Thoreau did not have Jedi light sabers. Score another point for me):

Placid Walden pond in the Spring:

Placid Colorado River in the Spring:

Honestly, I don't know what I'd do without a retreat that allows me to get away from it all.  Not having internet is a huge asset to someone like me who is easily distracted.  It's also a gorgeous, natural place to hike around and relax between hammering out chapters.

Starbucks, Panera, the bookstore... None of those places work for me.

Nature works for me.

What works for you?  How/where do you go to get away from things so you can focus?


Nisa said...

I love that you have your own Walden Pond and it's gorgeous! Don't those light sabers get more like 10 points each?

I honestly haven't found what works for me yet. That's the problem. lol! Maybe nature would because I do find it so inspiring, (man, I miss Utah!) but it's not a realistic for me at the moment.

Abby Rogers said...

Wow, great post! I agree that it would be amazing to have your own Walden, especially without internet. I usually curl up in my extra-deep window seat to type away the hours (more like minutes, usually). Maybe I should try taking my laptop outside away from the WiFi sometime....

Lydia K said...

I agree about the roughing it part. I can't do without modern plumbing. Call me a princess, I guess!

Your river house is beautiful.

Mary Lindsey said...

Yes, Nisa! the light sabers should be worth 10. And yeah, Utah is gorgeous. I'd love to go back and visit again sometime. Beautiful.

Hi, Abby. The internet is my biggest enemy, sometimes. An extra large window seat sounds amazing!

Were there no modern plumbing, I doubt I'd spend much time there. No cable or internet is a good thing from time to time. No running water? Not so much. ;)

Thanks for the comments, guys!

Kavya Hari said...

Hey, its one of the nice post, i never seen before because it has the superb pictures with the good article. Thanks a lot for natural pictures post.

Amie B said...

my husband and i have been thinking about purchasing a vacation property on a large lake about an hour away. because, like you, i'm very inspired by nature. in fact, i often can't wait to go visit my parents....they live in the woods and stories seem to come alive while i'm there!

Mary Lindsey said...

Isn't it amazing how a change to a natural location can inspire? An hour away is soooo close, Amie. What a cool thing if that works out.

Christina Lee said...

Wow, I will take yours anyday!!!!!!

Gorgeous...please take me with you! I am primarily a city girl, but might be persuaded!

Lola Sharp said...

Man, I'm green with envy that you have your own 'Waldon Pond' retreat. The internet is definitely a major distraction for me. Major. o_0

Enjoy your weekend,

Dawn Kurtagich said...

Beautiful place—absolutely stunning! How wonderful to have both sides of it, with family and also for writing.

Thanks so much for sharing!


Robbin L. said...

Thanks for sharing. My husband booked us a get-away weekend in the Wisconsin Dells. We have to listen to a two hour spiel about time-sharing with a three-year old, then the rest of the weekend is ours :) All kidding aside, I look forward to a getting away; a new adventure - new people - new stories. And, yes, quiet time is essential as a writer. I hope to find some.

Naomi Ruth said...


Unfortunately I don't have a lovely nature spot. I tend to hide in my room. It is now called "The Cave" by my family members. (Insert eye roll here).

Anne N Kenny said...

It looks like heaven. I would love to have a writer's retreat.

TheBookAddictedGirl said...

Wow! I can see my inspiration flowing in a beautiful place like that.
I love to be surrounded by nature, with the sound of birds and smell of flowers. But I work best after being surrounded by my family. Mu family makes me smile: they're all insane. They make for good inspiration! I don't like to get away to focus. I like to be surrounded by laughter, chattering and love. That's where my creativity is at it's best!

Mary: thank you so, so much for visiting my blog! I'm honestly counting down the days until your book comes out! :) Thank you for this brilliant post!

Megan @ The Book Addicted Girl

Mr Wheeler said...

Nice place. Oh, you only have three kids? Let's see...1 man and one woman...basically, 1 + 1...umm, that does not equal three! No wonder there are now over seven billion people on the planet. Hey, what's three more, right? Then three more, then...

Mary Lindsey / Marissa Clarke said...

Hey, Mr. Wheeler. My second baby turned out to be twins. What's a girl to do?