In with the new

Well it’s started. The great redesign project is underway here at We have a new front porch to welcome guests and provide directions to a couple of new destination pages…one for blog posts and another with a brief summary of, and contact information for, Janda Writing and Consulting. The foundation is complete. Now the much longer and slower phase of building can begin. That is going to stretch out over the coming months so, if you’re curious, you might want to stop by every so often and have a look around. I’ll post blog entries noting significant additions along the way but in between those there will be plenty of little tweaks and add ons.

For those of you who like hints and spoilers, in the coming year I’ll be adding business details, along with articles, guides, and webinars that provide more in-depth and detailed information on a variety of writing topics. My goal is to get this information out of my head and off of notes (both handwritten and electronic) and into a format that will benefit others. Personally, I’m hoping that clearing out some of the information I keep in my brain will free up storage space for other, non-writing but terribly important information, like what I am supposed to buy at the grocery store, or the names of people I’ve just met, or anything involving numbers.

For those of you who visit for my beach pics, rest assured there’ll be plenty for you to enjoy in the upcoming months as well. I have plans for a gallery or two, as well as continued posts and pics of what I see and think and feel when my feet are in the sand. In fact, as I continue to make adjustments to the layout of various pages, I’ll be adding more pics from my local beaches, especially Jax, Atlantic, Neptune, and Hanna Beaches. To kick the year off right, here’s one of Jax Beach taken January 1st.

Jax Beach, sunset, January 1, 2013

Jax Beach, sunset, January 1, 2013

I’d love your input. Please let me know what you think of the changes as they happen, and feel free to suggest topics you like to see discussed in the future, either by commenting below or contacting me directly.




Out with the old

Reviewing, reflecting, analyzing and revising are familiar activities for writers and artists. Have we created what we intended? What changes could we make? Should we revise? And if so, what needs to be added or removed to transform what we’ve created into what we believe it can or should be?

Answering those questions may be easy or difficult, simple or complicated, but it’s always a personal, individual experience. Feedback from others is important, but unless we are writing or creating art for a particular client or customer, we make the final decision. Even so, we keep our audience in mind. What do our readers want? What do our customers and clients need?

Ideally, the finished product bridges the gap between what the writer/artist wants to give and want the reader/customer/client wants to receive.

As 2012 winds down I have been reviewing the past year of blogging as The Beach Writer. When I started, I wasn’t sure what I wanted the blog to be. I began writing and creating without a clear picture of what I wanted to produce. I spent most of the past year blogging in a fog as thick as the one blanketing Jax Beach a few weeks ago.

Gulls in fog

Jax Beach, December 8, 2012

I’m not saying I’m unhappy with what I’ve posted this past year. On the contrary, I’m pleased with my return to the realm of public writing after many years of keeping my words to myself. But each time I sat down to write a new entry, I was creating without a clear plan for how each entry would relate to the ones that came before or after, and that was ok for 2012. But for the new year I want to make some changes to align The Beach Writer blog with my longer term professional and personal writing goals.

Some of the changes I’ve planned will occur quickly. Others will build over time. First I’ll be redesigning this site to accommodate both The Beach Writer blog and my business, Janda Writing and Consulting. Those of you who’ve followed my writing and career over the years know that I’ve gone through periods when my personal and business writing lives have overlapped as well as times when they’ve been kept separate. That was ok when I was working for someone else, but it’s increasingly difficult when I answer only to myself and clients. Since there is only one of me, I believe my life will be simpler (although not necessarily easier) if I merge the two as much as possible.

What I won’t change is the blog itself. I’ll still post pictures, observations and opinions about the beach, writing, and the nature of creativity. All of you who stop by for a dose of that can rest assured that The Beach Writer will remain as is. But in addition to that, I’ll be providing more detailed information, tips, and advice for writers and clients.

I’m excited about these changes and I hope you will be too. I am looking forward to a bright 2013 filled with sun, sand, water, and words.

sun, sand, water

Sun, sand, water

Happy New Year!

…the more things stay the same

It’s a beautiful North Florida fall day with plenty of sunshine, highs in the upper 60s, and the threat (promise?) of lows in the upper 30s tonight. My local weather alert text this morning urged everyone to “bundle up.” If I had ventured out today, I would no doubt have seen people taking that advice, wearing actual coats of the sort that northerners (and former northerners) reserve for December-March weather in the upper Midwest.

As a transplant from up north marking my first full year down here, I put on a long-sleeved shirt, opened the windows, and turned off the air conditioner that has run continuously since March. To me, the weather is perfect for a day of digging my desk out from under a mound of paperwork and catching up on my To Do list.

Item #1 – write a blog post.


So much to write…so little time. Fall is anniversary season for me. September held the anniversary of our relocation to our new home here. October featured my wedding anniversary and the first anniversary of the founding of my consulting company. And November 15th will mark one year of The Beach Writer blog.

I’ve learned quite a bit about blogging this past 12 months. Mostly I’ve learned that I blog more often in winter than in summer, or at least that’s how it seems at first glance. More accurate, I think, is that I blog more often when I only have a couple of projects going simultaneously, and fairly infrequently when I have completely overextended myself. This has been the case for me throughout my entire writing and publishing life. As much as I think I would like to change that, I can recognize that it’s unlikely.

What is more likely is that I slow down every once in a while to figure out where I am, reflect on what I’ve accomplished and encountered, and plot a course for where I think I want to go (always subject to change, of course).

I combined one of those slow down and think sessions with a beach walk shortly after Labor Day and realized something wonderfully comforting and, I think, amazing, about the beach. After a year of observation, through all four seasons, Nor’easters, tropical storms, seaweed invasions, and a seemingly endless string of sunny days packed with people, I realized that I was looking at a shoreline essentially the same as when I first saw it.

How could that be?

I could understand how it would look basically the same following sand erosion during storms. The sand diminishes and shifts, sure, but the basic slope from an upper level near the dunes that led steadily but gently to the waves remained the same. But something happened at the start of the summer that significantly altered the landscape, the Great Seaweed Event of 2012.

Just before the solstice in June, right as beach attendance was ramping up, I arrived at the beach to walk and found it covered in seaweed. Blanketed in seaweed. Carpeted, actually. Overnight, the sea had coughed up a thick layer of smelly vegetation that spanned the width of the beach nearly from the dunes to low tide line and stretching north and south as far as I could see. Local news ran stories and aired interviews with beach visitors put off by the smell and the sight, and beach caretakers trying to explain that they couldn’t remove the seaweed and wouldn’t even be able to move it until it dried out some.

The Great Seaweed Event, Jax Beach, 6/20/2012

Walking was a little difficult that day, and for the better part of the next week, but what happened next was fascinating. As soon as it had arrived it was gone, buried beneath a fresh layer of sand, and in its place was a ridge of sand running parallel to the shore. For most of the summer that ridge held, creating a multi-level beach. From the dunes to the high tide line was the upper level, and from there to roughly the midline between high and low tides, was a new middle level shelf. Then a sharp drop occurred to the low tide level below.

Jax Beach, July 2012, with new mid level hump from seaweed dump

That’s how the beach remained June through August. But shortly after Labor Day, as I walked and thought about the culmination of our first year living here, I realized that things had changed. The ridge was gone and once more the beach was a steady and gradual slope from dunes to sea. In fact, it looked almost exactly like it did when I first saw it, before the storm erosion and the seaweed explosion made their subtractions and additions.

Time had smoothed out the extremes.

Doesn’t it always?

A lot has changed for me over the past year. I relocated to a new region of the country, with a new climate. I started a business. I began and have nearly finished a book and have another one waiting for its turn. I started this blog and posted regularly and semi-regularly as life allowed.

And yet for the most part, my landscape and the ebb and flow of my days remain the same. I walk, I write, and I work among the sun, sand, water and words.

The more things change, the more they truly do stay the same, at least for me.

Jax Beach, fall, 2012

Back to work

Well it’s been awhile, hasn’t it? More than a month, to be exact, since my last blog entry. Definitely a serious flouting of the rules of blogging!

And it was just what I needed.

I’ve had a very busy 2012, starting a business, trying to finish one manuscript and start another, blogging. Something had to give and so, toward the end of June, I decided to take a vacation from everything that I could and give myself a chance to recharge.

I couldn’t actually take a “real” vacation because I’m in the middle of long-term project with deadlines throughout this summer and fall. So for the past month I took a vacation from everything else. When I wasn’t working I did nothing at all. Nothing writing-wise that is. To be exact, I took a staycation, because I stayed right here at home, and even worked in my office, but just not on anything I wasn’t contractually obligated to create.

Obviously, I didn’t blog. But I also didn’t write a word on my nearly finished manuscript or the one I started at the end of May. No essays. No snippets. No notes. I journaled, but that’s it.

Typical vacation day, Jax Beach, FL

What did I do with my time instead? I read a lot. I walked the beach. I took a lot of photos. I spent extra time with family. I allowed my mind to wander wherever it wanted.

But most of all, I refused to feel guilty about not writing, which is a first for me.

The result has been fantastic. By focusing only on work  I was able to be extra productive in that area. By refusing to write anything else, I pushed all thoughts on other projects to the back of my mind where they were free to bounce around unattended and come up with new perspectives and combinations of their own.

That’s a wonderful thing, but as happens with all vacations or staycations, the time has come to get back to my regular writing life again.

On the road paved with good intentions

Whenever I travel for business I plan to write while I’m away. I’ll have time on my hands at the hotel without the distractions of home, I tell myself. I’ll crank out a serious word count and return home feeling extra productive.

It doesn’t happen that way. Ever.

What happens is that whatever work has prompted my travel consumes my brain. When I’m not with the client, I’m thinking nonstop about whatever we are working on or the next meeting, workshop, seminar. All of my creativity is channeled toward the client’s project and there’s nothing left for anything else.

At the end of each travel day I return to the hotel wanting to completely unplug and recharge so that I can do it all again the next day. Before I know it I am home again without so much as a single word counted toward the personal writing I’d planned. Worse yet, back at home I usually find myself drained and needing a serious recharge.

That’s what happened last week and I’m still working to recharge and get back on track creatively. But it doesn’t hurt that the walk I took to clear my head this morning offered this view…


Journal your journey

Jax Beach, 5-21-2012, part of my writing journey today and mentioned in today’s writing journal entry as “sparkly.”

A common tip given to writers is to keep a journal. This tip is usually followed either by silence (as if just saying the word journal is enough) or a list of suggestions that feel a lot more like rules. This tip is often met either with an almost fanatical enthusiasm or varying degrees of disdain.

It doesn’t have to be that way. Journaling is good advice, that I have received and given throughout my writing life. It’s also a lesson in writing as a habit and way of life that I have learned and relearned, hopefully for the final time (fingers crossed).

Over the years, as I have given this advice to fellow writers and writing students, I have found that the same questions are asked. Here are the ones I’ve been asked most often, with my answer/opinion, of course.

Do I really have to journal?
No, of course not. But why don’t you want to?

My experience as a writing teacher/mentor, and as a writer, has been that resistance to keeping a journal usually comes from thinking that there is a certain way that a journal should be written and kept, and finding that way unappealing.

There is no one right way or wrong way to journal. Don’t google journaling tips and think that what you read is a blueprint you must follow exactly. You are free to incorporate any ideas that appeal to you and change your mind at any time. The purpose of a journal is to make writing a habit and keep it that way. Writer’s write but few writers write something substantial every day, or every week, or sometimes every month or (gasp!) longer. Journaling keeps a writer writing between projects and ideas.

Should I keep a writer’s journal or a diary?

Let’s start with a definition. A journal kept by a writer is a writer’s journal and each is unique to its master/mistress. Some writers keep journals that look like writing class homework notebooks, containing the results of various writing assignments, prompts, and projects. Some writers keep stream-of-consciousness journals with entries that tend to look like the author vomited words onto a page with no further thought or organization. Some writers journal their writing process, meaning they write about writing. Some writers keep diary style journals with entries detailing boring days butted up against story fragments, and an impromptu haiku. Some writers journal the first draft of any writing project so that they never face a blinking cursor on a white screen with no idea where to start.

Each one of these is a writer’s journal, even if when placed alongside each other they don’t even resemble the same species.

I have kept each of the types described above, and various hybrids. For the past seven years, my non-work writing projects have consisted almost exclusively of creative nonfiction–memoir and essays of various lengths. Writing creative nonfiction about my own life is much easier for time periods with diary-style entries, therefore I devote a portion of my daily journaling to those. But I also include ideas, thoughts, and snippets of writing projects. I have started essays in journal entries to avoid the blinking cursor. I do a little bit of everything except journal writing assignments/prompts. Typically those get their own writing files separate from my journal.

Should I keep my writer’s journal handwritten or electronic?
It just doesn’t matter. Do whatever you want. The point is to start and maintain a writer’s journal.

I used to keep handwritten journals, many with a favorite pen, some in moleskines. Others in generic notebooks. About two dozen in both hard and soft cover journals bought from local bookstores. Lined. Unlined. In 1996, grounded off of keyboards for three months due to a bout of carpal tunnel, I wrote an entire novel manuscript by hand in a couple of journals. But for the past few years my journals have gone exclusively electronic. Thanks Evernote!

Do I have to write in my journal every day?
No, of course not. There are no writer’s journal police. But writer’s write. Do you really want to go a day without writing?

I have been journaling full-time since 1994, almost twenty years now. Before then, my journaling was rather hit or miss. And over the past couple of decades there have been two or three long spans of time (one of more than a year) when I didn’t journal at all. Not coincidentally, during those times I also did not write anything else outside of the workplace. No books. No essays. No letters to the editor. Zip. Zero. Once I noticed that pattern I made journaling a priority and haven’t stopped since. I have some journal entries that essentially consist of “I got nothun.” But I have journal entries. Because I don’t really want to go a day without writing ever again.

Do I have to write properly in my journal (meaning with correct spelling, sentence structure and punctuation)?
Again, there are no writer’s journal police. But what is the appeal of writing “improperly?”

I have been referred to as a Grammar Queen and I insist on taking that as a compliment even when it’s not meant as one. I do believe it’s important to know the rules before breaking them. But I don’t think there’s much, if any, value to throwing them all out the window and insisting that’s art. If the point of keeping a journal is to write, and by doing so, improve as a writer, it would seem to me that writing properly would be desirable.

That being said, a writer’s journal is written by the author, for the author. It need not please anyone else.

What should I write about?
Whatever you want. I firmly believe that it does not matter.

I frequently journal about my beach walks. How far. How long. The weather. The waves. Who I shared the beach/my walk with. If I spoke to anyone. What I saw. I can easily tell you which days I’ve watched an osprey catch a fish or pelicans skim the waves in formation. I have logged what shells I found and what kinds of jellies I’ve had to step around. My attraction to and experiences along the coast are obviously an important part of my writing journey and naturally a part of my writer’s journal.

My journal also includes snippets of conversations I’ve had or overheard, topics we discussed as a family over dinner, detailed accounts of good, bad, and indifferent experiences I’ve had, and the fact that I made my taco salad upside down today. My journal is my place to write without self-censorship so if it pops into my mind while my journal is open, then there it is preserved on the page.

Is there a minimum amount I should write?
Nope. You may read or hear advice to write daily. You may encounter suggested word count minimums. You may disregard all of that. It’s your journal. Keep it when, how often, and in whatever length segments you want.

My journal entries over the years tend to be snowflakes. No two are the same. I write whatever and how much I feel like writing and I try not to allow lengthy gaps between entries since, as I noted above, for me, going without journaling coincides with going without writing. I now write something every day. Something. Every. Single. Day.

Should I share my journal with others?
That’s entirely up to you. Many writers journal through their public blogs, giving readers a window on their process and progress. Many more keep journals locked away or password protected hoping they are never read by anyone while they are alive or even after their death.

In our household, journals are nonnegotiably private, including between spouses. That doesn’t mean we don’t occasionally read aloud to each other if it’s relevant to a writing/literary/similarly artistic discussion. We are both writers, after all, and there are times when sharing a passage is the best way to communicate. But such sharing is rare and short-lived and the rest of what we journal is kept secret.

Keep your journal private. Make your journal public. Or strike a balance in between. It’s your choice.

Well there you have it. If you are or want to be a serious writer, and you don’t already keep a journal, give it a try. If you have any questions I haven’t answered, please ask. I’ll do my best to answer. Also, if you are primarily another type of artist, I’d love to hear if you have an equivalent to the writer’s journal. Something that provides a regular opportunity to practice or try out new ideas or just keep you artistically active between projects? Or is this just a writer thing?

Tern, tern, tern

Inspiration doesn’t always come easily, even when I stick to routine, write on schedule, and tempt my creativity with the sights and sounds that bring me ideas and the peace of mind to pursue them.

I can do all the right things, and still sit down at the keyboard only to find that I have nothing to say.

That’s not the case for me today, however. Today I have far too much to say, about too many topics. My thoughts are like this flock of terns at the beach this morning, each taking flight at the same time and not necessarily with the same destination in mind.

Royal Terns, Jax Beach, 5-14-12

I find this harder to deal with than what is traditionally known as writer’s block. I cannot, after all, write simultaneously on multiple projects at once, no matter how much my mind wishes to do so.

Or can I?

I used to think that was a no-no, that to be disciplined as a writer I had to force my brain to work on just one project at a time. When I had days like this I would refuse to add even a word or a note to anything but the work in progress at that time. This didn’t make me more productive. And worse yet, I seemed to forget those bursts of inspiration for other projects when the time came to work on them. Eventually I gave up on my one-at-time rule and focused instead on trying to keep up with ideas as I had them, even if that meant working on more than one thing at a time.

This is one of those days when I have files for multiple projects open, adding bits to one and editing pieces of another. I may not feel like I have accomplished much on any particular project by the end of the day, but at least I’ll have the comfort of knowing that I didn’t miss the chance to add any of the ideas I have flying through my head to their appropriate projects.

Here’s to creativity taking flight, and to holding on for the ride!

Tidal Pools of Creativity

Yesterday I was lucky enough to take my walk along the beach at my favorite time–about half way between high and low tide, with the tide going out. It’s my favorite time because of the tidal pools.

Jax Beach, 5-1-2012

What I like about tidal pools is that they are never exactly alike. Even pools that regularly form in about the same location vary in shape, depth, behavior, and duration depending on the sun, sand, water and wind.

What they trap varies as well. Some have beds of shiny shells. Some have rivers leading back to the receding sea. Some have walls so shallow that it seems the water isn’t trapped at all, but merely hanging out there by choice. Others have walls steep enough to make them an excellent makeshift kiddie pool for toddlers.

Lately the tidal pools at Jax Beach have been home to schools of tiny fish. Ranging from less than 1/2 an inch to almost an inch and a half long, these groups of fish trapped in the pools, or scurrying along those temporary streams between some of the pools and the sea, have broken up my walks with stop and point activities.

“There’s another batch!” I tell my husband as I point and stare.

This wrecks one purpose of my walk–to log exercise miles–but is perfect for the other reason I put my feet to the sand–creative inspiration. I love watching the worlds formed by each pool, with its unique characteristics and inhabitants seemingly unaware that I’ve already passed half a dozen such worlds in the last quarter mile of beach.

Each started with the same ingredients, but created something original. That’s what we artists do every day.

In a former life I published an ezine and one of its most popular features was a page of potential story titles or ideas punnily called the “Title Pool.” Readers would submit entries to be posted on that page for all to use or misuse as they saw fit. I now keep a private Title Pool file for puns, phrases, or snippets of songs, poems or conversations that catch my attention and seem like they may lead to something.

Create you own and see how it captures and inspires your ebb and flow of ideas.


A foolish day for a walk

Midday on a hot Sunday in Spring is not the ideal time for a walk along the beach. But I went anyway.

Jax Beach, FL - April Fool's Day 2012

Labeling it crowded would be grossly understating the scene. The beach was packed and the tide was already high and still rising, forcing everyone there to share increasingly less space. There was a lot to see, sure, but not a lot of room to do anything that involved moving from place to another along the coast.

This was when I decided to take my walk. And at first it seemed like a mistake.

I’m not one of those people who exercises at the same time or even exactly the same place each time. I procrastinate. I get bursts of energy and decide to go for it right then. I am all over the map at times and therefore wasn’t the least bit surprised to discover as I crossed over the dunes that early on a Spring Sunday afternoon was not the best time to get my walk in.

But I also didn’t let it discourage me. I switched on my pedometer and started weaving between towels, hairs, umbrellas and people toward the shore. Once there, I headed south, focusing only on the few feet of sand in front of me rather than the crowds of people ahead, behind, and surrounding me.

At first it looked like walking even a couple of feet would be impossible. Walking a couple of miles seemed out of the question. But I took that first step determined to make it work.

I had to dodge a lot of people who couldn’t care less if I walked or not. I had to stop and restart when beach balls or babies crossed my path at the last second. I had to weave around fishermen and football-throwing teens. I had to share space with squawking gulls used to having sand to land on.

I also got to watch a fisherman rescue and stingray and send it back out to sea.

Pretty soon it was time to turn around and retrace my steps, and although even more people had crammed together on the beach by then, the walk back actually seemed easier.

Maybe I’d simply adapted to the distractions and obstacles, which is what any writer has to do if they want to consistently produce.

Writers and other artists often find themselves trying to create in less than ideal situations. Crowds. Obstacles. Distractions. These don’t disappear just because we have deadlines or if we’re just not feeling “it” that day.

At those times we have to create anyway. We have to make that first move determined to get where we want to go.

Sometimes we have to get creative to be creative. And sometimes that leads to memorable results.


Men On Bikes Talk To Me

“Don’t scare him,” the man said, quickly walking his bike toward me. “Rescue is on the way.”

Pelican under Jax Beach Pier

“Him” was a pelican meandering between the pillars of the Jacksonville Pier at the water’s edge. Intermittently he would swim a few feet when the ocean lapped up around him and then return to walking as the water line receded. Several pictures of the pelican were already on my iPhone before the man on the bike warned me to stop.

He wasn’t the first stranger to approach me on the beach. Walking a few miles up and down the coast several times each week puts me in the path of interesting, and sometimes weird, individuals.

Most who stop me as I pass them they want me to take their picture with the ocean behind them. One asked me if it was wrong to take home a shell that still had a creature inside it. Another made a beeline for me so fast that I instinctively took up a defensive posture just as he asked me what a “guy has to do to find a shark tooth around here?!”

Although few are creepy like shark tooth man, I tend to keep my distance and maintain my pace as I pass people. I have my walk to get in and they have their lives that don’t need to include me.

The pelican protector wasn’t creepy but seemed intent on talking to me, so I paused my walk long enough to learn that the pelican had oil on his wings and his protector’s name was Ray. Ray also told me that since the pelican couldn’t fly and therefore couldn’t eat enough on his own, the fishermen on the pier above had been throwing down bait to the bird.

Half an hour later as I made my way back down the coast I found Ray still straddling his bike and keeping watching over the pelican, warning walkers and surfers alike to give the bird space. With his right arm was in a cast, resting on the handlebars, Ray took up our conversation where we’d left off earlier, schooling me on normal pelican behavior and the work of the bird sanctuary to the north that would be picking up the pelican and returning it to health.

As a former surfer and longtime local, Ray knew a more than a little about all things Jax and was eager to share that knowledge. When I told him I was new to the area he launched into a list of parks and beaches I should visit, complete with driving instructions and landmarks to look for along the way. Ray also told me which local bars were the ones to frequent and where I could play a game of pool for a quarter.

I am extra appreciative for that last tip and plan to check it out soon.

I had to leave before the pelican was rescued but trust that Ray made sure everything worked out for the best. I didn’t realize that Ray and the pelican were part a theme week until my next walk, when I was once again stopped by a man on a bike.

This time I was walking with my husband. We were on the return lap, approaching the ocean rescue station, when I saw a man on a bike enter the beach and stop to take in the view. He was wearing a helmet and straddling a significantly upscale bicycle with a small, single-wheel trailer packed full of what looked like spare clothing, bedding and supplies.

“Excuse me,” man on a bike #2 said as soon as I was within hearing range.

“Whatcha need?” I thought maybe he was lost and wanted directions.

Man on a bike #2 knew exactly where he was and what he wanted was to have his picture taken with his front wheel in the ocean. My husband stepped up to oblige, patiently following the man’s instructions regarding the angle and counting to three so that he could pose and flash a peace sign alongside his wide smile.

We quickly learned that man on a bike #2 had just then completed a coast to coast bicycle trek. In 75 days he had traveled from Los Angeles to Jax! We were the first to congratulate him and he was still smiling as we wished him well and left him there to enjoy his moment. We forgot to ask his name, however, so he remains man on a bike #2 for all eternity unless, by chance and internet, he is identified.

In two days I had talked to two men who at first appeared to be striking opposites–the local ocean wildlife guru and the L.A. visitor whose only interest in our beach was getting his tire in the water to symbolize the finish line for a personal journey. What they had in common, besides their mode of transportation, was a unique perspective of our surroundings and a drive to share that perspective with anyone and everyone crossing their path.

Isn’t that a good description of a writer?

From those encounters I take away a gentle reminder to be tiny bit more open to strangers I pass in the sand, on the off chance that they have something unique to tell me. I am also now affectionately referring to the past seven days as Men On Bikes Talk To Me week.