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Ah, the Jersey Shore.  I enjoy it all year round, but now that summer’s here it feels like I’ve traveled to a great destination when in actually it’s only a short distance.  The white sandy beaches, the boardwalks, mini-golf places, and friendly faces are testaments that I’ve escaped to “Vacationland”, and the best part is I don’t have to dig out my passport!

Since I do feel so relaxed here, it comes as no surprise to me that I write more when I’m at the shore.  Whether it’s for the day or a week, my mind becomes free of worry the minute I see the water.  My muscles loosen, my heart beats at an easy pace, and a long sigh escapes from my throat.

 

I get up early and walk the beach before the crowds.  Everyone says hello, from joggers to fishermen.  We all have the same knowing look.  Yes, we silently say to each other, we’re lucky to be here and it’s a beautiful day in paradise.

 

This might sound strange, but I swear dogs feel it, too.  I think my dog smells the ocean or the sand way before we arrive and starts wagging his tail in the car.  He struts proudly as we walk along the beach town’s streets.

On the beach, while others are chatting, sunbathing, or swimming, I’m people-watching and taking notes.  Some of the interesting details that I observe will help to flesh out the characters in my books.  In particular, I like the way the cackling, tattooed woman in front of me wears her cowboy hat as she entertains her posse.  The teenage lovers a few feet away sneak kisses on a blanket when they think their chaperoning adults aren’t looking.  Especially sweet is the elderly couple who hold hands as they stroll along.

 

Later, I leave the beach with pages of notes.  With a cool drink and a content dog at my feet, I find a quiet spot and plug away at my laptop working on my novel as I listen to the nearby sounds of circling seagulls and rhythmic crashing waves.

The Jersey Shore is a wondrous, peaceful place.  I look forward to many relaxing, sun-filled, and productive writing days this summer.

 

Fondly,

Elizabeth

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