Thursday, July 8, 2010

Taking a Break From Writing

Several friends have asked why I haven't mentioned my recent trip to China in this blog. I'm not sure. But, for one thing, it's not easy to tie it in to the purposes for the Christian Bookmobile blog. At the top of every posting, you'll see:

My goal is to provide something of interest to both readers and writers who like fiction that shows the love of God without being preachy. Since my book is set in Austin, Texas, this blog also includes some of my memories about growing up in Austin before it became weird.

So, a trip to China where Celeste and I sang in five choral concerts doesn't fit the goal of the blog. In fact, I made an effort to take a vacation from working on Where Love Once Lived while on the trip. Although I had written enough articles to post one each day while we were gone, I only touched a computer once in China and that was to get better seats on the plane for our return trip.

Besides seeing most of the tourist sites in Beijing, Shanghai, and Xi'an, we rehearsed and gave concerts. The night before we sang at the Great Wall, we got together in the parking lot outside our hotel and went over the music. We had joined up with a group from Mineral Wells, Texas and it was the first time we had rehearsed the American music concert together. Another day, we rehearsed the Haydn Mass in Time of War for three hours.

The trip was wonderful. Often, the choral aspects of such trips become secondary to the singer's tourist activities. Not so, for this trip. The concerts were the highlights of the trip. The Chinese loved what we did. In one venue we were in tight quarters and an older woman stood behind me, looked over my shoulder at the music, and sang along. I shifted the music over to where she could see better and encouraged her. All those around her smiled.

By the time we reached the Shanghai Expo, most of us knew Great Gettin' Up Mornin' by heart since the words are repeated. Ryan Heller, our conductor for that part of the tour, looked pleasantly shocked when we dropped our music folders on the floor so we could clap along with the music. The audience cheered and clapped with us.

The Chinese cheered most loudly when we sang The Jasmine Flower, in Chinese. We had the words written phonetically, but we must have sounded right because the audience cheered every time we sang it.

So, you see, there's not much in here about writing. Perhaps, the only way to justify this post is to say, all writers need to take a break from time to time and do something to collect new information to write about. When you read Where Love Once Lived, for example, you'll find I've included much about a trip or two to Germany. In fact, the book was completed while in Germany. But, that's a story for another day.

This was an unusual post, so please feel free to let me know what you think about it.

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