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I have always wanted to be one of those people who can write while traveling. I have tried before – writing on the road when we PCS’d cross-country; writing in my old bedroom at my mom’s house; writing on friends’ couches or in desk chairs in hotel rooms. The success rate is hit or miss.

This week, I traveled to San Diego. I rode down via Amtrak on the first of a string of uncharacteristically rainy days. Amtrak recently made super huge waves in the writing community by announcing that it is developing writing residencies aboard long-distance routes; writers can receive free fare in exchange for writing for the duration of their travel.

I was prepared to write on my trip; I had articles to pound out for Food Riot, and a story knocking around in my brain. But instead of writing, I sat next to a delightfully chatty lady from Anaheim, and we talked about family and natural remedies of healing illness and food and art and writing. I spent half of my train ride talking with her, and when she left, I told myself it was time for business.

I took out my notebook, put in my earbuds, and closed out the rest of the train. But in the end, all I could do was read a book I’m reviewing, and stare out the window, and take pictures of the rain and the ocean.

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Once in San Diego, I came down with a nasty chest cold. While Amanda went to work each morning, I stayed in bed and coughed and generally felt sorry for myself. But once the worst of it passed, I ventured out. I wandered off base to the local Panera, and I got a hot cup of tea. The cashier recommended the mango ceylon tea to soothe my scratchy throat. And I sat, and I wrote.

There’s a magic feeling, the recognition of a small miracle, when writing happens during travel. The slow mornings, the beautiful surroundings (Coronado is a slice of picturesque SoCal Heaven), the tea, the quiet, the solitude – it all made for writing, and that made me happy.

So this week, for the Slow Sunday Jam, I’m sharing articles I read this week that made me happy to be a writer.

Slow Sunday Jam

Side note:  I’m now a Contributing Editor at Food Riot (woot!!), and this week, I was over there talking about the merits of eating in the car, how to get started with eating seasonally, and really impressive crocheted foods. Check it out!

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