I've spent the past two weekends in beach paradise, in Quogue, Long Island and Sea Girt, NJ in the company of good friends and good food and lots and lots of sun. I've also spent the past two weekends wracked with guilt over the fact that I had to sacrifice a day of writing, as my laptop was stolen a good year or so ago and I have no transportable writing implement (except paper and a pen...but that would be, like, so not 21st century of me, right?).
Refecting on this, I've realized that guilt is my dominant writing mode. I haven't written enough, this chapter's getting too long, my characters are behaving erratically, and the whole thing's a pile of crap. Oh, and I've been neglecting my studying/friends/reading/whateverelseyoucanthinkof.
This could be a symptom of runaway Catholicism. But maybe it's just that I write historicals. Think about it: all those Waterloo vets/impoverished gentlewomen/responsibility-laden heirs are always stressing about their battle-wounded friends/underage orphaned siblings/tenant farmers. Do I write romance because of my superabundance of guilty feelings? Do I read it as a way of neutralizing and exploring guilt, as much as a way of solving the eternal romantic dilemma's of the world, if only for a moment?
Maybe I need to switch to contemporaries. I've even got a great plot all picked out, set on the Queen Mary cruise ship. And that would clearly involve some first-hand research.
So I could take my vacations without the guilt.