State of the Savage: July 2013

by Keith Savage · 3 comments


The few months since my last State of the Savage have been the most tumultuous in a long time. I write to you feverish, on my tenth day of an illness that just last night revealed its true colors. Sick and philosophical is a common state of mind for me, so please forgive any nonsensical ramblings, but I’m stuck thinking about limes and life. I realize this is a single tick away from the “lemons” cliché, but making limeade would be a singularly bad idea (never did taste natural to me), so I feel I’m in the clear here. The balance of each day is a pawing in that bowl of green balls hoping for a sweet, juicy fruit. But then there are the dry, mouth-puckering bastards that leave you shaking your head and swearing you’ll never try another one. Inside we smile. Some part of us knows better.

I bit into a sweet one a couple of days before I left for a month in Spain and Switzerland: I finished my zero draft on schedule! I couldn’t believe I’d done it and I was riding high (lit. and fig.) as we jetted to Granada. I plowed through the chapters at the end of the process and wound up with a manuscript just a hair shy of 700 pages. It was far from done, but I was proud of the accomplishment. I don’t know if I ever truly believed I could do it.

Our two stops in Europe were also sweet limes. Spain was gorgeous, surprisingly cool, and overflowing with amazing tapas. Stunning views of the Alhambra and the Sierra Nevadas vied with the natural beauty of the Grazalema Natural Park further west in Andalucía. After two weeks on the Iberian peninsula, we flew to Switzerland to meet up with Sarah’s parents. Our train travels took us through Lausanne, Gruyère, Lucerne, the Swiss Alps, and the Lauterbrunnen valley. I have not seen a more beautiful place in all my travels. Our stay in the chalet there felt more like resting at Elrond’s Last Homely House, and in fact this area was Tolkien’s inspiration for Rivendell. Check out my pics on Instagram to see the scenery.

I returned home to find a sweet, little portable, bluetooth speaker from BassBuds called the BassBoomz. They make portable speakers and bluetooth speakers that are perfect for frequent travelers like me. I wish I’d had it while in Europe, but I’ve since put the limey beauty through its paces at home while working out, on camping trips, and up north at the cottage. The device is smaller than an apple and earns its name with a surprising amount of bass. I’m something of an amateur audiophile and I’m pretty shocked by the sound quality this speaker produces. Everyone I’ve shown it to has echoed the sentiment. This baby is going with me on all future trips. A word of warning: Don’t put your music on full blast if you want the unit to last for a very long time.

Not everything has been so sweet, though. I returned to my zero draft manuscript after Europe and reread the entire thing without make a single mark. There are problems with it. Lots of problems. Big problems and little problems. None of this unexpected, but it has soured the high note I left for Europe on and left me frozen, uncertain how to proceed in the revision. It’s a lot of words and big and little things happening, but the story is faint. And I’m not sure it’s a story I’m passionate to tell.

I originally targeted the date before I leave for Italy in late September as my goal to work the zero draft into the first draft, but I haven’t made a single word change yet and I’ve been home for over a month (granted, I’ve lost some time to this illness).

I think I need to keep this date. I can’t keep pushing the limes away. I have to keep reaching, keep risking.

You know, make a mojito or something.

Disclosure: BassBuds sent me a complimentary portable, bluetooth speaker. All thoughts and opinions expressed here, as always, are my own. 

Original photo by CocteauBoy via Flickr/Creative Commons

Gayla~No Gravatar August 4, 2013 at 4:08 AM

Your photos of the Swiss Alps are amazing! One day I’ll get there 🙂 We’re off to Spain this fall, but not going as far south as Granada, so we’ll miss the Alhambra this trip. Such a beautiful place.
Best of luck with the final draft(s). Get well soon and enjoy that mojito 😉

Keith SavageNo Gravatar August 4, 2013 at 8:13 PM

Enjoy your trip to Spain. Thanks for the well wishes, too.

GinaNo Gravatar July 30, 2013 at 11:48 AM

I have been in the market for a portable speaker like this for awhile, so thanks for your opinion on that. And, mojitos are always a great solution, no matter the problem! Cheers!

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