L is for Lakes, Rivers, and Oceans #atozchallenge

Day L of the 2013 Blogging from A to Z April challenge. Today’s topic: lakes, rivers, and oceans.

I have a strong affinity for water.  Maybe it’s because I’m a Pisces? Whatever the reason, I find bodies of water, no matter the size, relaxing and rejuvinating. They help me focus, help me think.

When I’m looking for a quiet place to read or write, there are several spots along the nearby rivers that I head to. And when I lived in North Dakota, I frequently found my way to a secluded spot along the Missouri River (if not randomly driving along it to the South Dakota border).

La calanque d’En-vau, Cassis

One of my best memories of my semester studying in France was a weekend spent in Cassis, just lying on the beach watching the water.

And when I lived in North Carolina, I loved weekends spent at the beaches near Wilmington.

Last spring I went on a massive week-long roadtrip, following the Mississippi River down to the Gulf of Mexico to spend an afternoon lying on a Florida beach, alternating between reading and writing.

I also made a couple weekend roadtrips to Lake Michigan and Lake Superior, and this summer hope to hit lakes Erie and Ontario, Niagara Falls, and maybe Lake Huron too.

I write about water as well. My story “Of Gods and Floods,” published in last year in Shadow Road Quarterly, is about two kids living in Cairo, IL, when the Army Corps of Engineers blew up levees to alleviate flooding along the Mississippi.  And I’m currently working on a story about a guy who lives near the Kerguelen Islands (see map), which is probably my #1 destination right now.

photo from http://prullmw.xanga.com/

That being said, I don’t do boats because I get seasick very easily. I can do canoes, but anything larger – motor boats, small cruise ships, ferries, etc – is out of the question.  And I don’t go in water deeper than my knees or where I can’t see the bottom because of sea monsters – sharks, squids, jelly fish, Leviathans, etc.

Which element do you most rely on to relax and focus?

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