There are many days when writers and illustrators choose to not work at their computers. Sometimes you want to spend time with family, you may be at a conference, or you just feel like stepping away from the computer and going it “old school” with pencil and paper. Sometimes your computer is just not working.
I recently had to deal with the later situation. Long story short, the main drive needed to be wiped clean and all my software and files reinstalled. This is not a pleasant process for anyone. Luckily, I had my files backed up with an online cloud company. Unluckily, it took a week to download my files. My illustration files are huge and the larger the file is, the slower the company downloads them.
So what do you do when your computer is essentially a large paperweight sucking bandwidth on the internet? I took a hike. I was invited by my sister to visit The Eternal Flame Falls at Chestnut Ridge Park in Orchard Park, NY. It is only a thirty minute drive, so I decided to take in the fresh air, falls colors and get a little exercise.
New York State in autumn is beautiful. We were lucky to view the trees at near peak color. We trekked through the tall trees and winding paths, and made our way down to the falls. It was really more of a trickle since we have not had much rain. The fallen leaves littered the floor of the woods and every step softly echoed in the damp air. Squirrels and chipmunks scurried through the debris looking for food. Downy Woodpeckers could be heard calling from distant trees. The smell of natural gas grew as we descended down the creek bed. Tiny minnows swam in the small pools of the creek. As we approached the falls, we could see the flickering of light in the small grotto at the side of the falls. Of course I brought my camera with me, so I took multiple pictures of Nature’s grand gifts.
After our hike, I headed back home and had a quick lunch before I returned to my regularly scheduled work, which consisted of conferencing with another author, attempting to update my websites, and checking emails. Though most would consider hiking recreation, I can consider it work. Every photo I take can be used as reference for illustrating. Watching the wildlife and listening to the sounds of nature can give me inspiration for a new story. I guess I have to say I really love my job.