Barefoot Beach & Sanibel Scribbles

First published on the Fear of Writing blog, Dec 17, 2008

HERE’S A WINTER pic my boyfriend took of me as we gathered seashells on Barefoot Beach right before sunset.

Hard to believe that was only last week! Yesterday it snowed here in Youngstown, Ohio. My light suntan and the array of tropical-themed postcards on my desk are the only remaining evidence that just days ago I was cavorting under palm trees, swimming laps and working on my screenplay by the pool.

Brian was attending the International Maintenance Conference at the Hyatt Regency in Bonita Beach, Florida and his five-star boss shouted us an extra ticket so I could go too. Lucky me!

On the way back from Barefoot Beach we stopped in at Mango Bay Beach Co. for a little tourist shopping. I bought essentials such as “frogs on the half shell” (too adorable to pass up), tiny track suits for my baby grandson, a beach bag and sun hat, and the obligatory postcards of manatees and other symbols of Florida.

Sanibel Scribbles by Christine Lemmon

Sanibel Scribbles by Christine Lemmon

But the very first thing that caught my eye was a book called Sanibel Scribbles by Christine Lemmon.

The word “scribbles” naturally made me curious (I was hoping the story would be something to do with writing). The inviting cover suggested a novel with a beach theme, and a handsome gold seal announced it as an autographed copy. I snatched it up and flipped to the back cover.

SANIBEL SCRIBBLES is a story about a woman who sets her never-ending “to-do” list aside and takes off on a venture, encountering strangers who entangle her in their secrets. The insights they share redirect her steps and forever alter her perception of life. Inspired by their wisdom, she returns to the café and rewrites her tablecloth scribbles. Her new list is nothing like the old.

Christine Lemmon has been walking the beaches of Sanibel since she was a child. She lives on the island and her love for the area has inspired her writing. She is also the author of Portion of the Sea.

With a blurb like that, how could I resist? I promptly added postcards of Sanibel Island to my collection and promised myself to return and visit the island someday.

Meanwhile, Brian found it ironic that even in a store selling beach trinkets, a book was still the first thing I managed to lay eyes on.

Hey, ever heard of the Reticular Activating System? The RAS is a mechanism in the brain that determines what we pay attention to. This helps us avoid being overwhelmed by the millions of bits of information and stimulation coming our way in every moment. With our thoughts and preferences, we give it instructions on what to alert us to (for instance, when you set a goal you are telling your RAS to focus on anything that will help you achieve it).

My book RAS is working very well, thank you!

Photo of Milli on Barefoot Beach Copyright © 2009 Brian Williams


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  1. It sounds like you have a “book radar” just like me, books and the office supply section. I have such a fascination with office supplies.

    I’m not a beach comber- one bad experience with the beach was enough for me- but it sounds like you had a lovely trip. With that being said, if I had my own private tropical island, I think I could suffer through it, too bad my husband wouldn’t agree. I better stick to as far inland as possible.

  2. Roz Wilson says:

    Hi Milli,
    I was just blog traveling today and I came across this article because I love the beach so much. I probably would have been drawn to the same book. In fact I might even get that book. It looks and sounds very interesting. You know that RAS thing is si intriquing to me. I must research more about it. I need mine to work better. I need to zoom in on one particular goal instead of a million! Just wanted to say that I’m so glad that you came to Youngstown, Ohio.
    Roz Wilson
    PS I’d rather be at the beach!

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