It’s Not Heaven, But It’ll Do

Debra Ann Dotson
2 min readJul 17, 2021

I’m sitting on the beach, just chillin’, baking in the sun with a cool breeze blowing in off the water.

Heaven.

My fifth novel still isn’t finished, but I don’t care because my toes are either in the sand or in the water. Every so often, a thought flits through my head about something that is missing in a scene. I take a few minutes to jot it down, then go back to sipping my Piña Colada and burrowing my toes deeper into the sand.

Yep, this is heaven.

Maybe I’ll let book #5 rest for a bit. After all, it takes place in Phoenix, Arizona, and since I’m lounging on a beach, listening to the waves break, and watching the water lap up to my chair, it isn’t easy to write about the asphalt, concrete, traffic jams, and searing heat I left behind.

Perhaps I’ll start on a new book. Something different. Maybe it takes place on the beach. But will writing a murder mystery ruin the tranquility of this place? And bring my bliss to a screeching halt?

How about a romance? I’ve never written a romance novel before, but there’s no time like the present. And a romantic story would, without a doubt, fit in with my current locale.

Yes, this is truly heaven.

It’s also a big fat lie!

I’m still in Phoenix, trying to stay hydrated, trying not to overheat. Trying to keep cool — and not lose my cool — as people call with questions that I’m sure they can find the answers to elsewhere. I’m trying to remain calm as a man pulls up to the house next door and yells to my neighbor from his car, bellowing loud enough to be heard over his blaring stereo. Here’s a thought. How about turning down your stereo so you won’t have to yell?

I thought about sticking my head out the door and telling him just that, but I would just be adding to the noise. Not to mention adding a few points to my blood pressure. Besides, someone once told me you can’t change the behaviors of others, only how you react to them.

So, instead, I’m making myself a Piña Colada, plugging earbuds into my phone, and opening up my Nature Sounds app.

Relaxing Ocean. Just what the doctor ordered.

Taking the drink into my bedroom, I turn off the lights, relax into my chair, and close my eyes. With drink in hand and the sound of breaking waves in my ears, I’m back on the beach.

It’s not heaven, but it’ll do.

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Debra Ann Dotson

I'm a murder mystery novelist, a podcast host and producer, and a project manager. My superpower is creating order out of chaos. Or is it chaos out of order?