I am days away from an extended vacation to Italy. I can almost taste the fresh pasta, breads, and vegetables. When I think of a writer’s life, I don’t think about taking “time off.” Instead, I think about seeing new places that I will someday use as a setting in my next work or listening for an accent a new character might have. I watch for mannerisms, facial expressions or attitudes. I close me eyes and try to pick up sounds or smells that are familiar to where I am at. I taste everything with new vigor and delight in the mode of transportation I use. In other words, this is not down time, it is the gathering of more fodder for the mystery that will follow the one I have almost completed!
So, to all of you writer’s who think one day you have “made it” and can relax on your vacations, think again! You are in it for the along haul. You can’t help yourself. You see things differently than other’s do and absorb experiences that will enhance your writing and your reader’s expectations.
To us, vacation is more or less an uninterrupted pocket of time we invest in to gather our thoughts, fill out toolboxes with more tools and “feel” the environment around us. It’s our shot of adrenaline, a necessary drug that will enhance our stories.
Take some time off now and again to explore your backyard, your neighborhood, your country or the world and then write about what you have learned. You don’t need to call it vacation, as you’ll be working the whole time anyway!
I reflect on my past a lot. Not the bad parts, as I try to let those dark moments go. Instead, I stop often to remember the people, places and things that influenced me. For those who have read Run, River Currents, it goes without saying how the place of Plaster Rock, New Brunswick made a mark on my life. But, you may not know that it was a tiny button I found on a journey to Italy that started me on a path to my upcoming release, The Button Legacy-Emily’s Inheritance.
I was in the small town of Vinci, home to Leonardo de Vinci. The others travelers had decided to visit de Vinci’s Museum, but I was feeling restless and decides to roam the small village while they toured the site. I remember strolling down a short hill lined with stone walls that overlooked a spectacular valley. The sight caught me off guard and I stopped to take in the grandeur that surrounded me. A moment later an old woman on a bicycle sped by, her front basket filled with fresh flowers. I remember feeling so lucky as to be able to enjoy such a cultural banquet. Knowing that my fellow sojourners would soon be emerging from the museum, I started back up the hill. tripping over the uneven stone sidewalk and dropping to the ground. I glance around hoping no one saw my clumsiness. As I put my hands on the sidewalk to raise up, I saw a small red button to my left. I picked it up, palming it until I was again on my feet.
For the balance of my walk up the hill, I let the small round circle turn over in my hand. It was then that the remembrance of my grandparents button box came to mind. It was there that the stories from my youth wove there way into The Button Legacy-Emily’s Inheritance. Funny how such simple things in life turn into stories, isn’t it?
Do you have a story that came to life from a life experience? Share it, won’t you?