Monday, April 18, 2011

New Places, New Inspiration!

I'm back, finally! After spending 10 days in Guatemala and then another week sick in bed with pneumonia and the stomach bug, I have finally returned!

One thing I've struggled with occasionally is having the inspiration to write about places. None of my books take place in a town like mine - after all, it's rather inconvenient to tell a story when the characters have to drive twenty minutes to see anyone or get anywhere. I always set my books at least partially in cities or in made up places, which is just great...until I go to describe them.

Sure, I can google pictures of Boston or Miami or wherever I want to set my book and even ask people questions. It's easy to describe the area and incorporate it into the story that way.'s so hard to get a good feel of how the area really IS, without going there, at least for me.

In my mind, each city or town has it's own heartbeat, a pulse that exists only in that city. It's in the way people act, the pace, the's EVERYTHING. And that is something I've always had trouble writing because I've never been ANYWHERE.

Except for now I have been and I was right when I said this trip would be good for my writing.

I've been on an airplane. I've experienced the nervousness of getting on a place for the first time, of leaving your parents behind for the last time. I've found myself in the middle of a country that's so different from ours, where no one speaks my language. I've seen poverty like I could never imagine, I've rode a motorcycle through the Guatemalan streets at night. I've climbed to the top of Ancient Mayan Ruins. I've been to places so gorgeous that I can still barely believe they really exist.

I've lived, I've experienced. Now I want to write it all down. I have a journal full of memories and descriptions and photos and drawings and I am so inspired, that I can't wait to pull it all together and WRITE.

So my advice? When you're short on inspiration, go some place new. Experience life. A whole new world will open up!