My kids get out of school Friday, and Saturday morning (bright and way-too-fucking-early) we leave on our vacation. I’m excited about it for a thousand reasons, but one of the things I absolutely love about traveling–regardless of where I go as long as I’m surrounded by new people and new experiences–is the increased potential for inspiration.
Don’t get me wrong, inspiration is everywhere. I was pondering a middle grade series the other day because of a thought I had while calling the dogs inside. (No, I won’t do it. I have the completely wrong voice for middle grade. I like to curse way too much.) So it isn’t that I don’t get inspired at home, it’s just that a lot of the time, inspiration at home feels less…inspired.
A couple years ago, a pair of trips to Europe (Yes, I was very lucky to get to do this.) inspired a dragon-shifter novel. It’s currently shelved until the market comes back around, but I love that damn dragon. A stormy trip to the beach inspired a new spin on the fate of the Little Mermaid. (Started. Not finished, because the book was breaking my heart to write. I will finish it someday.) My next project is a proposal for a new adult series that was inspired by a trip to DisneyWorld. Tempting her Fake Fiance was largely inspired by a trip to Vegas.
Why so many books from trips? Because for a work-at-home-mom, anywhere other than my city is “exotic.” I look at the world differently when I leave the Detroit area. I look at myself differently.
On Saturday, I leave for a week of ghost-hunting with my kids. We may or may not experience the paranormal in any measurable way on this road trip, but I have no doubt that at some point, a new story will be born of the journey. Probably more than one.
You don’t have to make your vacation a working-vacay to get benefit out of it. Look around for tales to tell. Listen to the random snippets of conversations from strangers. Imagine all the “what ifs.” But more than anything, this summer, be inspired.