I recently tried something new–a Viking cruise. (From Paris, France, to Luxembourg, to German towns along the Moselle River and the middle Rhine River, to, finally, Zurich, Switzerland)
My head is filled with images, bits of conversation, smells, and sounds. I’ve seen cathedrals, cathedrals, and more cathedrals. Some I’ll remember, others I won’t. The image I will remember was from the short stop we made at the Luxembourg American Cemetery and Memorial in Hamm, Luxembourg.
Walking on cobblestones wasn’t easy, but I actually think it helped my feet. And why can’t we build bridges that last more than fifty or a hundred years when the Europeans have so many (along with houses) that have been in place for centuries?
I don’t know if any of the locations I visited will ever appear in one of my books, but I know the experience has stimulated my thinking. (Or maybe it was all the wine I sampled. We were in wine country, after all.) And who knows, maybe Mary Harrington (A Killer Past), in a new book, will remember back to her years as an assassin when she lived in Europe. Perhaps she’ll recall an evening she spent seated at a table outside a Parisian café near the Eiffel Tower, drinking wine, and discussing the war in Vietnam with a man she will kill before the week is over.
I believe writers need to keep doing new things. No, it doesn’t need to be a trip to Europe, but perhaps, a weekend escape to a city or location never visited before. Even attending a sports event never seen before can stimulate the writer’s imagination. Cricket anyone?
I rode an aerial gondola (seilbahn) across the Middle Rhine two weeks ago. I’m afraid of heights, but this experience was fun. It gave me a new perspective of the city of Koblenz and where the Moselle meets the Middle Rhine.
Simply going somewhere where you are mingling with and talking with new people can trigger new thoughts. People from different countries or people from different parts of the United States bring new perspectives.
Try writing somewhere different. Leave your house/office and go to a coffee shop. Write on a pad of paper instead of a computer. Use a different kind of pen. You don’t have to do this continuously, but it might actually help the flow of words…and if not, well, you gave it a try.
Try writing a scene a different way. Use a different point-of-view. (First person instead of third.) Or a different tense (Present instead of past.)
[Tweet “What have you tried recently that is different from your norm?” @marisSouthHaven]
What have you tried recently that is “different” from your norm?
AND NOW FOR MY EXCITING NEWS… (drum roll please)
ECHOES OF TERROR won the published mystery/suspense category of the Royal Palm Literary Competition held by the Florida Writers Association.