I spent this past weekend in Mackinac Island for a work conference. For those of you who have never been, or have never heard of it, it's a pretty inspiring place. Mackinac Island is a little island between the lower and upper peninsulas of Michigan. It comes full circle at about 8 miles. There are no cars allowed on the island and all transportation is done by horses, bikes, and shoes.
It's a very unique picturesque place that holds many inspirational nooks. I had the pleasure of staying at The Grand Hotel which in itself is awe-inspiring. It is the place where Somewhere In Time was filmed and holds many traditions such as 5 course dinners, formal attire in the evenings and turn down room services.
In the midst of working and feeling incredibly spoiled, writing juices flowed and it got me thinking about all the places where I have felt the most connected with my stories and the general thoughts I jot down.
So if you are ever in need of some inspiring places to rid yourself of writer's block or need an excuse for a vacation, here are my top 5 places:
5. Beirut, Lebanon
Probably weren't expecting that one huh? Truth be told, I'm not entirely sure what it is about Lebanon that makes me write like mad, but I do. I wrote a few random story ideas my second time visiting and came up with the plot line and wrote HALF My Lullaby of You the third time. I think I can narrow it down to it being the beaches, the heat, the noisy streets, and the french bread.
I think Scotland would be on anyone's list but the reason its the Pollok Park in particular is because the moment I entered the park all dewy and green, I really felt like I was in another realm. I mean, LOOK AT THAT BRIDGE! Just the picture alone sends inspirational signals to my brain. If you are ever in Scotland, visit this place.
4. Pollok Park and House, Glasgow, Scotland
3. Wilmington, North Carolina
The picture is actually Wrightsville Beach, but whenever I am in this area, Wilmington is the home base. I wrote the ending scene of Sweet Enough on that beach, in that picture. It was a strange experience because I had decided to completely take a chunk of plot out of the story and ended it in a way that was not planned. I don't think it would have felt right anywhere else.
2. Chicago, Illinois
Dear Old Chicago. Writing in Chicago doesn't actually happen very often because I am never there long enough. Its on the list because of everything that Chicago is to me. My mind is constantly moving in Chicago, dreaming many dreams and possibilities. Plus, it has an awesome literary scene.
1. Traverse City, Michigan
By now, you are probably seeing a trend. Beaches. Just put me on a beach and I will write my heart out. TC made numero uno because I manage to write a good chunk of stuff when I am there, which is usually twice a year. Plus, its one of my favorite places. If I had it my way, I'd pack my bags and live there as a writer. But, for now, twice a year will have to do.
So this isn't a place, but I would feel like a fraud if I didn't include it. The absolute number one spot where I have written the most is in the backseat of a car. I come from a very travel hungry family, so road trips were the time when I plugged in my music, curled up against the door, and stared out the window with a notebook in my lap. There is something about the constant motion of passing other people, towns, and signs that really gets me.
So there are mine. Feel free to tell me yours :)