Sunday, July 12, 2015

The Three Rs

Everyone occasionally needs some R&R but we writers sometimes need the three Rs: rest, relaxation and research. I love to travel so, for me, a change of scenery is the ticket. It gets my imagination going full speed, sparks my creativity and it helps me to recharge my batteries so that I’m ready to take on my next writing project.

Bridge linking Mt. Pleasant and Charleston, SC

View of Charleston Harbor from the pier in Mt. Pleasant

The pool where I spent every afternoon

As you may have figured out by now, I just got back from a vacation to Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina and, although I love my hometown, Cincinnati, it felt good to get a break from my everyday life. Freedom from responsibilities and routine. I had so much fun and I enjoyed seeing new sights, going to the beach to gaze out at the ocean and I met some very nice people on my trip. It was restful and relaxing.

Sullivan's Island lighthouse

Folly Beach

The Morris Island lighthouse

But, a writer is always writing in one form or another so, while I was there, I took a lot of pictures, bought more than my share of postcards and picked up literature about the area wherever I could find it. Not to mention initiating conversations with the locals whenever the opportunity presented itself. Why? Because my fifth Malone Mystery will take place there and it was the perfect opportunity for the third “R,” research. 

A view from a horse drawn carriage ride in Charleston

Bubba Gump's restaurant in Charleston

I especially love this stage of writing, when the ideas swirl around in my head and I scurry to find paper and a pen to jot them down. Plotting a novel reminds me of putting together a jig saw puzzle. So many pieces, many of them colorful and interesting but, until each one is put in its proper place, we don’t see the whole picture. So, over the next several months, I’ll be fitting together the pieces from my research and my imagination until they all come together to form my next book.