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Finding inspiration while on vacation

Vacation time is usually thought of as a nice break from reality. A chance to get away from all of the worries and responsibilities of our daily grind. But it can also be a time of observation and inspiration. I have loved to travel since my grandparents took me on my first vacation. I was 12 and we went to Gatlinburg, TN. My grandmother loved Gatlinburg and no matter where we went - Florida, Maryland, even Texas - we also ended up at least a day in Gatlinburg.

“ Traveling — it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller .” - Ibn Battuta

One of my favorite places to visit is New England. And I say "New England" because I enjoy the whole area - from Salem, MA to Old Orchard Beach, ME, Burlington, VT, and basically the entire state of New Hampshire. Previously I had planned to move there, perhaps Manchester, NH but I ended up buying a house in Arizona instead.

Travel as Research

The stories that I write (well so far one complete, but one in progress, and many others in the pipeline) involve travel. A group of friends travel around the country in search of cryptids. That travel means the setting changes in each book, and they just don't go there, find the animal, and leave. They spend time there, they see attractions along the way, and they drink local beer. I want the stories, even though they are ultimately fantasy, to have a feel of realism, so they places mentioned are real. The beer they experience is real and was available from that brewery on whatever the date in the story happens to be. That involves research, but it also involves travel. When you do use vacation time as inspiration you not only return relaxed from the trip, and hopefully recharge to create your story, but it brings in that sense of realism because your experiences will come into the story.

What are your favorite places to travel? How does it inspire you?

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