Amid the many benefits of un- self-employment is that if it’s necessary for me to spend August away on the road, I can do that. That’s right, all of August (roughly). It’s been a great and relaxing trip so far and I’ve just finished a five-day jaunt to Cape Breton in Nova Scotia. Turns out Canada is real pretty.
I find that I get inspired when I travel. Writing-inspired. On day two I was careening through the plotline of a possible novel set in Port Hood (that would of course require me to spend another few months up there for research). But I’m deep into Part Two of Project Lazarette, so The Port Hood Novel went to the Notes file.
It’s the textural details that really get me. The incongruity of a beautiful chapel inside the camouflage of simple red bricks. The perfect little island sitting just offshore with the oft-attempted but now ruined causeway almost crossing the channel to it. The silver oaks that get their name from the color on the underside of their leaves, the color the trees turn when a storm’s coming. I think the impulse to write for me starts with the details, with wanting to collect them and string them all together.
Traveling for me is actually a great fount of short story writing. “Meet, Prey, Kill” in 48 Hr magazine was the product of one of these inspirations. The key is to capture as many details as possible while you’re still there.