Business As Usual?

Sherrie - Author - retouched

~ By Sherrie Hansen 

Note: A version of this post first appeared here

It’s been a little over a month since we came back from our dream vacation
to Romania, with a delightful stopover in Devon and Cornwall, England.
While I cherish the memories of the exceptional things we experienced, and
the beautiful places we saw, it’s been so busy since we’ve been home that
there’’s been little time to bask in the glow of vacation bliss.

Romania - Castle

The price you pay for being gone three weeks
bills and responsibilities at work pile up, an intimidating stack of mail needs your immediate
attention, and the suitcase full of dirty laundry you brought back from
the trip is daunting. You step off the merry go round for a few days, but
the world keeps spinning, and sooner or later, you have to run fast and
leap on to the carousel to catch up.

But despite the busyness that’s plagued me since our return, I’ve been
writing. With inspiring images newly etched in my mind and fresh voices
echoing in my head, I can’t help myself. It’s amazing what clearing the
cobwebs out of your mind and giving your brain a good spring cleaning will

England - lamb
After two months of hardly looking at my work in progress, there’s so much
to write about that my fingers can’t move fast enough. I started working
on Sweet William, the next of my Wildflowers of Scotland novels, again
when we were in Cornwall and Devon, surrounded by British accents and
quirky UKisms. My love affair with the British Isles came rushing back the
second I saw heather growing in the moors, and sheep grazing on a hill
overlooking the Atlantic.

England - heather

England - menu

And Romania.

I never would have chosen to go to Romania if my stepson,
Erik, hadn’t moved there 1 ½ years ago, and met his lovely bride,
Cristiana. I never would have believed that I could climb 1000 rickety
stairs to the top of Dracula’’s castle at Bran, Romania, or the watch tower
overlooking the medieval city of Sighisoara, Romania or climb down a
steep, 70 degree cobblestone-paved descent to the sea at Clovelly, Devon,
or see the fabled ruins of King Arthur’s birthplace at Tintagel, Cornwall.

But I did it, and I’m so happy that I was thrust into a set of
circumstances that allowed me to experience so many memorable things.
Because new experiences stretch me, help me to grow, and push me to my
limits. They make me a better writer.

Romania - stairs

Fresh inspiration and a renewed perspective gives me a boost of positive
energy. It’s not that my life in northern Iowa is boring – far from it.
But we don’’t have the seashore and castles and roundabouts and surfing and
medieval cities, and face it – never will. I’m glad I live exactly where I
do, but I love the burst of creativity and inspiration that I get when I
travel to the far ends of the earth. Colorful new characters, each with
their own story, make me want to write a million tales.

Zion - Sunset England - fisherman

Romania - woman in window Romania - horse

So now that I’m back from vacation and bound by my daily schedule once
more, how can I keep the momentum going? I plan to take more
mini-vacations – to go to a concert or take the time to attend a festival
or community activity, to make more time to spend with my family, go for a
walk, or take photographs of the beauty that surrounds me right here, in
my own back yard.

Blue Belle - Fall
I feel inspired to take better care of myself, to get more sleep, and to
do simple things like eating breakfast – to pamper myself in little ways
every day, not just when I’’m on vacation.

Zion - Sunset

Sweet William, the Wildflowers of Scotland novel I’m currently working on,
will be a better book because I took time out from my busy life and
renewed my perspective. Seeing a different corner of the world infused my
life with color and light and music – an unfolding drama that is vastly
different from the daily grind that so often consumes me.

Romania - Hundedora
Take a long vacation if you can, leave the country, do something
drastically different than the norm, rediscover yourself in the faces of a
foreign country. If you can’t, escape the house, even if only for an
evening of music or fun. Sign up for an online class, invite someone you
don’t know very well to dinner

Shake it up. I promise you, you’ll only be
better for the experience. And keep on writing, or moving, or dancing.

You have to put your own oxygen mask on before you can help others.


Romania - Bran Castle


* Readers, how do you rejuvenate? What helps you become inspired as a writer? Leave a comment and let us know! *

Twenty-four years ago, Sherrie rescued a dilapidated Victorian house in
northern Iowa from the bulldozer’s grips and turned it into a bed and
breakfast and tea house, the Blue Belle Inn.  After 12 years of writing
romance novels, Sherrie met and married her real-life hero, Mark Decker, a
pastor. They now live in 2 different houses, 85 miles apart, and Sherrie
writes on the run whenever she has a spare minute. Sherrie enjoys playing
the piano, photography, traveling, and going on weekly adventures with her
nieces and nephew. Sherrie writes romantic suspense for Second Wind
Publishing and Indigo Sea Press. Her newest releases are her Wildflowers
of Scotland novels, “Thistle Down”, “Wild Rose”, “Blue Belle”, and “Shy
Violet”, to be followed by “Sweet William” in June of 2016.


6 thoughts on “Business As Usual?”

  1. Romania, wow. I’ve spent some time in eastern Europe, but Romania is still on my wish list. Great pictures.
    Travel has two-fold benefits, to experience a new place and people, and to gain some perspective on your regular life. Now if we could only keep those good resolutions when we get home!

  2. Wow, what beautiful pictures. Thank you for sharing with them. I am so glad you came back from vacation refreshed and ready to go. Usually vacations often make me yearn for a vacation. Thank you for sharing your story.

  3. You are so right, Sherrie. Traveling is wonderful. It feeds your soul and gives you a fresh outlook. I try to plan several small trips a year, mostly to visit family, and every few years, return to my spiritual homeland, the British Islands. Even short trips have and make a better more nuanced writer. Thanks for a lovely post and reminder of how blessed I am in being able to travel and also in my own life at home.

    1. Thanks so much for stopping by, Mary. These last couple of years time constraints, finances, and staff shortages at my B&B have made it difficult to get away, so much so that I started to forget how needed and essential to my well-being those little interludes away are. I’m so glad we’re back in the travel groove and taking advantage of a few more opportunities to get away.

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