~ 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, its been so busy since weve been home that
there’s been little time to bask in the glow of vacation bliss.
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 thats plagued me since our return, Ive been
writing. With inspiring images newly etched in my mind and fresh voices
echoing in my head, I cant help myself. Its amazing what clearing the
cobwebs out of your mind and giving your brain a good spring cleaning will
After two months of hardly looking at my work in progress, theres so much
to write about that my fingers cant 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.
I never would have chosen to go to Romania if my stepson,
Erik, hadnt 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 Arthurs birthplace at Tintagel, Cornwall.
But I did it, and Im 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.
Fresh inspiration and a renewed perspective gives me a boost of positive
energy. Its 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. Im 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.
So now that Im 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.
Sweet William, the Wildflowers of Scotland novel Im 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.
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 cant, escape the house, even if only for an
evening of music or fun. Sign up for an online class, invite someone you
dont know very well to dinner
Shake it up. I promise you, youll 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.
* 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.
WEBSITE http://BlueBelleBooks.com or http://BlueBelleInn.com