As a guest speaker at book clubs and writing groups one ot the most frequently asked questions is: Where do you get your ideas? My answer is everywhere. One of the topics I use to illustrate where one finds ideas is: “Vacations”
My recent release, Holiday Haven: An Irish Romance, originated from an Irish vacation. My husband and I joined a literary and historical tour Of Ireland sponsored by local community college. We had an excellent tour guide who entertained and educated us with a running stream of anecdotes, jokes and folklore.
Lisdoonvarna Matchmaking Festival originated in the 18th century when farmers, completed the harvest came to the city searching for a wife. A gifted matchmaker paired couples together. Word spread and hundreds from all over the world flocked to Lisdoonvarna to find a mate.
As our guide described the event, all the “what if’s” popped into my head. What if you attended the festival, would you trust the matchmaking? What if you hadn’t planned on attending, but were in the city the month of the festival? What could happen in your life that made you decide a matchmaker was your only chance? Could you find true love in a month? Conflicts and consequences overloaded my imagination. As we travelled on the coach and for days afterwards, ideas ground away in my head.
As we toured, I jotted ideas; as I drank Jameson in the pubs, I wrote descriptions, the dialect, the mannerisms and the scenery of those I observed; and as toured historical and legendary Irish sights, I sketched two characters for a story. Slowly a tale emerged. I completed it months later relying on the notes of language, smells and sights which helped me to capture the tone and feel of Ireland.
The trip to Ireland was unforgettable. The brightness of the scenery, the openness of its people and the charm of a country rich in traditions and tales invites more stories in the future.
Holiday Magic: An Irish Romance was fittingly released on March 17th, St. Patrick’s Day. I tried to capture the spirit and the mannerisms of those we met and the stories we heard. It was a fun story to write.
Where do writers find ideas? Everywhere. On vacations, we let go of the stress of everyday life and are more attuned to the differences in the world around us. On your next vacation, pay attention. What stories are waiting for you?
Have vacations inspired a story for you?