I recently took a trip to Australia to celebrate my mother’s 90th birthday. (We had a fabulous time.) Here’s a shot of the HUGE family. We had to rent a hall to have this get-together.
While there, I did my traditional jaunt around the vineyards and had a great lunch with my sisters at Briar Ridge.
I’d gone dark, no email, no Twitter, no FB, and I’d promised myself I would not sit with family and discuss books. My mother does not have a computer, and I left my laptop behind. This would be a total vacation. A much needed rest. This year I’ve published my desert heat series, three books, and have one in production which should publish in early spring 2014, so yeah, I’ve been a tad tired.
While my family supports my creative endeavors, I felt I should forget about writing for this trip and just enjoy re-connecting. However, at the back of mind was the constant thrum of my work in progress. I swear it has been the most difficult story I’ve ever written. I’d struggled to finish the story before leaving but couldn’t do it, and I had sent an email to my critique partner, Gina, saying I’d have hours on the ‘plane to work on that story and planned to write longhand. Did I? Nope. I watched four movies, and because there was a spare seat between me and the only other traveler in our row, a young man from the Soloman Islands, I slept well. We both shared that seat and it made travel so much better. I figured I had the return journey to write down some story ideas.
On my final day of the trip, the day after the birthday bash, there was a family gathering to chow down on all of the wonderful leftovers from the Aussie spit roast.
We sat outside near my sister’s pool, the sun washing gently over our backs, feet propped up. I’d forgotten all about my WIP until my sister-in-law Helen asked me what I was currently working on. I sketched the storyline and told her of my problem finding a suitable romantic suspense ending. I told her I was having difficulty coming up with an appropriate weapon for my hero (non-law enforcement hero, so not armed) to use on the villain who was armed. She reeled off ending after ending. My response to all was, nope, done that. I’ve used the gun, the knife, the tree branch, the champagne bottle to the head. Then she asked what is the setting again? I explained the city, the remote hilltop area, the ranch style home, and as I did that I visualized a woodpile and an ax that had not featured before. Ha ha. No, there will not be a beheading, it will be a blunt instrument ending, but gee, how perfect for my unarmed hero.
Inspiration comes from the strangest of places. As writers if we push too hard we’ll often prevent ideas from flowing. If we play, as adults, the creativity is often spontaneous. Forget all about the work, concentrate on something else, go out and change the pace, and there it is right in front of you: the answer that has eluded you. Have you ever had this happen with your creativity, or problems?