As promised in my initial blog, I am sharing my vacation highlights along with how they have influenced both my thoughts and my writing. I am a big believer that everyone needs a mental vacation. If possible, and luck is with you, it can be on an island near the Pacific. If that's not available to you, let me share mine.
I spent this last week in Hawaii visiting my son. His Marine battalion recently returned from deployment in Okinawa, Japan. I left stormy Georgia weather and arrived to balmy Hawaiian days. As I sat watching the Pacific Ocean waters churning and rolling to reach the shore, I had a brief idea. How lovely would it be to live here? Every day, I could be enchanted over and over by the majestic blues and greens of the water. The crashing waves seducing me into a hypnotic state of relaxation. This would definitely be the most opportune time for my Muse to arrive and fill my head with story plots, right? I mean, when the wind rustling palm trees create the sound of rain drops, I could soak up the sun on my face and my imagination would be unleashed. Or, I could just blank out. Let my thoughts focus only on the sounds nature is creating around me and relax.
So, that’s what I did. I realized I could not live near the ocean. I’d never get any writing done. I did grab my notebook and jot down notes, plots and character ideas. I got a lot of those notes during my tourist jaunts. We visited Pearl Harbor, which blasted me with ideas. History does that, I think. I was humbled at the Arizona memorial. So many lives with so many stories to tell, it boggles the mind. I actually went into a submarine there. It was great to actually experience going through hatch doors. They are small! I don’t know if I’ll ever write a story involving a submarine. But, if I do, I know how it feels to be in one and can draw on that to strengthen my story.
We then visited the botanical gardens and the Byodo-Inn temple. Again, so much culture in one spot provided an abundance of ideas. My little notebook is getting filled!
Friday night, we went to dinner. Duke’s at Waikiki beach rocked. The food was great and to sit under Tiki lights with the ocean less than 100 feet away provided a fantastic experience. I can see how a lot of movies use this setting for romantic dinners. Notes were written down here, as well.
We visited the Dole plantation. If you like pineapples (which I do), it provided fun and educational areas to explore. I also got some fun sub plot ideas from this place. There was a maze which boasted of being the largest in 2008. It took 40 minutes to get through it, but I did. And that got me thinking of how it could be a fun place to get lost in. If done during the day, it could even be romantic. Yes, I write romance. So, of course,
I’m going to think that way!
Too soon, my seven days were up. Ten hours in flight to return home at midnight. I miss the ocean sounds. But, I relish the memories. I have a 20 second video on my phone of the ocean waves too. I’ll pull that out and watch it the next time I need a mental break and let that vision enchant me again.
I don’t think one has to fly for ten hours to get to a place that allows one’s mind to relax and energize. Sometimes, I think, something as simple as a picture or a video can provide the same results. Music allows the imagination to take flight as well. There are many writers who write to music. Some save the soundtracks of each book/manuscript. Others have the same song or track they play every time they write. I have certain songs that I play for certain scenes. The pace helps me write.
Do you do something similar when you write or take a mental break? Let me know if you do.