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Vacation For Inspiration

I've just returned from Manchester Vermont, where I spent a glorious weekend skiing, snow-shoeing and reconnecting with nature--something that we residents of New Jersey tend to shy away from doing during the hard months of winter. No, I'm not a skier, and my 80 year old ski instructor would certainly attest to that! But, I do love nature and I have always found the peace of the outdoors to be a great inspiration both to my writing and to my life in general. Seeing the magnificence of the Green Mountains during a time of year during which I have not typically spent any great amount of time outdoors in the past, I was provided with a fresh pair of eyes. Looking at things in a different way really can provide a new perspective. Perhaps it can even give us the answers we have long been looking for.

A winter vacation was a badly-needed escape for me this year, as my life has been rather jam-packed as of late--I am planning my wedding, which will take place this summer, and I've recently begun the process of purchasing my first home. Ironically, I just finished reading In the Moment by Jennifer Wilck, a contemporary romance in which the heroine, Cassie Edwards, has also purchased a home. Cassie, a former foster child, has purchased a beautiful Victorian Mansion and she enlists the help of photojournalist Rayne Tucket in fixing it up. Though neither is on a vacation so to speak, both are trying to put the memories of hard pasts behind them and they find solace in this beautiful place, which, in spite of their resistance, Rayne's in particular, provides them both with a fresh start. It later provides them with a new lease on life too, namely love, but first the two must become better acquainted with one another and come to know one another at the heart. Rayne's spontaneous retreat with Cassie makes him realize he can live again.

As writers, we often must write wherever and whenever the opportunity comes our way--life is full of obstacles and responsibilities which often require us to put our writing on the back-burner, unless we take opportunity to write whenever we can. This isn't always the best way, however--though I have written everywhere from the day job to the backseat of a car, I cherish those moments when I can do in under a tree or beside a river. Nature, for me, helps me to tune out the loud and often negative tone of reality and focus strictly on what is happening inside my imagination. Writing can be considered a form of retreat in and of itself, but the farther I can venture away from the busyness and the craziness to make my retreat the better--it only gets me that much closer to that place of inspiration I'm seeking.

Making the time for a vacation isn't always possible. But time can often be made for a short retreat if you're willing to make the effort. Whether you're a writer or otherwise, all of us can benefit greatly from a little well-planned down time. Your break from reality may just inspire you to do something you never thought possible!

My Review of In the Moment by Jennifer Wilck:

I greatly enjoyed In the Moment by Jennifer Wilck. I've enjoyed Jennifer's titles in the past and this one was a bit different from the others, which made it stand out. Hero Rayne Tucket is haunted by the death of his best friend in Afghanistan. But Rayne is not a soldier - he's a photojournalist, plagued by guilt because his friend died saving his life. Cassie Edwards, a former foster child, has purchased a beautiful Victorian house which holds great sentimental value to her. She hires Rayne to assist her in making the house a home. What I loved most about this love story is that the hero and heroine are truly not complete without each other. Though both try to deny it at different times, each needs the other to become whole and we see this time and time again as the two fall deeper throughout the story, neither of them able to move on alone, or ultimately deny their feelings for one another. Rayne, especially, is adamant that he must leave after a time. But Cassie never gives up on him. Perhaps she is exactly what this wounded hero needs in order to begin living his life again. Trust me when I say that though the journey to mending this broken man is a long one, you will be glad you followed him every step of the way! 
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