Monday, January 30, 2012

A Change of Scenery -- Part 2

Last Wednesday, I wrote about how inspiring it can be for me just to change location -- something about the movement and the perspective can often knock something loose and start the creative flow again.

For me, one of the most inspiring location changes is the beach.  I grew up in a coastal town.  There wasn't much to do there (legally) as a teen except drive around.  We had a sometimes-open teen club that was sometimes 21-and-over.

And we had the beach.  I consider myself lucky that I grew up with a batch of people who felt the draw of the water as strongly as I did.  We spent days (and nights) at the beach -- walking, talking, building sandcastles, swimming, lighting bonfires and drinking copious amounts of coffee.  We watched the waves bring in the phosphorescence and light the sand with green stars at night.  We watched the (two) surfers struggle to make sense of the cross-currents during the day.  We got our feet wet and checked the rock pools for sea stars and anemones.  To me, the beach is full of magic.

So last week, a dear writer friend invited me to a revision retreat on the coast.  It's a different coast from the one I grew up on -- the sand is lighter, the harbor more populated, the seaside restaurants a little more cosmopolitan.  But we worked to the sound of the rocking boats and the foghorn.  And one afternoon, I sat on the balcony and wrote until my fingers grew too cold to type.

It was magical.

I'm inspired by other landscapes, too -- deserts, snow-capped mountains, river water on rocks through canyons, the rolling hills of the English Downs.  But the beach and the sea are probably my first loves.  And I can always find my self there.

How about you?  What landscape or perspective inspires you and makes your creative self sing?


  1. For me, it's forests. I grew up playing Indians and Fairies in wood thickets. Being surrounded by trees always reminds me of that time and seems to re-spark my imagination. Since then I've visited many national parks and quickly came to realize the bigger the trees, the bigger the inspiration.

  2. Oh, Carrie, I knew I'd forgotten something! I grew up in the coastal redwoods, so I totally hear you. Awe inspiring to be in a cathedral of trees...