Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Travel as Inspiration

Nothing gets the writing juices flowing better than a good trip abroad. Perhaps that is why I like to travel so much. I have a tendancy to favor European climes however, which unfortunately makes it difficult to do on a regular basis. I usually take an international trip every three to five years and in keeping with that schedule, I am eagerly planning a trip to England and Ireland next spring. Originally, the hubby and I had planned on going last month for my aunt's wedding, but the finances didn't pan out. Then we had hoped to go this fall, but Hubby is going back to school to finish his degree. So NOW we're looking at the end of March/beginning of April as to coincide with his spring break.

I've already laid out a list of potential site seeing trips while we visit (I can sense Hubby rolling his eyes), with an eye for stimulating my writing mojo. You see I hope to have Rebellion in the can and out on submission, so I should be in line for something new and extraordinary. I figure the following places may help:
Blenheim Palace has long been on my list of places to visit. I know, I know... I ought to be ashamed given that I majored in historic preservation (read: architectural history) in college. Most notably associated with the 1st Duke and Duchess of Marlborough (John and Sarah Churchill), Consuelo Vanderbilt Churchill, and Sir Winston Churchill, Blenheim Palace is sure to get my imagination firing on all 4 (or 6) cylinders. I'm looking for unique personages in little done time periods for my next venture so maybe something Georgian will spring up as a result of this foray.

Ah, Castle Howard. Another to-be-not-missed English landmark. I'm really hoping that we will be able to make the trip north to Yorkshire. I have seen this place from a distance (I think...I've seen so many great English houses they all run together after a while) but I've never taken the tour. It's another architectural wonder and I'm looking forward to seeing it. Of course, it has appeared in dozens of movies including my favorite The Buccaneers, a late 90s BBC adaptation of the Edith Wharton novel. While we're in the area, we also hope to visit Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal.

File:Castletown House - geograph.org.uk - 1008007.jpgWe're also hoping to make it over to Ireland which will be fitting since we will be within a few weeks of our 5th wedding anniversary and we honeymooned there. I had originally planned on doing some heavy research for Rebellion but since I am going to play armchair historian for that one, we will be bumming around Dublin and making a few excursions out of the city. Now I am keen to visit Castletown House, not only because it was the model for Lord Edmund's palatial Irish estate, but because it is connected with the Connolly family. If you are a student of history, you will know that Thomas Connolly was married to Lady Louisa Lennox, one of the famous Lennox sisters, whose great-grandfather was none other than King Charles II. Plus it's just an all around cool house. If money allows (e.g. sell Rebel Heart sell!), I really, really, REALLY want to stay at the Carton House which is the former home of the Duke of Leinster, who was married to Lady Emily Lennox, Lady Louisa's elder sister, and mother to Lord Edward Fitzgerald (the inspiration for James in Rebellion).

So what about you? Where do you go to stimulate your writing juices? Do you have any big trips planned for the upcoming months?


  1. I would love to visit those places! I mostly get inspiration from reading other books or finding information about something I'm interested in and researching. But I still like to go on vacation!

  2. Beautiful sites! I tend to be somewhat surprised by the locations that inspire me--for instance, The Husband and I went on a trip to southern Kentucky and though I knew it was beautiful country, I never expected to get such a writing jolt from it!

    I wish we had a trip planned...to somewhere less hot! Hiding away in, say, the upper peninsula of Michigan sounds like an idyllic writerly escape about now :)

    1. Southern Kentucky is beautiful! I'll be headed that way for the "World's Longest Yard Sale" in a few weeks.