This weekend, I took a vacation to California. A friend of mine–Jason Denzel–kicked of his debut novel, Mystic, with a book tour. Since he wasn’t coming to my Arizona area, I wanted to go to him. My husband wasn’t able to take the time off work for a long weekend, so I asked my parents if they wanted to go with me. They agreed.
We drove the six hours from Phoenix to San Diego. As we did, I kept glancing out the window and seeing signs along the freeway. I remembered a similar trip I took about four or five years ago.
For our anniversary, my husband I and took a trip to San Diego. At the time, I was going through a small bout of depression. The change in scenery helped a lot. Breathing in the ocean air, new sights and sounds, a swanky hotel room, fancy meals at the Oceanaire (we ate there two nights in a row).
On the way home, I was suddenly inspired to write.
I’ve had aspirations to be a writer since high school. After reading The Wheel of Time series in 1999–up to Path of Daggers was released by that point–I wanted to mimic Robert Jordan’s beautiful and enticing storytelling.
Driving home from San Diego, I came up with the basic plot of a story. I pulled character names and places from the road signs along the way. Japatul became Tul, my main character. Tavern Road became Taver, the main character’s father. Fortuna became one of the nations. There are too many others to list.
When I got home, I typed up an outline. I worked on it off and on for a few months. It was at the end of October that I accidently stumbled upon an event called NaNoWriMo. I was excited. I had just finished an outline and here was a conveniently placed writing challenge. I dove in headfirst.
I wound up winning that year. It was the first time I had actually set out to do something and succeeded. An amazing sense of accomplishment filled me. I got to 83,000 words before I stopped writing on that story, about three-quarters of the way done with my outline. So, I “won,” but didn’t finish. I was fine with that.
That simple experience kindled a love for writing within me. Though it’s only been the past year or so that I’ve buckled down and made writing an everyday occurrence. It was nice to be reminded of that beginning, the time when I saw a change in my life. I can pinpoint exactly where I am right now to that vacation.
Being in San Diego this time had my head filled with ideas and inspirations. It’s amazing what a change of scenery can do!