In a Land Far, Far Away

Do you have a favorite "away" place to write? Sure, you can drop by the local coffee shop with the free wireless and the funky atmosphere. But is there a location that gives you "scope for the imagination", as Anne of Green Gables would say?

On Saturday, I was driving home from one of my monthly critique groups, when I had a revelation about one of my characters. It came out of the blue, this sudden knowledge. Turns out my likeable guy had a major disability that I was previously unaware of. It demanded to be written down.

 I happened to be driving past one of my favorite places in Colorado Springs--Garden of the Gods--so named by the Ute Indians. I pulled off at an overlook and pondered my new-found knowledge with the view, ending up writing a few pages about him.

There is something about a beautiful vista that makes the words flow far better than when I'm sitting in front of a computer screen (and it doesn't help that my writing room is windowless). Watching the color of the light on the rocks, the clouds shifting and changing, even feeling the air on my skin--gives me more sensory details than I would have come up with on my own.

My other favorite place to write, when I get the chance to visit, is Glen Eyrie, a retreat and conference center that happens to be right next door to Garden of the Gods. Their amazing property not only contains similar rock formations, but also boasts a beautiful castle. Perfect for writers of fairy tales, like me.

Next time you feel as if you're in a writing "dead end", try changing the scenery. Whether you go sit on a bench at the park and people-watch, or hike into the desert, a shift in your environment might be just the cure to get the words flowing.

Where is your favorite writing spot?

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