Writer's Travelogue: Caribbean Edition

I’m back from my cruise on the big wide blue! Sun and live music and islands. What an escape! For all of you stuck in the heart of winter like us here in Wisconsin, I’m happy to report there are still places in the world that are warm and sunny right now!

I believe travel is one of the best sources of inspiration for writers (Hence, the travelogue posts). It gets us out of our comfort zones, shows us new places, cultures and people, and often gives us wonderful real-life stories that can spark fiction on the page, too.

This trip was no exception!

I held a sea turtle...

...and kissed a stingray!
Pucker up!

I have a renewed love for the ocean (which played a huge role in my first novel).

Overlooking the back of our ship with the Cayman Islands in the background.

I saw a gorgeous full moon rise over the water as the ship sailed out of port. Breathtaking and definitely worthy of being somehow captured in a scene!

My actual picture of the moon...not my best work, guys,
but hey, it's tricky to take good moon pictures in the middle of a concert!

So here's a sunset shot instead.

And another one to get you in a tropical mood.

The big difference for me on this trip was that, in addition to the amazing scenery and locales, I also drew so much inspiration from the people. It’s always fun (and often heartwarming) to observe, watch people interact and hear their stories. Lots of folks faced weather-related travel woes trying to get to this trip, so the stories of intrepid adventure were plentiful! Several people drove halfway across the country at the last minute, starting in the middle of the night – or merged together a crazy combination of drive-fly-drive to reach Miami.

It sounds a little cliché, but the performers too were great sources of inspiration. I’ve always been a huge fan of live music, and to listen to it on the sea, beneath the sun or stars in the middle of nowhere, was something special indeed. During one of the shows, the band invited a young family on stage whose son was battling cancer and the little guy got to body surf the crowd as his wish! It was fun and hilarious and touching all at once, and that’s what I love about these kinds of moments.

And I had an awesome break-through at the end of the trip about the magic system, characters and plot for the YA steampunk that’s been rolling around in my head!

So next time you need a break from writing - travel, wander, breathe it all in. It’s well worth it!


  1. Ooooh it looks so sunny and warm :D You're right - nothing inspires you more than leaving the real world behind for a while and taking an amazing trip. Glad you're feeling fired up to write!

  2. Sounds like a fabulous trip. Good thing you didn't tell us before you left or we all would have begged you to sneak us in your suitcase. Would be so nice to get away from the frigid cold.

  3. Traveling is a great way to expose ourselves to new people and places. We see the world differently. Looks like you had a awesome time. And cool that kid got to surf the crowd.

  4. What an awesome trip! I've always been inspired by people. I'm a huge people watcher. Stories that that kid who got to surf the crowd always touch my heart. :)

  5. Sounds like you had a truly brilliant trip that refreshed the creative juices. I love cruises! you make me want to go book one right now!! ;)

  6. Sounds like it was a blast - more than a little jealous that you had all that sun while Old Blighty had some wicked storms :)

  7. Miss Cole - It WAS warm and sunny, and definitely refreshed the imagination!

    Natalie - You totally could have joined us as a stowaway.

    Alex - That's one of the things I love most about travel, and this was a really great experience.

    Christine - People-watching is pretty amazing. ;)

    Lynda - It did! And you should!

    Jamie - If it makes you feel better, I came home to -20 degrees. :)

  8. Sounds like a great time. I can't wait for a vacation...but I have a few months to wait. I'd love to go back to the Caribbean one day. Such beautiful islands and welcoming people.

  9. what a fantastic journey! so cool! thanks for sharing it with us! and how brave to kiss that ray!