I'm still basking in the glow of the warm Bermudean sun.
Well, not really. It was windy and fairly cold throughout Toasty Joe and my Bermudean sojourn over the weekend. But we managed to have fun: visiting historic lighthouses and the old Dockyards, getting massages and eating spiny lobsters and fish chowder.
And finding writerly inspiration. During a summer visit a year and a half ago, I first learned of Bermuda's importance as a base for Confederate blockade runners during the Civil War. While I toured a preserved colonial mansion, I pictured the life of a young woman on the island, growing up in that home, the conflicts that could arise from a non-slaveholding island supporting the slave states of America. Returning to the island only whetted my interest in researching this topic. I'm certain there are the makings of a great book here.
I generally feel that way when I go on vacation. Maybe it's the distance from my ordinary life that allows me time to brainstorm. More likely it's my obsession with visiting historic homes. Writing historical novels (for now, don't get me started on my plans for contemporaries), visiting historic sites. I think that's what they call synergy!
Now if only I could publish one of these books and finally deduct my "research" trips from my taxes. That would be inspiring.
But the bigger question is, what makes an idea a fruitful one? I think I've really got one with this Bermuda book. Can you tell when you've hit upon something real? I certainly did with Wedding Widow: sat down and wrote the prologue the day after visualizing the first scene in my head, before I even knew who the hero was.