Monday, September 2, 2013

Creativity and Travel

Vacations are meant as a time to step away from the schedules and reconnect with family in a different environment. "The family that roller-coasts together screams together" kind of thing. For some of us, those frenzied days at amusement parks are thankfully over as are vacations spent traveling for hours, while cranky kids in the backseat squabble and ask "are we there yet." At this point in our lives, vacations come in two varieties--visiting the grandkids and soaking in every hug and humorous story they tell or flying to a favorite spot to work on our writing.

These are the benefits of retirement. We are relieved from work schedules and all those outside pressures. Calvin and I can at last be the "free spirits" we've longed to be.

In a week, we leave for two weeks in Paris and a week in Berlin. Since Calvin turns 82 on our return to the States, this might well be our last long trip. I'm a little apprehensive how he'll handle it all and he's concerned I'll get sick. Color us worriers.

Paris is our favorite city. Calvin lived there for a year back in the late sixties, writing at sidewalk cafés. He took me there on our second anniversary eight years ago and I was captured under her spell. The sights, sounds and smells I'd experienced are featured in my Red Hand Conspiracy romantic suspense series. I can't wait to go back for more story ideas. I have two in mind--a historical and a contemporary--I want to research while we're there.

We decided to rent a little apartment on the Left Bank, near the Sorbonne University. This large neighborhood in Paris is known as the Latin Quarter. Centuries ago, students at the Sorbonne spoke Latin exclusively as they roamed the streets and argued politics and art in cafés. Today, the students still do this, only in French or English.

Since both of us are diabetics, I can shop at the fresh produce stands at rue Moufftard, a few blocks from our temporary home, and cook a few meals to help keep our glucose levels down. Although all the walking we'll be doing should help, too. Paris is a city for walking, gaping at the beautiful architecture, listening to French spoken in machine gun rapidity and stepping into tiny shops to the friendly "Bonjour Messieur, Madam." offered by the shop owners.

Hemingway lived in an apartment not far from "ours" while he wrote A Moveable Feast. James Joyce and Orwell lived nearby, too. Not too far away, Picasso perfected his Cubist art style. Creativity is in the air--and I plan on inhaling!

Here's a picture of our living room...

We'll say goodbye to Paris and fly to Berlin to visit family. Calvin's only son lives there, working for the Bayer Corporation. Kelly's wife, a native Berliner, runs a large beauty shop. We haven't seen them in over two years, so we are due for some major catching up. Kelly is a taller version of Calvin...just as warm, as charming, as humorous as his dad. He holds a PhD. in High Energy Theoretical Particle Physics--and I have no clue what that is.

Our vacation will be a lovely mixture of family hugs and sharing stories combined with exploring our favorite historical artistic city. A great atmosphere for creativity to bloom, don't you think?

Mona Lisa's Room, book one of a romantic suspense series, takes place in Paris and Villerville, a small seaside community along the Normandy Coast. An American art teacher, Alyson, and Niko, a French counter-terrorism agent, are on the run from a ruthless band of terrorists called The Red Hand. This book was the winner of the HOLT Medallion Award of Merit in two categories--Best Romantic Suspense and Best Book by a Virginia Author.


Book two of the series, Rain is a Love Song, is set in Paris and Budapest. Gwen travels from North Carolina to Paris to visit her sister, Alyson. Her daughter is kidnapped in front of her eyes and rescued by French government agent, Jean-Luc. Determined to help him find these dangerous terrorists, she worms her way into the investigation, much to his displeasure and distraction.

Link to the book trailer:



Ana Morgan said...

Oh Vonnie, You are going to have a great time!

Vonnie Davis ~ Romance Author said...

Oh, Ana Morgan, I'm like a child waiting for Christmas! LOL