Wednesday, August 17, 2011

RTW: Dreamy Places

Road Trip Wednesday is a ‘Blog Carnival,’ where YA Highway's contributors post a weekly writing- or reading-related question and answer it on their own blogs. You can hop from destination to destination and get everybody's unique take on the topic.

This week's question:

What is the most inspiring setting you've ever visited in real life?

With the exception of just inside the border visits to Canada, I've never been out of the country (fixing that), but I have visited some pretty amazing places stateside: San Fransisco, NYC, Niagra Falls (um...fabulous), State College, PA...I've even watched a Cubs game from the top of a building right outside Wrigley Field. And as awe-inspiring those places are, nothing quite inspires me like the ones right in my backyard (or maybe a short drive away from it).

If you're a blog faithful, you know this girl LOVES going to the beach. And while the sun zaps me with it's rays, the locale is zapping my mind with ideas, dialogue, character whatsiehoozits, and incredible insight and direction. Many times I leave and can't shut my mind down (which really sucks if I don't have time to write after). And my senses go totally WILD. I watch people, listen to crashing waves, breathe in salty air, shake off gritty sand between my toes. I know I've talked about this before, but fieldtripping to spots I write about is one of my best resources.

And it doesn't really matter where or when - EVERYTHING about the ocean and beach (for me) are breath-taking and so, so mind-opening.

Another place that inspires me - football stadiums. At night. Yeah, yeah I know. It's not the Taj Majal or the Louvre. Football stadiums can be loud and muddy and smoke-filled and I LOVE THEM! And since characters in all my stories spend time there, they're especially inspiring. And...AND high school football starts (officially) THIS FRIDAY NIGHT!!! Guess you know where I'll be. *sigh*

Finally, I know this is going to sound uber-cheesy, but I go to this place every year (as a chaperone for eighty some eighteen year olds), and I ALWAYS get inspired.

I've not yet written Disney World into any of my stories, but Walt's magic and his movies and his quotes and his characters and EVERYTHING Disney always inspire me to keep dreaming.

All your dreams can come true if you have the courage to pursue them.

If you can dream it, you can do it.

No matter how your heart is grieving, if you keep on believing, the dreams that you wish will come true. (Cinderella)

I don't know about you people, but without dreams I shrivel up like a raisin. I have the strongest support system at home, but take away my dreams, remove my hope and I am NOTHING. If I don't believe I'm going to be an author one day, if I don't believe I can make my dreams come true, than no one else will believe I can either.

So, whenever I feel mucho unconfident, I turn to Disney. And if I can't go to the most magical place on earth, I pop in some Aladdin. Or Cinderella. Or Toy Story. Or - you get it. We watch A LOT of Disney at the Miller house.

So how about YOU? What's the most inspiring setting you've visited?


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  2. Yes, yes, yes on the football stadiums! You are awesome for mentioning those. My husband and I want to see an NFL game in all the stadiums in our lifetime. All your inspiring places are great.

  3. I don't think that's cheesy at all! Standing in the Magic Kingdom at night when the castle's all lit up and they start playing the music, I'm like a kid again. I think it's inspiring.

    n fact, the only one of yours I'm not inspired by is football games, but that's because I don't like the sport. (I know, it's like treason against husband reminds me of this often.)

  4. I, too, could absolutely live at the beach. Even when it's cold and rainy, the sounds of waves and seagulls is life-affirming, and the sensation of sand squishing between the toes is *almost* as good as a foot massage.

  5. My life is one of my greatest settings.

  6. I LOVE football stadiums! One of my absolutely favorite things about college was football. All of us screaming fans, loving our team even when we sucked, practically worshipping them when we were awesome ... Man, I miss those days.
    And the beach! *Sigh* I miss the beach so much.

  7. I'm from Miami, Florida. The beach is something I always seem to have somewhere in my WIPs. Always. Without fail. Even if it doesn't make any actual sense. Hee.

    Ooh! Disney! I need to find a way to incorporate Disney World into my WIPs too.

  8. No! I don't think that feeling inspired by Disney was cheesy, either!

    And what setting inspires me? Geez! I'm a very mental person, so I could be in a waiting room and get inspired, but then I could be seeing an awesome sunset and don't get inspired. It kinda depends on my mood, lol.

  9. Great settings. The high school football one reminds me of high school. Football was such a big thing at my school so Friday night the football games were the place to be.

  10. Beaches, football and Disney...nothing cheesy about any of that.

    I do have a love/hate relationship with Disney...what all they've accomplished is amazing and inspiring, but I wish they wouldn't have taken over Broadway too.

  11. Oh, I love the beach SO much. That photo is lovely; I think the beach is its best when it's empty and peaceful.

    I'm a total Disney-aholic too, as you may have noticed. :) We LOVE visiting Disney World and Disneyland, and I find both places super inspiring. So much happiness and creativity and vision. Great post, Alison!

  12. Totally on board with all of this - the beach rules, football is infinitely better IRL than on tv and Disney ftw!!!

  13. I love Disney too! Especially Tinkerbell and Belle. I've only ever been to Disneyland Paris, though.

  14. It's amazing how many of us picked beach-y things.

  15. Looking out over water is my favourite too. I could do with some Disney magic though. Have a great week.

  16. Disney can be such a positive thinking influence, for sure!

    And that picture at the top is stunning. I want to be there.

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  18. A few places really. Sometimes I just go sit in the woods. Other places are old houses of worship or historical sites.

    I'd LOVE to hang out in a cemetery and write for a few hours, but each time I try, I get scared out of my mind 4 minutes in :\

  19. The beach, the water--they're amazing. When I was younger (ahem, much younger), I spent some time in Japan and had the privilege of visiting the Kiyo-Mizu-Dera: the Temple of Pure Water, and the simple beauty and tranquility of that place astounded me.

    Keep believing in yourself!


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