Thursday, September 2, 2010

If It's Tuesday It Must Be Belgium. . .

Happy September 2 from Gail Gaymer Martin at
Many years ago, I saw a comedy film called If It's Tuesday It Must Be Beligum. The story showed typical tourists going from country to country and becoming so confused they couldn't remember where they were. Trips can be like that, and I'm afraid my summer lended itself to that kind of speed. But instead of confusion, it stimuated my mind for story ideas.

The summer flew by on a whirlwind of travel. In late June I was in St. Louis for a writer's retreat, returned home and left three days later I left for Germany where I toured with a Christian chorale singing concerts at churches all over the country. Though I have visited Germany numerous times, this trip was different. First I visited many cities in what used to be East Germany and I walked the streets where people like Bach, Wagner, and Martin Luther walked. I saw their graves and places they lived. The experience made the trip special, but the most unique part of it was singing in churches all over the country.

When we arrived home, we had three days to get ready for a handbell conference in Nashville where I played bells and heard some of the finiest handbell groups in the country. While there, I missed some workshops to do the final edits on my March 2011 novel, A Dad Of His Own. Writers can't be away for long. After being involved with two trips involving music, I asked myself why I've never written a novel focused on music. My first Steeple Hill novel, Upon A Midnight Clear, did have a music theme, but that was it. I play handbells, sing in chorales, church choir, praise team, and in a renown chorale in Detroit. So one of these days, I will dig into my thoughts and write a series focused on music.

Our granddaughter visited from Oklahoma and we took her to northern Michigan to see the Mackinac Bridge and the lovely Mackinaw Island. We took the ferry over and spent the day, enjoying the weather, the scent of fudge and watching the horses clomp past.  If you've never been there, then you should know that this island has no automobiles. People live there year-round and walk, use bikes, ride horses, or use  snowmobiles in winter.  My novel, With Christmas In His Heart, is set there, and I love the story.  So why not write another novel set on the island? I'm thinking about it.  It's one of my favorite places on earth.

After our granddaughter returned home, we enjoyed our final trip of the summer onCape Cod for a week where we celebrated our 25th anniversary. We rented a cottage which you can see behind me in this photo, and enjoyed the sun and sand. We also saw a production of Grey Gardens at the Cape Cod Playhouse, enjoyed an outdoor concert, took a day to visit Martha's Vineyard (a wonderful experience), visited glass studios, museums, lighthouses and so much more, and while I was there. . . yes, I did.  I researched the location for a novel. It's a perfect place to fall in love.

 So if you wonder where authors get their ideas, traveling is one of the best places. I keep notes of the sights, smells and sounds, collect pamphlets, maps, brochures, programs, and photographs.  If you're on Facebook, visit my profile -- Gail Gaymer Martin -- click on the photo links just below my profile picture and then go down to the sunrise photo, click on it, and you'll see lots of my Cape Cod adventure.
When you can see things like this on your travels -- a sunrise, lighthouses, sandy beaches, great churches of Germany, restaurants that serve wienerschnizel and spaeztel, the Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island, the kites flying on the wind, carriages clomping past, ice cream cones and taffy, then it makes the cost worthwhile. Plus it inspires. And I defintely am inspired.


Carla Gade said...

So much inspiration! I grew up in Massachusetts and have spent many summers throughout my life on Cape Cod. Oh, the memories. Love that soft white sand. I enjoyed looking at all your photos. Thanks for sharing, Gail!

Mary Preston said...

I have seem the movie "If It's Tuesday It Must Be Belgium. . ." long ago. So very funny. Travel can be like that.