Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Prime the Writer’s Well!


By Debby Giusti

In Seekerville, we talk a lot about writing and how to create stories. Today I want to focus on something that seems counterproductive, yet plays into the writing process in a very real way. Let’s talk about excursions, those short trips to fun or interesting destinations that provide rest and relaxation and an opportunity to prime our writer’s well.

 


Remember the old saw, “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy…or Jill a dull girl.” Those of us who produce art need to keep our creativity flowing. Too much time at the computer for weeks--if not months--on end can tire our Muse and drain our inspiration. Over the years, we’ve had blogposts on the benefits of eating right and getting a good night’s sleep to stay focused on our craft. We’ve learned how some folks unwind with a good book, often outside the genre they write, to counter writer fatigue. Others might watch a movie or a favorite television show. Exercise, whether a short walk or 5K jog, a neighborhood bike ride or a dip at the local pool, also boosts creativity and production.




Another way to combat writer burn out is to travel. A day trip to a local historic sight, a hike in a nearby state park, a scenic mountain drive or a longer trip to an interesting destination provide a change of pace that can jump start our stalled writing engines.



My family and I recently spent a few days in Charleston, South Carolina. We have visited the “Holy City,” as Charleston with its 400 churches is called, a number of times and always enjoy the beauty and charm of the historic district. I wanted to share a few photos from our trip. Hopefully, you’ll see why I’m drawn to the unique setting that not only nurtures my spirit but also provides fodder for future stories.

We spotted dolphin in the water near this spot.

The stars on the side of this home are decorative ornaments that
cover earthquake bolts installed to
shore up homes damaged in the huge 1886 quake.

The area was first settled in 1670 and was named Charles Town in honor of King Charles II of England. At the end of the Revolutionary War, the name was changed to Charleston.


Rainbow Row--13 Georgian row houses painted
in pastel colors that were saved by the newly formed
Preservation Society of Charleston in the 1920s.


The Edmondston-Alston House is open to the public
and was built in 1825.

In 1920, a group of concerned Charlestonians formed the first historic preservation society in the United States. Thanks to their efforts, Charleston retains some of the look and feel of centuries past.

This corner shop was a tavern in the 1600s
when pirates such as Blackbeard and Stede Bonnet
sailed in Charleston Harbor.

The Old Exchange and Provost Dungeon was built in 1721.
The British imprisoned American patriots here
during the Revolutionary War.

The stone outside this historic home
served as a step for those entering or leaving their
carriages.

Historic homes vary from early “single houses,” one room wide, to three-story mansions surrounded by lush gardens and decorative wrought iron fences. Expansive piazzas, or porches, catch the sea breezes and provide idyllic spots to sip a cool drink on a hot afternoon.

Two Meeting Street Inn, dates from 1892, and is now a B&B.


The Nathaniel Russell House, 1808.



The City Market offers an eclectic assortment of wares—everything from sweetgrass baskets made in the Gullah tradition, to benne wafers, a sesame-based cookie, to watercolor prints and oil paintings that capture the beauty of the historic sights.

Sweetgrass baskets made by the lady in the baseball hat. The small
baskets sell for over $100.


One of the expansive homes that overlook
Battery Park.


The port of Charleston, located at the confluence of the Ashely, Cooper and Wando Rivers, is known for its seafood and restaurants abound. Oysters on the half shell, she crab soup, low country boil, crab cakes and shrimp and grits are just a sampling of the epicurean delights. Pralines made at the Charleston Candy Kitchen located across from the City Market are a local favorite, as well.

Oysters on the half shell served at The Oyster House.
We ate our oysters charbroiled instead of raw.

Everyone loves to sample pralines at the
Charleston Candy Kitchen.


The entire Charleston experience transports me to another world where I’m rejuvenated and inspired, whether I’m touring the city in a horse-drawn carriage, walking along the Civil War seawall at Battery Park, admiring the stately old residences that date back to the 18th century or enjoying breakfast in our hotel courtyard. On the drive home, I thought of new stories to write and characters to develop. My well was primed and I was eager to return to my writing.

We ate breakfast here in the courtyard of our hotel each morning
and returned in the late afternoon for an assortment
of cheese and crackers, fresh fruit and crab dip.

Other favorite historic destinations on the East Coast that provide relaxing getaways include Savannah, Georgia, and Saint Augustine, Florida. A trip to the beach – any beach – in the summer as well as a mountain retreat in winter offer short respites that refresh and inspire.

Do you recognize this Charleston church from the movie,
"The Patriot," staring Mel Gibson?

Do you have a favorite location in your part of the country that provides a refreshing oasis where you can prime your creative well? Share the ways you relax and unwind whether it’s a staycation at home or long distance travel.

I had to have my picture taken with Max, a retired Amish draft horse,
who pulled our carriage as we toured the historic area. 

AMISH RESCUE, the third book in my Amish Protectors series, is in stores this month and features Sarah’s story. Leave a comment to be entered in a drawing for AMISH RESCUE and a 2018 Daily Planner.



Breakfast is served. This morning’s fare includes omelets, bacon, cheese grits, fresh salmon, fruit and biscuits. The coffee’s hot, so is the tea. Grab a plate and pour a cup of your favorite hot beverage as we talk about writer getaways and how you prime your inspirational well.

Happy traveling!
Wishing you abundant blessings,
Debby Giusti

Amish Rescue
By Debby Giusti

Hiding with the Amish

Englischer Sarah Miller escapes her captor by hiding in the buggy of an Amish carpenter. Joachim Burkholder is her only hope—and donning Plain clothing is the only way to keep safe and find her missing sister. But for Joachim, who’s just returning to the Amish, the forbidden Englischer is trouble. Trapping her kidnapper risks his life, but losing Sarah risks his heart.

Order HERE!




For those in my local area:

AUTHOR DEBBY GIUSTI
will sign her new Love Inspired Suspense

AMISH RESCUE
at
BOOKS-A-MILLION
The Avenues, Peachtree City
770-632-1296
Thursday, April 19, 3:30 PM – 6:30 PM

~Proceeds benefit Pregnancy Aid Clinic~
PAC provides life-changing and life-saving services 
free of charge to women in the Atlanta area.

Free drawing for author Gift Basket.
Long distance phone orders taken.
Books will be signed and mailed.

108 comments:

  1. Good morning, Seekerville! I'm pouring a cup of coffee and looking forward to sharing the day together.

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  2. “All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy…or Jill a dull girl.” That's ME, Debby! :)

    Thank you for sharing your Charleston adventure! So beautiful! Love the architecture. I imagine your writer's brain renewed quickly there!

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    1. You work so hard at your day job, Glynna. I marvel that you have the energy to write stories as well. Does that provide a refreshing change of pace, perhaps?

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  3. Loved the pictures, Debby. I haven't been to Charleston, but I spent a few days in Savannah and thought it was beautiful. I don't have a lot of favorite travel spots, since I don't get out much, but hopefully as the kids are almost out of the house, we'll have more time and money to travel like we want.

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    1. Glynis, after my youngest went off to college, my husband and I went to the mountains for several days. Partly to deal with the sadness of empty nest. But also partly just because we finally could get away without worrying about leaving someone home alone. :)

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    2. Glynis, I can relate. My traveling days started once the children were grown...although we were a military family and lived in Germany for three years. While there, we took advantage of travel opportunities and saw so much of Europe for which I'm grateful!

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    3. Our church organizes trips, which are so fun. Often we'll bus to a nearby destination. I love being with good friends and making new ones as well. We start and end our travels with prayer and often have prayer as we travel.

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  4. Debby, what fun! I haven't been to Charleston in years. We need to go back sometime.

    I love a beach trip to inspire me. I actually work really well at the beach! I've also enjoyed mountain trips just for relaxation. And yes, despite what y'all from the Rockies think, we do have mountains in north Georgia! haha They're just not as tall. :)

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    1. Missy, I'm a beach person too! But in the summer, the water calls and I am a dolphin at heart! So I'm always on the beach or in the water.

      Hubby and I took a late-in-the-fall beach vaca and I enjoyed writing with the sound of the waves lapping on the shore as a backdrop. I need to go back this fall or winter. We'll do a fun family trip during the summer, but that's when I build sand castles with the grands, take long walks, and frolic in the surf. :)

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    2. Debby, our critique group did a fall beach retreat one year. October. It was so gorgeous! I really want to go back sometime in the fall for a working retreat. Don't know if hubby would go along if I'm going to keep my laptop open. LOL I might need to plan it with writer friends. :)

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    3. A beach retreat sounds perfect, Missy!

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  5. Good morning, Debby. Charleston is one of those places I would love to visit one day. But, for now, a trip to Ouray, Colorado is what inspires me. The scenery is so different from where we live and I can just sit and look at the mountains, trying to absorb every ounce of what is truly a God-made setting. And then I also do research for my books, but it's more about just being there.

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    1. Mindy, I believe you posted pictures of Ouray some time ago, which were so impressive. How wonderful that you have a special place to be nourished and inspired. Thanks for sharing!

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  6. /waves to all/

    GOOD and bright sunny morning to all!

    The snow has melted, birds singing... It's going to be a great morning.

    I've been lurking of late but had to stop in.

    YES, 1000 times YES on this topic!

    First, have visited Charleston twice and enjoyed both times. Stayed in B&B. There are several apparently which are fab. Super fun.

    Travel inspires much of my writing too. Those smells and tastes and sounds captured in the mind augment many a story. :) And is it ever good for recouping and refreshing. Especially when you find wonderful critters to bond with, like retired Amish horses. How terrific that coincides so nicely with your latest, Debby!

    Max seems a wonderful fellow. <3

    We hope to start taking some short day trips together, my DH and I. Hasn't happened yet but we've made a list and enjoy adding to it.

    When I can, I go alone or with a friend. Our area (middle TN) has so much to see as there are many layers of history here. Always something to learn and of course, after SNOW this week, just getting out in the spring anywhere, even walking to the mailbox is a refreshment.

    Take care everyone. Thanks again for the beautiful pictures and interesting commentary.

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    1. KC, I was talking to my college roommate (in KY) who said it was snowing while we were talking the other day! Crazy weather.

      I would love for you and Debby to share the name of the places you've stayed in Charleston. Feel free to email me privately if you'd like.

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    2. KC, Tennessee is a beautiful state with so many lovely spots to find refreshment! Love the mountains in East Tenn! Also Nashville and Knoxville are interesting cities. So much history too.

      When Max was introduced to us by our tour guide, I had to smile. Only God would provide a retired Amish draft horse in the middle of historic Charleston! I love those coincidences that are really God-incidences!

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    3. Missy, we stay in the historic district so we can walk everywhere. This trip we walked over seven miles each day. Thankfully, the weather was perfect!

      Our trip was last minute and a lot of the hotels were filled because of Easter break and a big race the city hosted the day after we left. We enjoy experiencing new hotels. We've stayed at The French Quarter Inn twice, Meeting Street Inn, The Mills House, the Doubletree, King Charles Inn, the Francis Marion hotel, and this time we stayed at Indigo Inn that, thankfully, had an opening. The staff was gracious and the rooms were lovely. As I mentioned, the courtyard was delightful and the breakfasts and afternoon refreshments were all yummy!

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    4. Debby, thanks for the recommendations!

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  7. Thank you so much for sharing your photos! I loved "traveling" with you for a bit. I agree that travel is SO helpful for a brain restart and for refueling the idea tank. I need to research my area more as I moved a couple of years ago and in the throes of home educating children etc, haven't looked at the offerings close enough. I'm sure there are many neat things to see nearby! I did get to go on a dream anniversary trip to P.E.I Canada last autumn with my husband and it was just wonderful. But it's smart to really search closer to home for gems! Thanks again for sharing! So lovely! I loved especially the stone to step out of the buggy. *shivers* History is so wonderful!

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    1. Oh, Amy, P.E.I. is my dream, too!!

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    2. Amy, I enjoy short trips sometimes more than long vacations. Just a day or two away can provide relaxation without being overwhelming. Even a one-day excursion can prime my well and renew my inspiration. After a trip, I relive the memories and enjoy looking back almost as much as experiencing the trip in real time.

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  8. What a charming area! Thanks for sharing. We may need to look at a family trip out there. Our goal is to take the girls to all 50 states before graduation this area would be amazing with all its history and it being coastal. :)

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    1. Michele, what a wonderful goal for your family!! That would be really exciting to hit all 50 states!

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    2. Michele, what an interesting and educational goal for your family. I've been to a lot of states but not all of them. Think of the wonderful memories you'll create for your girls!

      The East Coast abounds with history and enchanting destinations that are sure to please. Happy traveling!

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    3. We also have a goal of visiting all the states. Alaska and Hawaii will likely be our last to reach.

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    4. Sandy, how many have you visited so far? I need to count the states I've visited. Maybe I should add that to my bucket list. :)

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  9. Thank you for the reminder with a day trip can do to rekindle the creative juices, Skyline drive here I come. I loved your pictures.

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    1. Vickie, are you talking about in Virginia?

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    2. Vickie, I can see the mountains in my mind's eye! Enjoy your drive. Come home refreshed and ready to write! Hugs!

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  10. Debby, your visit to Charleston sounds so refreshing! No wonder it stocked your creative well!

    I'm in serious need of a day trip into the Black Hills. This has been a long, cold winter for everyone and cabin fever is beginning to rear it's ugly head. :-) But now that the evenings are getting longer, we don't even have to wait for the weekends - we can just pack a picnic and drive to a scenic spot for a quiet supper.

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    1. Picnics are special family times. I love when we turn off the world and focus on one another, such as during those short trips that renew not only our creativity but also our family bonds.

      I would love to visit the Black Hills. May I go with you? :)

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    2. You're welcome any time! :-)

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  11. Debby, what a fabulous post! Yes - prime the writer's well! It's so important to step away from our offices from time to time (this said as I'm planted firmly in my chair this morning, but...)

    As much as I love crafting and creating, I realize I need to do a better job at self-care, as well as allowing myself more R & R. I do try and visit the library often, and of course, bookstores and coffee shops draw me.

    Your photos of Charleston are beautiful! I'm not an oyster fan, but I LOVE pralines. Mmmm... :-)

    Would love to have been a little bird on your shoulder as you visited - thanks so much for letting us live vicariously through you. Congratulations on your respite AND the release of Amish Rescue! Wish I could come to your book signing!

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    1. Hi Cynthia,
      I enjoyed your mention of self-care, which is so important. Writing is a strenuous profession...on the body from sitting at computers for extended periods of time and also on the mind since we need to keep producing. Many of us need to learn to "play" more and to take good care of ourselves, as you mentioned.

      Julia Cameron in her book, "The Artist's Way," writes about making a play date with yourself. Years ago when I was working toward publication, I reserved Friday afternoons for play. I need to incorporate that into my life again.

      Thanks for mentioning AMISH RESCUE! I'd love to see you at the signing! If only!

      Hugs!

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  12. Love your pics of Charleston, Debby....and I love Charleston! Dau. lived there 6 yrs., and we made many fun trips.
    Count me in for your giveaway...THANKS!

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    1. Jackie, that's the beauty of having kids in cool places!

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    2. Six years of trips to Charleston...how fun, Jackie! It is a unique city, and no matter how often I visit, I always find something new that brings me joy! This time, spotting the dolphins in Charleston Harbor was a lovely first!

      Also I loved the hotel courtyard. The weather was perfect, and enjoying breakfast outside was a delightful way to begin each day.

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  13. Great post, Debby. The Charleston photos are AMAZING!

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    1. Hi Caryl, where do you go to be refreshed and nourished?

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  14. I LOVED your post, Debby! Makes me want to visit Charleston again.
    My husband and I took a delightful weekend trip there a couple of years ago, and my favorite sight was Rainbow Row---maybe it's the kindergarten teacher in me (LOL) but I enjoyed seeing those lovely pastel colors.
    Looks like you had a wonderful trip, and that photo of you with Max the horse is precious!

    My very favorite spot to visit is still Jekyll Island, on our Georgia coast. It's not crowded, and history abounds there! My family and I never tire of walking in the historic district and seeing the millionaire's "cottages" from the Gilded Era. The huge Live Oak trees draped with Spanish moss always capture my attention too---it's a special place that we love.
    Thank you for sharing your Charleston trip with us, and I hope to see you at your booksigning! :)
    Hugs, Patti Jo

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    1. Patti Jo, I long to go back to Jekyll Island. We've only visited once, but we were amazed at the beautiful beaches without swarms of tourists. Often we were the only ones enjoying the sun and sand. It's a well kept secret, for sure!

      Can't wait to see you! Thank for you making the effort, especially with all the afternoon traffic. Expect hugs! :)

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    2. Patti Jo, I agree! We love Jekyll. I've even chaperoned a middle school trip there with one of my kids and still enjoyed it. haha

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  15. I have always wanted to visit Charleston. Perhaps one of these days.

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    1. I hope you get there, Wilani! It's a lovely city!

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  16. I have been to Charleston SC myself with my daughter, we really enjoyed our visit. We have not made it to Savannah Georgia as of yet. My daughter's name is Savanna and I have told her that we are going to go visit and do some site seeing and eat at all the location that server the best Sea Food. We have traveled the Northern State's and have been to the Bahamas. We did Love to travel, now I am a grandmother of a three year old so that has slowed my daughter down. My daughter told me to find me a good friend to do my traveling with now. I am interested in reading your Amish Books ❣️ I am so glad I have ran across them and your site. Maybe someday I can catch up with you at a signing. Thank you.

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    1. Lisa, we're so glad you stopped by!

      Traveling with your daughter sounds so fun! It won't be long before the grandkids will be old enough to travel with you. :)

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    2. Lisa, I'm so glad you found Seekerville. We love readers!

      It sounds like you've seen a lot of the country. I hope you and your daughter get to Savannah in the not-too-distant future. Like Charleston, it's steeped in history!

      Finding a travel buddy would be perfect! As I mentioned earlier, our church sponsors trips and one of the nearby towns does as well. Lots of ladies enjoy traveling with a girlfriend, especially when their own children are tied up with family obligations.

      I look forward to seeing you someday in person, Lisa! We never know what God has in store for us and how our paths might cross.



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  17. Oh Debby you make me want to go on vacation. I love those old huge homes. Absolutely gorgeous.

    I'm fascinated w/the smallest details. Simple things like the town in Wisconsin were my brother-in-law is from the streets were made extra wide so a team of ? horses could turn around. I don't remember the number of horses but it was a decent amt.

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    1. Visiting a place always makes it comes alive to me, Connie. Sounds as if you feel the same way. Love the detail about the extra wide streets. A nice "extra" for a story set in that area!

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  18. What a great post, Debby! Charleston looks as though it just invites people to come relax in fern-banked gardens and evening strolls before dinner though oaks with Spanish moss--much like Savannah. Any place that lets you recharge and nurture yourself a little is worth taking the time to visit--your creativity will increase.

    The beach is my go-to place to let go of stress and recharge. I never get tired of hearing the waves lap the beach, or watching another sunrise/sunset, or catching the briny scent in the breeze.

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    1. Darlene, I guess it is the repetitive sound of the waves that help relax me and inspire so many of us!

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    2. Hi Darlene, I find the water so soothing and I always feel close to the Lord when I'm at the beach! But short trips refresh me as well. I especially like historic destinations.

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    3. Yes! I feel so close to God at the beach--Genesis tells us He made the seas early on as He prepared the way for Man, whom he wants relationship with. That is the God of Love.

      Short trips really help, no matter if they are several hours away from home or only an hour. They change things up for us. I too love historic places--I can always see myself living in those times and identifying with the lifestyle.

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  19. Such beautiful advice. I would love to walk the streets of Charleston with you!

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    1. Erica, you should come! I just checked, and it's about a 5 hour drive from me. Not too bad! I should definitely plan something.

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    2. You would love Charleston, Erica. Add it to your bucket list.

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    3. Missy, my brother now lives in Atlanta, so I will be down there from time to time. Savannah's getting closer to the top of the bucket list! :)

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  20. It looks beautiful; I would love to visit.

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    1. Pa-Dutch-Travel...I'm intrigued. Do you enjoy traveling to Amish destinations? Are you a travel guide? So glad you stopped in today, but would love to learn more about you!

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  21. Have only been to Charleston through books. But you authors open up the world to us, so thank you for taking these trips and blessing our lives.

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    1. Hi Patty! So glad you could stop by Seekerville today. I enjoy seeing photos from various places even if I haven't traveled to those destinations. I guess that's why we have the saying, "A picture is worth a thousand words." Seeing a spot through someone else's eyes is almost like being there!

      Plus, I love the travel channels on television. I always learn something new.

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  22. Hi Debby, thanks for sharing your pictures. Last year we went to Charleston with another couple who wanted to take a horse carriage tour. Our driver hit another carriage and a parked car. We laugh about it now, but it was a little disturbing. However, any day in Charleston is a good day.

    Congratulations on your new book! I'm always excited to read your books.

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    1. Oh, Jackie, how terrible to have an accident on your carriage ride. Hopefully, no one was hurt. Still, that's not what you want to have happen while on vacation.

      Thanks for your kind words about my stories, Jackie! Hugs!

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  23. Well it's on my bucket list didn't realize what a beautiful city it is.

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    1. Kim, it is a charming city. I know you'll enjoy seeing the sights and experiencing all Charleston has to offer.

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  24. Hi Debby:

    Do you think you can post some pictures of your book signing tomorrow like they do when at writing conferences? It would be fun to see what's happening as it is happening. Such events speak well of the romance community.

    Also I think tomorrow if an open Seeker day so you would not be stepping on anyone else's day just extending your day.

    Just an idea. If no one shows up, well then, just keep it on the QT. ;0

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    1. Vince, what a good idea! I love how you think, we've done that before with conferences, and NYE....

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    2. Especially New Year's Eve!
      Hundreds of comments!
      It's like church on Christmas and Easter!

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    3. Hi Vince!
      I post photos on Facebook during the signing. Unfortunately, I can't upload photos from my phone to the blog. The photos have to be transferred, via email, saved on my laptop and then added to Seekerville. All of which takes time, and I usually don't get home until later in the evening.

      I do, however, have a blogpost tomorrow on Love Inspired:A Story for Every Reader that talks about my signing and has photos of my last local book event. The post will go live at midnight tonight and can be found at https://craftieladiesofromance.blogspot.com/2018/04/a-grateful-writer.html

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    4. Hi Debby:

      I think this is the link you intended:

      https://craftieladiesofromance.blogspot.com/

      Now I need to go read it.

      Vince

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  25. I'm in late today, between trips... heading to see my sweet Southern grandbabies tomorrow and had to get some work done today....

    Debby, I love rejuvenating by seeing things! It's such a mind-cleanser. I used to dream about writing Amish stories and my kids would call me an "Amish Stalker" when we were in Amish communities but they fascinated me....

    Now I just love getting out and seeing things that aren't my norm.

    And history things. I love visiting old battlegrounds and imagining being that brave and bold and strong.

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    1. I agree, Ruthy! Always love stepping back in time at historic spots. How savvy and courageous our American heroes were...and are!

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    2. I've often wondered if the Amish resent all the tourists, especially during the time that Amish fiction has been so huge.

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    3. Ruthy, enjoy the NC grandkids!

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  26. Charleston is on my bucket list. And my trip out west.... and New Orleans (not when it's crazy....)

    And of course I always love visiting TN and KY!!!! Such beautiful states!

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    1. How far will you be from Charleston when you visit your grands? Close enough for a fast layover?

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    2. No, we're in the northern part of NC... and I think Charleston is a place that shouldn't be rushed. Rather, savored... Maybe next winter? What would be a good time of year, not too hot, Deb? March, maybe? We could go to Florida, see a couple of pre-season Yankee games, then Charleston, then grandkids, then back north.... We'll see, but that sounds like my kind of place to fall in love with....

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    3. Ruthy, I think April or September/October would be really nice.

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    4. Try to miss spring break though. We've gone in the winter...often we would go for the three day Presidents' Holiday when the kids were in school...and the weather was mild. Yes, we wore winter coats but there was lots of sunshine and warm afternoons. We've visited in the summer, but it is very hot then so the cooler seasons would be best. Prices go up over holidays too. Our week after Easter was high with hotel prices more than I expected. Had we gone the week following, the room costs would have been significantly less. Also hotels outside the historic area are less expensive if you don't mind driving and trying to find parking.

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  27. Fun post, Debby. I always love seeing pictures of your travels. I would love to visit Charleston someday as well as Savannah. That is almost the only area of the country I have never been to. I do love to travel around the country. A city in my part of the country that we love to visit is Kansas City. It has more fountains than Rome! It is a beautiful city with lots of interesting museums and places to visit. I am envious of those who live close enough to an ocean to visit often because I love oceans. But I am fortunate to live close to Colorado and be able to visit the mountains. I also feel fortunate to live a short day's drive from the Black Hills. There is a lot to be said for living in the middle of the country, even if we don't have oceans.

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    1. Nice facts to know about Kansas City and the fountains! Museums are always fun. Even the little ones in small towns. There's always so much to learn.

      I'm signing up for Jan Drexler's tour of the Black Hills. Information to follow. (Just kidding, but wouldn't that be fun!)

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  28. Great post, Debby! Thank you for sharing - beautiful photos! And congratulations on your new book!

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    1. Thanks, Laura! I know you have beautiful spots to visit in your part of the country!

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  29. Awesome pictures! I wish I lived near by for the book signing!!

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    1. Hi Jessy, I wish you lived close too! Thanks for stopping by Seekerville today! Hugs!

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  30. Hi Debby:

    Love the photos from all your trips!
    Such trips give travel an added meaning and interest above just the fun of adventure.

    I have a suggestion that may help to maximize the benefits of travel for the writer.

    Use a smart phone to record locations that you might want to use in a story. Five sense the narration as you film. Mention the wind, temperature, what you are smelling, hearing, and feeling. Try to discern the almost hidden sense impressions that are supressed by the more obvious ones. What does San Francisco bay water smell like? When smelled up close or on a boat and when more than a mile away. Can you notice a difference? Can you hear birds in the distance? Can you hear or smell anything that is a surprise to you? Readers like surprises that make them feel smarter for having read fiction.

    For example: when I was up in a hot air balloon I could not hear the wind or feel the wind but I could hear dogs barking for miles around. On the ground I probably would not have noticed the barking but above the city it seems like hundreds of dogs were barking. This was not what I expected at all.

    That's what makes good observation in fiction and makes the reader feel the story is authentic.

    It's important to make these 5-sense observations at the time. In the past I've come back from trips and could not remember most of these type of observations. That's because many of the most interesting sense impressions are not memorable. That's what makes them interesting. A reader who has been there may think, "Now that I think about it, I remember how..." What a way to bring back the experience of seeing St. Mark's square in Venice to the reader who was there.

    Question: What does it smell like in an authentic Amish home. What sounds would you hear? Which of these would surprise a reader?

    Just some late night ideas.

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    1. You're so right about capturing those special thoughts and sensations when they occur, Vince. Too often, I think I'll remember. Of course, I don't!

      The burning fuel in the oil lamps is a smell common to Amish homes as well as the good scents from the freshly baked items. Because many live on farms, there would be lots of flies--not something to write about--and the heavy scent of manure. Again, not what I add to my stories. :)

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  31. Wonderful pictures thank you.

    I do like to head to The Sunshine Coast. Put my feet in the ocean.

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    1. I would love a virtual tour of Australia, Mary Preston, with pictures of the Sunshine Coast. :)

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  32. You are so right, Debby. Visiting some historic locations is a great way to get creative floods flowing. With our family ministry, I have the opportunity to travel frequently and visit historic or scenic sights along the way. This has been a great blessing in many ways. I try to catalog the experience as best I can in case I can use it, or the knowledge gained, in a future work.

    Thanks for sharing your lovely pictures. I'd love to be entered in the drawing.

    Amber S.
    Visionwriter2 at gmail

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    1. Amber, you're in the drawing. How lovely that you can visit special locations with your ministry. Cataloging your experiences is smart. Did you read Vince's comments above? He agrees!

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  33. I've always wanted to go to Charleston! Now I really want to go. And now that I'm hoping to write some books set in the 1880s, I just might have to make it happen. Thanks, Debby, for these great pictures and for sharing your trip with us!

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    1. Melanie, it wouldn't be too far to travel. You could drive there in a day. It takes us about 5 1/2 hours from the ATL area.

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  34. Hi Debby:

    Just a heads up!

    I just called BAM to order some of your autographed books. They said they don't mail them out and they only had one copy of one of your books! They might have a million books but I hope you have books for today to sign. The sales lady did say there may be a box of your books somewhere but they are not in the computer inventory.

    Hope all is well and you have a big day.

    Vince

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    1. Vince, thank you for taking the time to call BAM. The books are probably in the manager's office. They don't put them on the shelf until I arrive, for whatever reason. The manager at the last signing said she would mail call-in orders. Evidently, the clerk manning the phone didn't get the info. As always, I'm grateful for your support!

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  35. It always helps to just get up and away from it all. You come back refreshed and ready to write. Have a great day!

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    1. So true, Vickie! Thanks for stopping by Seekerville. Hope you have a delightful day.

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  36. I was just joking to my husband the other day about wanting to find a way to visit Pea Ridge, AR. It's where my grandparents met and fell in love. Hard to write a story set in a place You've only heard about!

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    1. Hi Amy: Did you know that Pea Ridge has a National Military Park where an important Civil War battle was fought over two days and won by the Union. This was important in the North's win of Missouri. It's more than just a little town. Perhaps your grandparents went to tour the battlefield. I've been there twice. I hope you get there one day. You can read about it here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pea_Ridge_National_Military_Park.

      Vince

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  37. I would love to win your book. I love Amish stories

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  38. Hi Debby. My husband and I have often been limited in having long vacations so we have found that day trips in our state of Kentucky are enjoyable. There are many beautiful and historical places that offer us an enjoyable day away. Thanks for sharing your pictures and I look forward to reading Amish Refuge.
    Blessings!

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  39. Thank you for sharing so many of your great travel photos, Debby! I loved them :)

    May God bless you and all of Seekerville!

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  40. A good week at Myrtle Beach is always fun, though I often get up early to write.

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  41. I love this area. I haven't gotten to visit as often or stay as long as I'd like. One of these days though... :) Love the pictures.

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  42. I'm not sure I have a favorite place to visit, though Charleston looks delightful. As long as it's quiet and I don't have to do the cooking, cleaning, and chauffeuring of teenagers, I'm happy.

    Thank you for sharing your pictures. Did you notice the flag on the house with the stars is hanging backwards? Of course, if your standing on the porch looking at it, it would be hanging correctly. Funny thing about perspective.

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