I’ve been waiting 2-weeks to write this post. It’s not that the creative juices have been absent. If anything, new ideas have been exploding in my brain. It’s that I wanted to have a chance to take it all in before I put my thoughts to paper. As I sit at the Port of Barcelona, the final destination of my adventure, it seems like just the right time. In the last fifteen days, I’ve visited Italy, France, Monaco, Spain, and multiples cities within each country. I can’t say I’m full, because if I could pause my ‘normal life’ I would spend many more weeks or even months here, but I’ve been amazed, awed, and charmed by everything I’ve seen and experienced.

As a writer, it’s my job to study and analyze people, gestures, mannerisms, and voices (at least that’s the excuse I use when I try to justify my ‘staring problem’). But where the plot concepts continue to sprout and swirl in my head, the faces of the characters have somewhat come to a standstill. That’s no longer the case. I have a whole new set of faces, styles, voices, and attitudes that are excited to make their way onto my pages and they’re all influenced by the Italian, French, and Spanish people I met and saw during this trip.

I was told before I left that I would be inspired. They weren’t kidding…

Does this mean my next book will be a romance novel based in Tuscany or the Riviera? HA! I think you know me better than that. But besides the history, culture, cuisine, incredible creations by Michelangelo and Gaudi that I’m taking away from this trip, I’m feeling a brightness that you won’t see in Memoirs Aren’t Fairytales or the unnamed sequel. Dark will always have a place in my novels. But I may aim for red velvet instead of charcoal.

I’m leaving Europe with some of the most memorable experiences I’ve ever had, but I know I will be back sooner than later. And I’ll forever be influenced by the pure beauty and aroma of Italy, the sharpness and clout of France and Monaco, and the modernism and nature of Spain.

It’s time to cross the pond again, my friends, and there are some *exciting* things waiting for me on the other side.


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14 Responses to Reflections…

  1. John Hardy Bell August 25, 2011 at 12:53 pm #

    Red velvet – I like it! We’ve certainly missed you on this side of the pond and look forward to having you back! I know there will be lots of great work to come!

    Hopefully you have a LOT of pictures to show! ;)

    • Marni Mann September 1, 2011 at 12:01 pm #

      Red velvet with cream cheese frosting! Mmm, I’m suddenly starving!
      Thanks, John! :)

  2. Jason McIntyre August 25, 2011 at 1:52 pm #

    Sounds AH-mazing, Marni! Bring me a bottle of wine, wouldja? ;) Seriously, welcome home, great that you have found such inspiration and, well, near divinity out there.

    j. //

    • Marni Mann September 1, 2011 at 11:59 am #

      It was, Jason, it was! I wish I would have gotten your comment before I left Europe, because there would be an incredible bottle of Italian red in the mail right now!

      Thanks for the kind welcome home! It feels good to be back, but if I was handed another plane ticket this morning, I’d be writing this from 35,000 feet.

  3. Christin Mowery August 25, 2011 at 2:56 pm #

    It sounds like you’ve had a wonderful time! You’ve learned about several different people, their customs and mannerisms, as well as enjoyed some beautiful places that were previously unknown. I’m sure you will come back inspired. :)

    • Marni Mann September 1, 2011 at 11:55 am #

      Hi Christin – thanks so much for your comment! :) Yes, it was quite the experience and I had a wonderful time. I’m definitely inspired – now I just need to find the time to write! :) Hope you’re doing well, my friend! <3

  4. povertyanddeath August 25, 2011 at 4:36 pm #

    mmmmm Europe sounds like a different world. I can only imagine it. Awesome that you had tis fabulous trip!!

    • Marni Mann September 1, 2011 at 11:54 am #

      Thank you! :)
      You crack me up! Not just a different world, I felt like I was on a different planet. And in comparison, ours is ugly! :)

  5. nanhinchliffNancy Hinchliff August 25, 2011 at 6:55 pm #

    I was a teacxher for 30 years, before I became an Innkeeper and had the opportunity to travel for many summers. My first trip to Europe made a similar impression on my. I was fortunate enough to return several times revisiting some of my favorite places and checking out new. I can hear in your “voice” the unimaginable effect (to some) your trip has had on you. It gave me a wonderful feeling of old ennui and of “knowing” I’m sure this will have an effect on your writing. Welcome home.

    • Marni Mann September 1, 2011 at 11:53 am #

      Thanks for your comment, Nancy! :)
      As funny as this may sound, I feel like a different person now that I’ve returned. Traveling is my passion and I’ve been all over the world, but Europe was a much different experience for me. Maybe it’s because I’m ‘older’ and I have a different appreciation for things? Anyway, I’m glad we share some of the same experiences and impressions. It’s nice to know I’m not alone! :)

  6. Gemm a August 26, 2011 at 11:12 am #

    I am so jealous as i sit here in Brewer Maine doing tax returns!

    • Marni Mann September 1, 2011 at 11:47 am #

      Oh no! :)
      I highly recommend Europe, Gemma, if you haven’t already been. I’m sure mom will tell you all about our trip.
      Thanks for your comment! :)

  7. Junying August 28, 2011 at 5:41 pm #

    What can I say, Marni?

    So lovely to have met and I look forward to hearing what you have to say about each of these beautiful places you’ve visited, especially Monte Carlo :)

    Hope the jetlag will be over soon while the wonderful memories of Europe remain forever in your big heart :)

    • Marni Mann September 1, 2011 at 11:49 am #

      I’m getting my notes and travel journal together, so many more ‘reflections’ to come! You’re so right, Europe will always remain in my heart and it makes me wonder, will anything ever compare to Italy? Those are big shoes to fill! :)

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