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.