Right now I'm sitting in a lovely row house on arguably the most quaint street in the world - East Jones St. in Savannah, GA. Yes, the same East Jones St. from Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, home of Clary's Diner and Mrs. Wilkes Boarding House, and feet away from 22 beautiful moss-laden live oak filled squares. Nothing, and I seriously mean nothing is more picturesque than Savannah.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words. Well, John Berendt thought picture perfect Savannah was worth an entire novel. Savannah represents all the enticing flavors of the South. It's the most inspiring place I've ever been.
The other afternoon, my husband and I were sitting in Oglethorpe Square, I think, and he suggested I close my eyes, take in the sounds, and build a story around what I heard. Just at the moment a carriage was passing by, and the horse's shoes clanked on the brick street. A bird squealed in the background, which sounded like a young girl's scream. Yet further in the distance, I heard a violin being played (probably from a neighboring park). It was about five o'clock in the afternoon and still brilliantly lit, but when I closed my eyes, it was night 150 years ago, and a snarky man in a suit took over my mind and told me a story about a curious family and their extravagant parties and homes. Nothing new in Savannah, of course, but there was something more to this family than wealth. One night, one murder, and one mystery was born. Crazy enough, I had a title for this story almost three months ago. Before I'd ever met Jasper (the snarky man in the square). It came to me during a poetry reading at a book festival and has been tucked away awaiting its story until now.
My husband recently read an article about the importance and success of writer's retreats. He forwarded it to me and has since insisted that I attend one. He's amazingly encouraging and is the driving force behind everything I do, so I've been looking into it since. I've spoke to a couple of my writer friends, and everyone has had nothing but good things to say about them. I'm now convinced that Savannah will be on my list for a future writing retreat.
-Written August 2nd, 2013.
-Photo by Favim.
Has a place ever inspired you?
Have you been on a writer's retreat and found it productive?