Paris, and cities in general, inspire me. City life served as inspiration for my first novel “Paris, Rue des Martyrs” and my second, set for release this fall. But as we prepared for a few days on the Ile de Ré, I had the feeling that a new force was set to drive my creativity.
I had been to this idyllic place off France’s Atlantic coast in the past. Each time, I found it overwhelmingly beautiful, yet I always seemed to be immersed in one writing project or another. My mind wasn’t open to creation.
This time would be different. And it was. I took long walks along the shore, ran through fields of lawn daisies, rubbed shoulders with the “cheese producing” goats at a farm, browsed through antique books, shopped for local produce at the lovely open-air markets… All this without other preoccupations. All this with an observant eye.
The Ile de Ré offers many unforgettable surprises for those who take the time to observe…
I didn’t expect to see blooms on the famous “roses trémières” that climb up the striking green-shuttered white houses. They are an emblem of the island in all of its splendor. The image spells summertime, and April is a bit early… Still, with a hopeful heart, I roamed through the villages looking left and right. And victory: I discovered one!
On my first visit to the island a few years ago, an evening walk brought me face to face with lovely little glowworms. My first ever glowworm encounter.
And the island offers many delights for those who take the time to taste...
I’m convinced that the best melons on earth are grown on the Ile de Ré. It is as if the saltiness of the air amplifies their sweetness. Melons aren’t in season until July, unfortunately, but April is the perfect time for the famous Ile de Ré potatoes. And I was sure to eat more than my share. Along with the local “Fleur de Ré” goat cheese. The island is foodie heaven.
And all of these experiences make this wonderful place heaven for writers too.
I returned from the Ile de Ré with the scent of salt in my hair, the images of roses and the seaside in my mind and inspiration for a novel in my writing notebook. If only I could return to the Ile de Ré to write it!
But no, it’s back to reality and the multitude of tasks that I must juggle as a new writer: continuing to promote “Paris, Rue des Martyrs,” editing two other manuscripts that I completed over the past several years...
So I say to myself: Should I make time to start this new novel that I wrote in my mind as I explored the beauty of the Ile de Ré? Wouldn’t I be spoiling myself a bit? It almost would be like allowing myself another vacation, a return to the island in my heart and mind.
Should I let inspiration carry me off to a new adventure on the Ile de Ré?