A Writerly Blog
Are you a writer stuck in a genre that's tired? Do you want to branch out into something new? How about travel writing? If you love words, adventure and a desire to share your discoveries, with a possibility of free food, lodging and activities, travel writing is for you!
The How-tos of Travel Writing
Believe it or not, travel writing is much like creating a novel or magazine article. All good writing needs a hook, which is usually sentence or paragraph that draws you in, then follows with points or scenes that bring you though the piece in an orderly and engaging way, keeping the promises the title and hook offered.
But where do you begin? Your hometown, of course! There are numerous things to see and do where you live. Restaurants, shops, nature hikes, and museums are just the beginning. Ask your local chamber of commerce, library or historical society for ideas. And read this short article, 5 Tips for Travel Writing Success in Your Hometown.
Have a focus. “Three top places to enjoy the fall leaves in (your hometown)” "10 top restaurants that offer hygge atmosphere in (your hometown) this winter” are some suggestions. Everyone googles ‘best’ or ‘top 10’ when they are looking for places to go, so add yours!
Then pitch your idea to a local newspaper or magazine. Much advice for these steps and beyond are found at Great Escape Publishing If they agree to publish your article, that's when the fun begins.
Looking for more possibilities for publication? Try Midwest Living, GoNomad, Rovology, or Play, Stay, Eat. But here's the catch: before writing an article, reading well-written ones is a must. Subscribe to Afar's newsletter, check out Travel&Leisure from your local library, and any other popular travel magazine. Read voraciously, to get a feel for the voice and content of a great travel piece.
If you are looking for constant inspiration and mentorship, join ITWPA which offers classes, travel ideas, examples of travel writing, great photography and more. It's an organization which will give you guidance and credibility, along with a jounalist's pass all your own!
I've given you a quick introduction to travel writing, but it takes study and perseverance, Consider joining the groups above for support. One successful travel writer, Abi King, has a stellar website, Inside the Travel Lab and offers a newsletter that will give you a feel for the travel journalist's lifestyle. Be inspired!
Are you a travel journalist? If so, tell us your favorite location to write about. Have you considered travel writing? Let me know your thoughts below!
Where do you go when you have a hankering for New England, but need to remain in the Midwest? The Third Coast, of course! Oh, you've never heard of it? Well, neither had I until a friend pointed out that factoid. The travel industry also calls the Great Lakes the “Inland Seas.” Who knew?
I often interview authors who have published books similar to my genre—historical/Biblical fiction. But today, I'm not only interviewing a debut author whose novel is soon-to-be-published, but she writes YA Fantasy. It is probably the fastest growing and sought after genre, by readers and publishers alike!
Visiting the home of Juliette Gordon Low, the founder of The Girl Scouts in Savannah (1912) was truly an inspiration. Although this woman never achieved her dreams of a loving marriage and a house full of children, she found her passion in helping girls around the globe to realize their own dreams.
There is always a feeling of reverence and wonder when one visits a well-known author's home and gravesite. Especially if it has been the inspiration for a popular series in the past. I had that opportunity last month to visit St. Simons Island, GA, home of prolific author, Eugenia Price. And although I could only see her home from afar, walking on the property of the church she dearly loved, and paying my respects at her grave, I had a new appreciation for the term 'author'.
Has it been two years? Wow. Tempus Fugit!
As long as I'm celebrating The Heart Changer’s 2nd birthday, I might as well share some of the marketing images I've created on Canva. If you don't know about that site (no matter what your profession) you are missing out on an incredible resource! There are many tutorials to help you create an image. And best of all, it's free at a basic level.
There is nothing more delightful to a historical fiction author's heart, than a visit to an old city. It's intriguing and enlightening, and sometimes hilarious! People are people no matter which century they lived in.
Experiencing a bit of cabin fever lately? Maybe you live in a tropical climate and are able to get out any day at any time. Well, I'm honestly jealous. But if you live in the mid to far north hemisphere, winter is showing it's true colors. White and not-so-white.
Coupled with the coronacrisis lockdowns, it can be spirit-zapping!
Well, I decided I was going to get out for a quick morning walk Monday through Friday, and keep my eyes focused on my environment, no matter how bleak it seemed. Come along with me (leave behind your coats, boots and other winter accessories) and I will share my discoveries!
I was becoming a bit panicky when I had no word chosen for 2021 by Thanksgiving. Usually by then, a word presents itself. But not this time. It wasn't until things began to crumble, or at least take a different turn, that the word SURRENDER popped into my head.
What to do when you want to safely break away from your Covid routine before the holidays, but have few options? Well, Galena, of course! I love this historic town. It's our go-to getaway in a pinch. This year, due to the coronavirus, things look different - masks worn everywhere, 6 foot spacing encouraged, and limited dining options. But true to form, the town is beautifully adorned for Christmas. Yay!
Does History Inspire You?
We drove around the hilly neighborhood, enjoying the decked out historic homes. Galena dates back to 1826, and the buildings reflect the Civil War era - not surprising because this was General Grant’s home.
Who Doesn't Love a Hearty Breakfast?
One treat I particularly enjoyed was wandering in and out of Main Street shops, also delightfully decorated for the holidays. Lots of eye candy here! Not to mention this is one of my favorite boutiques - Carlotta’s Studio. I make sure to visit each time we are in Galena.
Dan’s favorite pastime is eating out - especially for breakfast. Below our cozy Airbnb was the owner’s restaurant, Big Bill’s. Their food was scrumptious and the double expresso strong and rich - just the way I like it!!
Historic Homes Become Restaurants
Our warm and inviting studio was perfect for our needs - a few minutes walking distance from the center of town, a big screen TV and electric fireplace for movie watching and a complete kitchen for cooking dinner. The above photo shows the red Galena brick walls so prevalent in this area. The images are of the flooding this town experienced in 2017, artfully snapped by our young landlord’s mother, Michelle. You can find her photos at Michelle Deiter Photography.
As I've mentioned, dining options were limited, but the De Soto House and it's three restaurants (for breakfast, lunch and dinner) were open! So, after taking pics of their stunning decor, we settled into a lovely meal, COVID precautions in force. Below is a slideshow of other interior images . . .
The Reason for the Season
I trust you are able, even in this season of lockdowns and political unrest, to find peace and joy - and hope. Immanuel - God is with us - in His Son, Jesus Christ. We need never fear, for He sees the past, the present AND the future. He is in control, and has a purpose for everything that comes into our lives. And someday, He will reign as King of Kings and Lord of Lords!
May you and yours have a Blessed and Merry Christmas and a Happy, Joy-filled New Year!!
My MG Biblical fiction "The Heart Changer" debuted in 2019 with Ambassador International.