USA, Writing

Writing Inspiration | Cedar Key, Florida

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Nothing beats a beautiful sunset.

When I was thinking about the setting for my cozy mystery series, The Mollie McGhie Cozy Sailing Mysteries, my thoughts turned to our time visiting Cedar Key on the northwest coast of Florida. It’s a cute little tourist town full of historical sites, fun shops, inviting restaurants, and art galleries, all surrounded by the water.

I based the fictional town of Coconut Cove in part on Cedar Key. They both have palm trees and coconuts scattered about.

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Nice place to sit and watch the boats anchored nearby.

You can charter boats and go out on fishing trips. Competition between fishing charter businesses plays a big part in the second book in the series, Bodies in the Boatyard.

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I love the fish signs.

There are lots of great places to stop and have a drink. I can’t remember the name of this place in Cedar Key, but the local bar in the fictional town of Coconut Cove is the Tipsy Pirate.

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There’s nothing better than a cold beer on a hot day.

Sailboats anchor near Coconut Cove, just like they do in Cedar Key.

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Buildings on the waterfront.

And no town — fictional or real — would be complete without a few cats hanging about.

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Nothing was going to disturb this kitty’s nap.

If you want to read more about our visit to Cedar Key and the surrounding area, check out this post on my other blog, The Cynical Sailor.

What inspires your creative pursuits?

MM & BB Sailing Deadly Graphic

 

USA, Writing

Writing Inspiration | Other-Worldly Landscapes

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Surreal colors on the Blue Mesa trail at the Petrified Forest National Park.

In addition to writing cozy mysteries, I also dabble in sci-fi and fantasy stories. It might seem like a strange combination of genres, but I love to read and write both. I’ve also managed to incorporate my love of sci-fi into my cozy mystery series in a humorous way with the occasional investigation of alien abductions and unexplained lights.

In 2014-2015, we traveled from the west coast to the east coast in the States in search of our next sailboat. Along the way, we visited some of our amazing National Parks where I discovered landscapes that seemed so surreal that at times I thought I was on another planet.

Yes, I have an overactive imagination. But if you saw these rock formations, wouldn’t you wonder if you had been transported someplace else?

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Hoodoos at Arches National Park

These remind me of an evil version of tribbles. You know, those cute furry things from Star Trek that reproduce like crazy?

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Cholla cacti in Joshua Tree National Park.

Aliens have definitely landed a spaceship here.

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Salt flats at Death Valley National Park

Traveling not only opens up one’s mind and broadens one’s perspective, it also sparks the imagination. I’ve got a million story ideas bubbling away just looking at these pictures.

What inspires your creative pursuits?

 

USA

Tiny Living in a 13′ Travel Trailer

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When people find out we live on a 34-foot sailboat, which has around 350 square feet of living space, they’re often flabbergasted that we can live in such a tiny space without killing each other. Then I tell them that we used to live in a 13-foot Scamp travel trailer, which has around 65 square feet of living space, and they’re dumbstruck.

We bought our travel trailer when we moved back to the States from New Zealand in search of our next sailboat. Originally, we had been camping, but sleeping in a tent, especially during heavy rain and cold weather, got old quick. Getting a travel trailer made life so much more pleasant.

Sure, it’s tiny, but it’s adorable. Like this kitchen area — small, but it has everything you need including a fridge, stove, and sink.

Scamp Kitchen

The bathroom is teeny. But at least it has a bathroom, complete with a shower. So much nicer than having to get up in the middle of the night and walk to the nearest bathroom when nature calls.

Scamp Shower

It has a dining area, which also doubles as a sleeping area by folding the table down.

Scamp Table

The good thing about travel trailers is that the outdoors is an extension of your living space. We had great times sitting outside, barbecuing something for dinner, and enjoying the scenery.

Scamper at Flamingo

We really enjoyed our time living in our tiny travel trailer and exploring the States from the west coast to the east coast. And, more importantly, we managed to do it without killing each other.

Do you enjoy camping? Could you live in such a tiny space with another person?