I think I can speak for everyone who writes, but please correct me if I'm wrong, when I say that us storytellers never hit the 'off' button. It doesn't matter where we are, who we're with or what we're doing, if inspiration strikes then we grab it with both hands, open up the laptop and start typing or making a few scribbled notes at least!
Today is a prime example. I took my ever-so-patient daughter on a trip to her favourite place in the world - Norwich Castle Museum. It was my way of saying thank you for putting up with me being glued to the keyboard during half term as I race to finish the first draft of The Cherry Tree Cafe, but the trip wasn't just for her...
Museums are phenomenal places to visit if you're looking for inspiration and my trip today proves it. If historical romantic fiction is your thing then the Castle is currently hosting a spectacular Roman Empire special exhibition. I dare you not to be inspired when faced with imperial busts, armour, letters and even thongs... thong sandals that is.
However, it was another display that set my mind racing today. Before we headed up to the battlements my eyes fell upon another exhibit that I have been drawn to before. It is called the 'Cabinet of Compromised Curiosities' and contains all manner of tiny pieces that, because they are damaged or imperfect in some way, would otherwise not be deemed suitable for display. The objects are many and varied; fragments of china, damaged butterflies, a torn fragment of a sketch, tiny glass bottles...the list is endless. Below each piece, and this is the bit that really gets my creative juices flowing, is written the name of someone who was imprisoned in the Castle at one time or another.
So, not only is there an exquisite object to consider, there is also a name accompanying it. My daughter and I stood for just a few minutes but in that time we had come up with stories to go with at least half a dozen of the names and their accompanying object!
Needless to say I scribbled a few notes on the back of my museum ticket for future reference and am already looking forward to writing at least two or three short stories whilst I am 'between novels.' So, if you find yourself suffering from a bit of the old block I would suggest you pop along to your local museum and you'll be back on the writing track before you know it!