Turning Thirty in Turkey

I was given the gift of the travel bug at the ripe young age of eight. It dug deep into my heels and hasn’t wained since. When my fiance asked me what I wanted to do for my birthday, I replied, “Go to Istanbul to buy a Turkish rug on my thirtieth.” So we went and it was glorious.

We spent four days exploring the city. Istanbul is a history capsule for the crossroads of the east and the west.  We saw jewels the size of fists from Iranian dynasties and the Habsburg Monarchy, Viking graffiti inscribed in stones of a church last used as mosque in 1935, and a Harem that housed over 800 wives of a Sultan at a time.

To be sure, between sipping on mountains of Turkish tea, I was jotting down young adult novel ideas while trying to burn on my brain the smells of the gardens surrounding the mosques during the call to prayer. All the while, I was asking how my picture book character would handle a trip to Istanbul as a sloppy elephant. Apparently, I’ve also caught the writer’s bug pretty badly.

Having never been to a predominately Muslim country I left feeling exhausted with the amount I learned. I believe this (or possibly my allergies) has contributed to my sudden drought in creativity.  We are headed to Las Vegas on Wednesday for a six week stay. I’m hoping my time spent in a US library studying picture books will inspire story archs that are a bit less… cheese ball.  

The last revision process of my newest manuscript really took it out of me. Here is hoping that reading the greats and studying pacing a bit more (took Jodell Sadler’s pacing webinar, highly recommend) will spark more creative stories. 

On that note, I’ll leave you with some photos. Maybe they will inspire you! Looking forward to posting from the US. I can’t wait to get into a US library and start studying! 

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