Check back often for the rest of the journey.
The Beginning-The Journey Starts Here
The path to a book holds many inspirations. This page honors the journey taken through Northern Italy where I found so much inspiration for Beyond the Hidden Realm. I wish to extend my gratitude to a wonderful group of writers and travelers for helping me change “I wish I could write a book” into “I know I can write a book!” Also, a special thanks to Words in Play founder, Deborah Mckew, Poet Dianalee Velie, and Holly Walker from Compass Travel in New London, NH for creating such a fabulous writing retreat.
A trip to the past
The Medieval village of Carmine Superiore is off the beaten path, but a true relic of the past. Many pages of Beyond the Hidden Realm were written during a picnic lunch in this medieval gem.
On the first morning of our writing retreat at Hotel Cannero on Lago Magiorre, we awoke to brilliant sunshine. The true beauty of Cannero Riviera emerged as we sailed away from the hotel to a farm in the Northern Alps. I knew the day would be filled with beauty, but I had no idea I would find my vision of Belamour in the mountains.
Before I visited Italy, I had a clear image of Belamour. I was not expecting to see the image plucked from my thoughts, but the villages cradled against the mountains left me in awe.
The trip was filled with cute farm animals, feasting and just a little wine! I had planned to spend the day writing, but the sheer beauty left me speechless…and wordless. Maybe I still suffered from shock. I had created Foresight Maren’s farm and Belamour a few years before, but felt as if I had been plunged into my book. Instead, I decided to record every landscape detail in my journal and focus on my tastebuds.
A Day at the Farm Part Two…Saying Goodbye
My farm experience moved me in ways I never expected. The thrill of exploring the unknown merged with my fictitious world and inspired vivid imagery. Saying goodbye was tough, but I vowed to return one day, hopefully with a finished book.
It’s the small things that matter.
Our writing journeys took us to Lake Orta and Isola San Giulio. We fueled up on some local pasta (i.e. heaven on a plate) and then began exploring.
As a writer, I have found it is often the tiniest details that make a scene come to life. On this day, the details bombarded my senses. Upon our arrival on Isola San Guilio, we were greeted with a creepy cobweb door. Luckily, we avoided finding out what was behind it, but I can tell you the experience made its way into the book as part of the dungeons. The cobwebs flapped in the breeze and even though my stomach turned with pins and needles, I could not look away. After exploring the island, I found a comfortable spot at one of the wells and wrote the afternoon away!
A Return to the Mountains
During my 2011 trip to Italy, we flew from Zurich to Milan. Despite my exhaustion from the long journey, my first view of the Alps stunned me. I vowed to return some day, and during 2015 my wish came true.
Our trip started as a direct flight to Italy, but the memory of the Alps beckoned me . Instead, we flew into Zurich and drove the winding road to Italy. To say the trip was breathtaking is an understatement. In “The Kingdom of Belamour,” I write of the villager’s deep reverence to the mountains. For the first time, I truly understood what I had wrote about. Words cannot convey the beauty of the Alps. It was a mystical experience I will never forget.