From Sandbar with Love

(Sunday, December 4, 2011, 11:06 a.m. EST, 45 degrees F)

Last week, after the weekly video showing the astronomical high tide, one of the commenters said this (after two weeks running of high-tide videos): “Dear Sandbar, I miss you. Love, Sara.” Thank you Sara Grambusch for that comment that made me smile! Sara’s a favorite blogger of mine, and you can read her posts here at her blog.

But first,watch the video—I don’t think you’ll be disappointed because even though it’s the beginning of December, at 45 degrees it’s still warm enough to enjoy a walk on the beach. And there are three people and a dog doing just that. And thanks to Sara I made a point of going to the beach overlook at lower tide!

I really enjoyed going out to the island this morning—connected to the mainland via bridge, the one we stand on to make the video. Not only was it beautiful as always, but it was wonderful to get out of the house. I’ve been working long hours editing at the dining room table, and the fresh air and sunshine felt really good.

But more than that, my WIP that I’m in the process of editing, takes place on an island in Maine. Getting out to a spot that is very similar to the one I’m describing in my book is just what I needed. I’m really happy with the progress I’m making, and the story is in the forefront of my mind all the time. That mini-working-vacation on the bridge is just what I needed to keep me on track and give me some writing inspiration.

Hope your writing is going well too—where do you go for inspiration?




  1. I love getting out anywhere in nature to clear my head and get inspiration, Julia. And sometimes reading a good book will do it for me too. So, I suppose reading a good book…while out in nature, would be the ideal. LOL!

  2. Beautiful video! It’s funny how you say it’s 45-degrees and still warm enough to walk. I hear 45-degrees and think THAT’S SO COLD! What a difference a coast makes. And I too love Sara’s blog.

  3. Cynthia, I LOVE the idea of reading a book out in nature for inspiration…. but maybe I’ll wait until it warms up a bit!

    Leah, It’s all POV, I suppose. I agree that when I lived in California, 45 would feel so COLD. But here? It’s downright balmy to have 45 degrees in December!

  4. I love the video today Julia – the sandbar, people and dog racing about look lovely. I’m like you Julia, I’m inspired by being out and about with nature, fresh air, trees and a good walk. It clears my head, feeds my soul and gives me a sense of perspective. So glad the WIP is coming on so well. Let’s hope the weather stays mild for you then you can keep getting out for well earned breaks!

  5. SANDBAR!! I’m glad you’re back but you look cold!

    Thanks for including me 🙂 I’m glad to hear your editing is going well. Being outside anywhere is usually a good place for me to get inspiration even if it’s not a location related to a specific story. There’s something about being outdoors and away from the desk that just allows for ideas to come through better. A lot comes to me while I’m driving. Once I took my laptop outside but it turns out the writing part I need to do at the desk! 🙂

  6. Dorette says:

    How absolutely beautiful, Julia! 45 degrees is perfect! (I say that as we were in Colorado recently and walked at 18 degrees, brrrrr) Nature is very inspiring, and my walks in NC clear the way to resolving some character issues while my feet are busy. All warm wishes for your work to be going well!

  7. Abi, Glad you enjoyed the video! I agree — I hope the weather stays mild. There’s nothing wrong with one or two bitter days, but more than that can be too much! And, as you say, time outside really does help us gain perspective.

    Sara, Of course I had to include you–your note last week was so funny! Driving helps inspire me, too…. but it’s hard to record things, even on the iphone. What do you do? And I realized I’d never tried writing outside (except with a paper and pen, but I think I agree, that would be hard! (p.s. thanks again for the inspiration!)

    Dorette, Glad you enjoyed the video, and I agree, 45 to 55 is about perfect, especially if it’s sunny. We used to live in Colorado, so I know what you mean about it feeling super cold there–the air is so dry and at 18 it is bitter. Unfortunately, we’ll be there in Maine, too, very soon. You’re lucky in NC where you’re able to get outside comfortably year round — is that true?

  8. Becky Sain says:

    Oh… I definitely think it’s important to get out and find your inspiration, and what better place than nature? Lucky you have your inspirational place handy! Good luck.

  9. Lisa Ahn says:

    So glad your writing is going well 🙂 As for me, I usually get inspiration while I’m walking the dog or driving around in the car. Usually when I don’t have a paper and pencil, or can’t stop to write! I just repeat whatever it is over and over until I can write it down. A little glimpse of my crazy there.

  10. So happy your WIP is top-of-mind and that your ‘real’ island is inspiring your fictional island. I think there is nothing better than a brush with nature – esp. when it will be portrayed in your novel – to get the creative juices flowing.

  11. Loved the video and I missed it as well.

    My inspiration comes in dreams. Sounds corny but when my mind is clear and my subconscious has space to breathe, good things happen.

  12. Ann says:

    WoW! There are no words to describe how COLD it looks! Especially after returning from the Bahamas and Miami! BRRrrrr! Today it was 70F and we were in jeans and long sleeve shirts….and I carried a jacket!

    I get my inspiration mostly from reading cookbooks. Every once in a while a dish will literally POP in my head and I know I’ve gotta make it!

  13. Becky, I feel incredibly fortunate that I have such an inspirational place close at hand. I hope you have a lovely place to go and find your inspiration as well — thank you so much for your comment & nice to see you on my blog!

    Lisa, You have no idea how many times I’m in exactly your shoes — in the car or walking the dog and I come up with an idea! I now use my iphone’s recording device, but it’s far from ideal or sometimes I even forget about it. And then I do the same thing you do: repeat it over and over again, but often with the same results as a game of telephone! So if you’re crazy that way, then me too!

    Melissa, Yes, I’ve got WIP on the brain…. and the real island is definitely inspriring the fictional! I know we have that brush with nature inspiration in common. It’s incredible what a little fresh air and change of scene will do, isn’t it?

    Suzie, Glad you enjoyed the return of Sandbar! It doesn’t sound corny at ALL to be inspired by dreams! Usually I’m so zonked out that I don’t remember mine, but I wish I did — what a wonderful way to clear the mind and even come up with ideas!

    Ann, If this video looks cold, Ann, stick around. It was BALMY yesterday!! Oh my goodness, 70 and long pants? I can see why you’d do that after the Bahamas — but with our weather you probably will understand why many Mainers retire to Florida. Wait until there’s SNOW on that sandbar. Then it’s BRRR for sure. I remember you saying before that cookbooks inspire you–very cool–and the dish popping into your head sounds very much like my writing inspirations! (p.s. welcome home!!)

  14. Emma Pass says:

    You live in such a beautiful spot, Julia. I love seeing your weekly videos.

    I get inspiration in many different ways: getting out with The Hound into the fresh air, listening to music, reading or watching a film. And sometimes I find deliberately ignoring my WIP – giving it time to percolate while I’m not looking – can lead to inspirational moments as well.

  15. Emma, Thanks! So glad you enjoy the weekly videos — making them has really helped me slow down to really see and appreciate the natural beauty around me! I so agree that the deliberate ignoring or accidental ignoring while percolating can lead to inspirational moments! Very helpful to just let it be, right?

  16. I am right with Cynthia. I often get inspired by being outside or reading a good book. Sometimes I will even find inspiration while watching a beautiful movie or hearing a song.

  17. Girl Parker says:

    My goodness, that video is relaxing! I love it. I don’t go anywhere special for inspiration, but something just happened that gave me chills. When we took my visiting brother-in-law down to Seattle’s Pikes Market to look around, I took my new camera to play with. I snapped a few pics of the flower vendors, mostly Asian women of all ages, and discovered I took a picture of the teenaged girl in my WIP. It’s Mai, exactly her. I get chills every time I look at it. YAY!

  18. Jolina, Another outdoors/reader inspired writer!! Exciting! And that’s so great that songs and movies can inspire you too! I’ve found that my kids really inspired me, so I’ll be curious what you find with Baby Girl!

    Girl Parker, That is so cool about Mai! I don’t know if you read my post a few weeks ago about how I was in Trader Joe’s one day and saw one of my main characters (who worked at Trader Joe’s)?! So I know how exciting that is. I didn’t have the courage to take a pic but another week later we were there and my husband DID take a pic for me! It’s very very weird when that happens, exciting! And, as you say, inspirational, too!

  19. Jamie says:

    I can’t see the video on your blog??? Is it just me? If so, very sad for just me. My writing is stalled…long writing that is. I do freelance things to keep a little money coming in but I want to create something longer…Glad your break was inspirational.

  20. Jamie, Oh no! I’m sorry you can’t see the video (and I’m afraid it IS just you 🙁 It’s quite lovely but if you look at previous weeks, they’re just about the same 🙂 especially 10/16/2011. Haha. You’re lucky you have some freelance opportunities! I would love to do more freelance writing — I’ve had a dry spell — which is exactly why I’ve had time and inspiration to write longer stuff! Isn’t life so funny that way! Hope your video problems clear up!

  21. Jacquelin Cangro has left a new comment on your post “From Sandbar with Love”:

    You know, I just love these videos. They are so calming. A downside of living in the city is that I don’t often get to interact with nature in such solitude. There are parks, but always filled with hundreds, if not thousands of people.
    I’m glad to hear that you’re making progress on your WIP! Keep up the good work.

    Jackie, I’m glad you enjoy the videos…. I know exactly what you mean about nature being different when surrounded by lots of people… I enjoy that solitude too so it’s nice you can feel it through the videos! And thank you for your support and encouragement on the WIP!

  22. Great post!

  23. Aisha says:

    How absolutely lovely!!! For me, coffee shops are my go-to for inspiration, so many people doing all sorts of different things, its the best place to people watch which always inspires me to write!

  24. Christine, Glad you enjoyed the post! Thanks for your comment and for your visit to my blog!

    Aisha, I’m glad you enjoyed the lovely view! That’s wonderful that coffee shops inspire you–I know what you mean about the vairety of people to watch, so great, I’ve found several characters at my local coffee shop 😉

  25. Susan says:

    I need to get down to the beach for inspiration, as your video reminds me. We live three miles from the Atlantic Ocean and five miles from the Chesapeake Bay, and I haven’t seen either one in a couple of weeks. I’m getting very lazy these days.

  26. Susan, We live about 5 minutes from where we take the video — and near other amazing spots too (like you!). One of the reasons we started making the videos was so I’d go to appreciate the natural beauty all around. So relaxing and inspirational, but in the course of daily life I rarely slow down long enough or make the effort to really see it. So I know EXACTLY what you mean! Hope you make that trip soon!

  27. There comes a point in any writer’s life that it’s just time to escape to somewhere! Outside, or into another book, it doesn’t matter. It rejuvenates and refreshes us. 😀 Even better that you can make a strong connection to your story through the places you visit!


  28. Ashlee, I agree: rejuvenation and refreshment from escape is so essential!! And, as you say, definitely doesn’t hurt that I can connect to my story through visits to that spot! Is there someplace that you can go for that connection to place?

  29. Not so far! I have two stories set in real-world locations; one in Maralinga, Australia, and another in Ikaho, Japan, neither of which I’ve visited in person. It would be pretty interesting and exciting to compare the research I’ve done for those places with actually being there and experiencing the unique energy everywhere has. 🙂