Inspiration as Far as the Eye Can See


Boats as far as the eye can see…

Our house is about five minutes from the coast. If you’ve been reading my blog for very long, you know that for the first year I was blogging, I posted weekly videos of a nearby town beach on Cousins Island, a small island accessible by bridge. (All those videos are still on youtube!)

I stopped posting those videos (I think the winter did us in—that is, MEH (My Engineer Husband) and me—it was just too cold to stand out there in the bitter wind, week after week.), but I still go someplace on the water almost every day—either to take photos for Instagram or just to enjoy the view and observe the activity and wildlife and sometimes just the smell of the water.

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A lobsterman rows to his boat

Most mornings these days I’ve been going to the Falmouth Town Landing. What I love about the landing is that it’s home to commercial fishermen in addition to pleasure boats. In fact, it’s one of the largest boat “parking lots” in Maine, with over 1,110 boats at peak season.


Lobster traps on tidal flats (at high tide water will go almost all the way to the old boat house in the background)

I never know what I’ll see when I get there—baby ducks and lots of shore birds, people setting off on their sail boats, lobster boats, someone unloading bait for the day’s fishing, dinghies, dogs swimming in the water, children exploring the tidepools, and lots and lots of boats…and that’s just scraping the surface. This morning was no different.


The captain of the Nicolle Marie readies for a day of lobstering

It was busier than I’d ever seen it. Lobstermen were loading traps onto boats (the tourist season is heating up). I talked to a few of them about their day (and mine…we’ve had a lot of clouds and rain lately and they all commented on what great weather it is for photography).

After an hour at the dock I was (kind of) ready to come home to tackle the writing day… although I’d be lying if I didn’t admit there is a part of me that wishes I could stay all day to watch and soak in not just the sun but the flavor of life on the dock. One of these days I just might!

What are some of your favorite places to go for inspiration?



p.s. If you’re on Instagram and want to follow me (or even if you aren’t on Instagram, and you just want to check out my photo gallery) I’m @juliamunroemartin






  1. Micky Wolf says:

    So inspiring, Julia. I relate to your comment about “staying all day…” I’m many, many miles from the ocean. Probably a good thing as I might give in to the desire to spend a whole lot of (writing) time taking in the view, the smells, the breezes, the sky and the horizon…well, you get the idea. Apart from the ocean, my favorite places to go for inspiration include our back deck, walking in our quiet neighborhood, or hiking on one of the many trails (of varying difficulties) that are an hour or so from home. Your photos on Instagram are beautiful! 🙂

  2. Julia – Thank you for sharing these great photographs — I particularly enjoyed the Nicolle Marie.

    My creative muse is empty space (no “stuff,” “things,” or “clutter”). I work at a desk with two items on it:
    1. My laptop
    2. A tealight

    Before I light the wick I put a little handmade sign on the outside door handle that says: “There better be blood, flood, or fire.” My family knows I mean business.

    Once I light the wick, my buns are virtually glued to my seat (except for bathroom breaks) until the flame goes out of its own accord. I think of that flame as a both a “cheering section” and a writing contract.

    • Shary says:

      What a clever timer. It sounds a lot more pleasant than my kitchen alarm. I’ll have to try it your way.

    • I’m so glad you enjoyed the Nicolle Marie, Laurie — also my favorite! I love that your space is so spare. I’m working toward that. I have way too many things around me when I work, very distracting. So smart. The candle is a wonderful idea, thank you for the inspiration!

  3. Laura Ehlers says:

    Beautiful photos and I agree – there is nothing more inspiring than being on or near the water.

  4. Love the water. That’s one thing that annoys me about living in the Chicago suburbs. However, I do get downtown to Lake Michigan as often as I can, but it’s still not the same as an ocean. Our family vacations near oceans as much as possible. You are correct, it’s very inspiring. Hope your writing is going well.

    • I swear the first time I saw Lake Michigan I was floored that there were waves!! I had no idea a lake could be that big, but as you say… not quite the same as the ocean. How wonderful that your vacations are often near the ocean! My writing is chugging along, hope yours is too, Karen — nice to see you, thanks so much for the comment.

  5. I also love the ocean and miss it a lot here in busy Jakarta. I try to get away every three months or so, to Bali or Singapore to get a view of the horizon and breathe the ocean air. Love your pictures and I am happy to have found you on Instagram and then on twitter and now your website! What a treat to read your inspiring words and connect with a fellow writer!

    • I can tell you love the ocean, Lene — your photos of it are amazing. I love your photos as well and am very glad we connected on Instagram then Twitter and it’s so kind of you to come to my blog. Thank you. I agree, it’s wonderful and a treat to connect with a fellow writer!

  6. Lovely photos, Julia. I can almost hear the waves lapping the shore!

  7. “Sitting on the dock of the bay…” 🙂 It would be hard not to be inspired with that view. Thanks for bringing us along on your walk.

    Do you get a lot of tourists in your area?

    • This area does get quite a few tourists, particularly around the coast, but not as many as other (more touristy) places like Kennebunk and the islands and the further “downeast” areas like Boothbay, Rockland, and Mt. Desert Island. But it’s of course an area of conversation, when the traffic flares and supermarkets crowd up. Once a year we have a festival in our small town and the population swells from 8500 to almost 100,000. It’s pretty crazy times.

      Glad you were inspired by the view, wish you’d have been along in person 🙂

  8. What lovely photos! You’re lucky to live so close to the water; I’m very jealous. My prettiest spots nearby are small-scale, mostly just parks and such. There are a few great hiking places within an hour or two, though. Now I’m itching to go visit them!

    • Thank you so much, Annie! I do feel lucky, but I also miss the wide open plains and mountains (we used to live in CO). Parks are a wonderful place to go — I love them — for their open spaces but also people watching! And hiking… that’s wonderful that you have areas you can go and “get away.”

  9. Shary says:

    Fabulous photos.

    I love to take my notebook to places like that. I can’t work for a long time, but it feels so good to have a pen in my hand with nature as a soundtrack. I think I need to head out to the garden right now.

    • A notebook is a fabulous idea. I rarely do that now that I take my camera, but I should do it… as for nature’s soundtrack, you’re lucky to have your lovely private backyard. I wish these pics were taken in my backyard! 😉

  10. Nina says:

    Beautiful! And I love that we have been online friends for long enough that I can picture your winter shots in my head too. There’s such a sense of place on your blog. I know all of its seasons and look forward to them.

    • Thanks so much, Nina! I love that you can picture the winter too, that makes me feel so happy to think it’s been so long — I can hardly believe I’ve been blogging over three years and you were one of my early online friends. Thank you so very much for your kind words about the sense of place on my blog. You really made my day because I long for that sense of place and love that I can provide that here.

  11. I definitely like to be outside. It’s also great if I am unplugged. My body and mind relax when I’m outside so the words come easier. That’s my theory any way.