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I finally left California for the first time in four years or so. I tend to hunker down in an area (or, more specifically, my apartment) for long periods without change. The weather here is too pleasant and the city so immeasurable that the thought of leaving has rarely crossed my mind.

That said, I do love nature, which can be in short supply if your car conks out, and an opportunity to see a long-time friend in Colorado was an offer I had to lunge at.

The trip allowed for more than a chance to try some slopes or be a tourist in a headshop. As most authors can attest, finding inspiration can at times be difficult, and everyone sees their novels differently. I tend to rely on two main things for ideas: music and actual, real-world visuals.

Maybe the spark is because I mostly work in photography. You tend to see things in a different way after viewing the world through a lens. The way the light falls on a wall, the look of snow on a tree… things that I used to take for granted before picking up a camera. That new perspective can often inform and ignite new ideas or ways of thinking that would never have come otherwise.

We walked maybe a mile in the snow to the local light rail station. It was one of the best walks I’ve had in quite some time, a bunch of 30-year-old hoodlums laughing about video games and past girlfriends. Along the way, a few new story ideas came to me that I can’t wait to share with you (probably via Wattpad). Given our state of minds at the time, I made sure to note those story loglines in my phone. Apparently, going to Denver is also fantastic practice on making sure to write ideas down so you don’t forget them later.

I wish I could conjure images and descriptions easily through my mind as painters do with their brushes, but alas I need a channel. Thankfully, my creativity only needs little more than a walk in the snow.