Monday, May 24, 2010

A journey of imagination

I know it's bad form to foist your vacation pictures on the unsuspecting, but I did promise to share some of the highlights from our Bermuda trip last week.

This is the Commissioner's House on Bermuda and it was the view right out our cabin's veranda. I confess this fortress tickled my imagination. It was built in the 1820's by Irish convict labor. I kept wondering what would happen if the commissioner's daughter got tangled up with one of the Irish workmen. Sounds most improper and highly unlikely, but that's the fun thing about making things up. Anything can happen.

The three story structure is the first ever cast iron building and it has a wide veranda on each level. The views are spectacular, turquoise seas and a sweeping aspect of the scythe-shaped island. I'm taking a little rest on one of the benches, imagining my commissioner's daughter watching the brawny, sweat-covered workers toiling in the yard below. Just FYI, many prisoners were dropped off on Bermuda and allowed free run of the island if they gave their parole. There are hundreds of miles of ocean between them and the nearest mainland. Where are they going to go?

This lovely historic cathedral boasts the highest spot in Hamilton, Bermuda's capital. By law, no building can be higher than the bell tower of this Anglican church. My DH and I climbed the 155 steps to the top and so got our aerobic workout for the day. I wondered if a sympathetic priest might perform a secret wedding for my commissioner's daughter and her Irish lover.

We took a glass bottom boat tour to see some of the extensive reef system ringing the islands (Bermuda is made up of hundreds of islands, some of them no more than a foot of earth peeping from the waves). The water temperature was "refreshingly honest" so we opted not to snorkle, but this tour gave us a chance to view the different types of coral and colorful fish. We also saw a shipwreck that had been there 150 years and was being engulfed by the coral.

The dome shaped island in the background is called "Daniel's Head," formerly known as Devil's Head, and is the northern apex of the infamous Bermuda Triangle. I'm happy to report no one disappeared from our tour, but I wondered if a mysterious disappearance might not fit nicely into the saga of the commissioner's daughter and the Irish convict (who really isn't guilty, of course! He confessed to a crime he didn't commit to protect his brother).

Bermuda is one of the most remote island systems in the world, small pinpoints of land in an endless sea. It's also one of the most lovely. We wallowed in the joy of doing almost nothing in this gorgeous setting. Of course, my imagination is always churning, even when doing nothing.

Wouldn't this deserted cove be an excellent trysting spot for the commissioner's daughter and the Irish convict?

We had a fabulous time and now I'm scrambling furiously to finish TOUCH OF A THIEF (my first Mia Marlowe title) which is due June 1st. The end is near, but I also want to polish up the manuscript as well as I can.

Have you ever traveled someplace that suggested a story to you?


Gillian Layne said...

I love vacation pics! It's a virtual getaway for me. :)

The foggy Green mountains of Vermont always seemed like a great place for a story to me.

EmilyBryan said...

One of the things I must do is make it to Vermont soon. It's the one New England state I haven't seen yet.

Penny Watson said...

I love vacation pics! Isn't that turquoise-colored water incredible? My husband and I went to Bermuda for our honeymoon. It is so gorgeous there. Did you visit the botanical garden?

I agree with Gillian about Vermont being a great setting for a book! Emily, you haven't been to Vermont yet???? I am obsessed with that place...lived there for 5 wonderful years.

Welcome home,

Jane L said...

I am in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, visiting my daughter. I attended my first ever branding party yesterday. Whew! I might want to write a western after spending the day with real life cowboys!

Emily! I love the idea for your commisioners daughter story, sounds sooo romantic!

EmilyBryan said...

Penelope--Sorry, haven't been to Vermont yet, but my DH has and he says it's gorgeous.


No, we missed the botanical gardens on Bermuda. Oh, darn. Now we have to go back!

EmilyBryan said...

Jane--I LOVE Jackson! It's so gorgeous there. The mountains are phenomenal and the thin air is so sweet.

Westerns are a tough market right now, but what isn't? You should write what you love.

Jennifer Shirk said...

I remember taking the glass bottom boat tour too! Such cool pics!

I always wanted to do a book set in California wine Country. Maybe some day...

EmilyBryan said...

Jennifer--California wine country! Did you ever see the movie "A Walk in the Clouds" with Keanu Reeves? It's set in a vineyard. Great love story.

Maria said...

Thanks for sharing the pictures with us and the idea that you are toying with about the commissioner's daughter and an irish workman sounds like it could be a good book.

As far as a place that suggests a story to me? That would be the island of Puerto Rico...beautiful beaches and old world Spain charm.

EmilyBryan said...

Marie--One of my sisters honeymooned on Puerto Rico and she said it was beautiful.

Glynis Peters said...

Thanks for sharing Emily, I enjoy seeing holiday/vacation photographs.

I just love the way you get straight into a book idea with the first pic!

It was good to see you relaxing, even though your fingers must have been itching to write.

I have been inspired by Cyprus, in the form of writing poetry about it. A book has not appeared in my head yet, maybe one day.

Happy Scribbling.

EmilyBryan said...

Glynis--I can imagine how splendid Cyprus is. Someday.

Ok, now you'll all laugh. I ran the Commissioner's daughter and the Irish convict premise by Alicia Condon and she likes it for my Brava novella that'll be included in the IMPROPER GENTLEMEN anthology (July 2011)

You never know when or where the next story will smack you in the face.

Glynis Peters said...

So it was a working holiday after all!

Good on you, Emily. Improper Gentlemen sounds fun. :)

EmilyBryan said...

Glynis--Now if only there was a way to deduct the cruise as a business expense . . .

Glynis Peters said...

There must be a way! Try putting it in as essential research. ;0

librarypat said...

Every place I go suggests a story.
I don't write them, but I certainly make them up in my head.
Bermuda is on my list to visit. We were supposed to go to the Bahamas in 2 weeks or so as part of our vacation, but weren't sure our passports would get here in time. I didn't make the reservations and the passports came early. Another time. We will be seeing the Everglades and spend a couple of days on Key West - about the time the oil and probably a hurricane get there. Am looking forward to the break, my DH needs one.