11 Writers’ Paradises

I use “I’m a writer!” to justify haunting many eclectic and sometimes downright strange locations. I visited four of the below Eleven Writers’ Paradises today, so I guess you could say it was a successful Sunday! (And yes, I know 11 is a weird number for a list, but it is my favorite number so sorry not sorry.)

  1. Cemeteries: The older, the better. Read the tombstones, guess at the stories behind them, find an otherworldly peace in the quiet stillness, maybe- just maybe- have a competition with a friend to see who can find the oldest grave. And no, it isn’t creepy.
  2. Libraries: Follow the advice of countless authors greater than I (probably because they’ve actually been published…someday, Ryanne, someday…) and spend tons of time exploring labyrinths of shelves.
  3. Antique Malls: I visited one today that was absolutely delightful; there was eerie music box music playing, old clothes on busts that could easily be mistaken for ghosts from the past, cases of heirlooms, yellow-paged books, mismatched teacups to delight the Mad Hatter’s heart….I could easily have stayed forever and quite possibly turned into an antique there myself.
  4. Hipster Coffee Shops: Love them. If you have the choice between Starbucks and some quirky shop you’ve never been, go with the latter and NEVER order the same thing twice. This is coming from a girl with a Gold Card, so you know I am serious.
  5. Used Bookstores: These are the wonderful child of antique malls and libraries. Just a warning; if you stay too long, you might grow lightheaded from the delightful but powerful aroma of old paper and ink mingled with the dust of the ages.
  6. The Woods: There is a reason the author of Walden decided to Thoreau away his life and live in the wild. (PUN PUN PUN!) If you can’t get to the woods, find a place similar. Trees alone are often enough to attract the Muses.
  7. Churches: I don’t mean the modern, movie-seated auditoriums of today’s generation. I mean churches with stained glass, pipe organs, rows of pews, probably a candle burning somewhere beside a large gold-trimmed Bible.
  8. Markets: Any sort of flea market, farmers’ market, craft fair, etc. These are all good because they bring together people and products of all sorts. Always buy something too, be it a bag of fresh cherries or a funky new scarf.
  9. Self-made Forts: Be it made from cardboard boxes, blankets, or you just hiding under a piano where nobody can see you (I speak from experience…I hide under my piano when the doorbell rings sometimes), forts are fun and spark imagination.
  10. Train Stations or Airports: Admittedly when I am in these places, I am often stressed trying to make a flight or figure out how to ask where my platform is in French. But if you stop and look around, there are so many people and packages and destinations to wonder about! And, as we all know, wonder creates stories.
  11. Anywhere so long as you have a notebook and imagination: Yes, this is mostly because I could not think of a tenth place. However, I have found inspiration in really unexpected places and honestly a good writer (I do not claim to be one yet) can make a story or poem from anything, be it a cracked sidewalk, pencil box, auction ticket, you name it!

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