Inspiration. One of the many intangibles a fiction writer taps daily to convert experiences into stories. Like my fellow Outside the Liners, I, too, have those select few books, movies, and songs that speak to me. Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice will always be cited as the book that made me a reader and eventually a writer.
Today I’m throwing something else into the mix: travel. I am a vagabond at heart. Indeed, one meaning of the name Wendy is wanderer. As a reader, I find the vicarious experience of being transported to another place and time magical. As a writer and all-around curious soul, I am invigorated by a new perspective, whether it’s the cacophony of a Paris street or the velvety roll of an English countryside.
When I graduated from Michigan State I had no idea what I wanted to be. The only concrete thing I knew I wanted was to travel. I waitressed that first summer after college and bought myself a ticket to France, where—for a year—I worked as an au pair and studied at a small school in Nice. Back home, I followed some college friends out to Los Angeles. My travel experience and languages (a little German besides French) landed me a job with an international tour operator. It was the perfect job, pre-kids, as it took me all over Europe and the U.S. When my two boys became my full-time occupation and travel became kid-friendly and budget-minded, I turned to flights of fancy.
At the heart of this transport-me zeal is curiosity. An interest in other walks of life and other corners of this magnificent spinning ball can spark a love of reading, wanderlust, and even a writer’s journey. So where to next?