By Sofa or by Sea

I knew by the title it was the right magazine, but I had to take a moment to study the cover photo. A fishing boat. Four attractive and physically fit people. And one of those metallic, pointy-nosed fishes hanging between them.

In the end, the photo selection made perfect sense, despite its being on the front of a popular literary mag. The individuals flanking the 130-pound marlin were none other than Ernest Hemingway and his pals, all enjoying an adventure together off Key West.

Writers’ adventures. They’re the focus of the latest Poets & Writers magazine. The March/April issue spells out how we can take our writing interests to a whole new place–the literal kind of place, that is. From writing residencies to intimate retreats to faraway festivals, the magazine’s contributors tout the top travel opportunities for writers.

Talk about opportunities–my husband and I are in the thick of adopting a baby from the Marshall Islands, a collection of twenty-nine serpent-shaped “atolls” located in the South Pacific. We’ll be there for six or so weeks getting to know our child and his/her birthfamily, and I’m certain the trip will offer much food for thought and fuel for writing. It will be one heck of an “adventure”… but that’s not to say just sitting on the other side of the sofa tonight couldn’t inspire some fresh perspective.

So what makes an adventure, an adventure? I believe that the experience of travel can help beef up our lists of story ideas. But, in the end, it’s an adventurous spirit that sustains a good writer.


WRITING PROMPT 1: Begin a story or poem with “I took a trip to…”

WRITING PROMPT 2: Write about one of your favorite adventures.