I recently returned from a fourteen-day cruise to the Adriatic where I visited historical sites in Athens, Greece, Ephesus, Turkey, Dubrovnik, Croatia and Venice, Italy to name a few. On all of these trips, we revisited pages and pages of history in one or two hours of walking tours. Needless to say, I took hundreds of pictures and made some jottings in my little notebook, but when I returned home something very strange happened. In looking at some of the pictures, I couldn’t remember where they were taken. I asked my friend who accompanied me on the trip, “Do you remember where Achilleon’s palace is?”

She shook her head. “No.”

Here I am in front of one of the gates of the Acropolis in Athens

“Do you think it could be in Corfu?”

She knitted her brow. “It could very well be, but I don’t remember what we did in Corfu.”
Neither could I. We burst out laughing. The only reason I could ascribe to that senior moment we seemed to have had, was Corfu was the last place we visited, and by then our brains must have reached saturation point with all the material we were fed over the past two weeks.

Achilleon's palace, dedicated to the god Achilles

This brings me to something I have learned about being a writer. You must write things down. As soon as they come to you. Don’t wait until you get in front of your computer. I have worked out plot points, scenery descriptions, even dialog in my mind, only to remember just a fragment of them when I sit down to write. And try as I might, the words never sound as beautiful or as poetic as they did in my mind.

The old Olympic stadium in Ephesus, Turkey.

So now, after my Corfu experience, I’m going to write things down as they occur to me. Those flashes of inspiration don’t hang around forever. You must grab them now, or consign them to the shredder of your mind.

How do you keep track of those bits of genius the muse throws your way? Leave a comment and let me know about it.

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