Picture from last year taken by Colin Nicol
Holidays... If other years are anything to go by, I will come back from my holiday this summer with more ideas for books than I can possibly write in a lifetime. It's a curse... but it's a curse I don't mind!

Perhaps it's because my brain gets to switch off from current projects, but as soon as I'm away, my brain fills up with a gazillion other ideas for books! The whole idea of the trilogy came about after a walking holiday in Yorkshire (though in fairness, it started as one book and then grew arms and legs). Last year, just a train trip to Glasgow led to me writing half a notebook of notes for the next book. I suspect I'll come back from this holiday with a heap of notes for that book. I'm genuinely hoping I don't come back with ideas for another book as I have three already lined up to be written!

Of course, the scenery is always inspiring, as I hope the picture at the start of the post, taken by my amazingly talented hubby shows! How could I not be inspired when staying in a cottage where we could see the stones at Calanais from the lounge? One of my favourite runs was to run from our cottage up past the stones, even given the one in three slope up to them! Pretty much everywhere on Harris and Lewis looked amazing and was a huge inspiration.

We always go on a walking holiday, and I think that the combination of not being at my desk, the amazing scenery and walking, frees something up in my brain. I always have a notebook with me (I shall also be road-testing some outdoor-specific notebooks for my role with Nero's Notes this year) and since hubby frequently spends ages getting his camera set up, I have plenty of time to sit and look at the view or make notes on ideas. Charles Darwin used to walk every day and used his daily walks for significant thinking time (see "Charles Darwin's Daily Walks - The mental rewards of exercise" for more information). Scientists think that doing a physical activity that doesn't need much concentration (walking, jogging, running) allows the brain to freewheel, so perhaps it's no great surprise that I come up with lots of new ideas while I'm out walking!

I'm sure I'm going to come back from my holiday with several notebooks' worth of new ideas. But let me leave you with another of my hubby's pictures to inspire you, this time from Skye. You can see more of his pictures at: