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A Cure for Writer's Block

I’ve had a hard time writing my ninth novel, the fifth in the 90s Club cozy mystery series. I’ve felt stale and bored and a bit depressed. I needed fresh air. I needed to get out of town.

So my husband Rog and I took a 10-day hiatus to visit Richmond, Norfolk, and Portsmouth in Virginia. I’ve traveled to Florida probably a hundred times in my life, always passing through Richmond but never stopping to learn about this historic town. We remedied that by a four-day visit.

Did you know Richmond has an incredible art museum that includes what must be a four-star restaurant? This museum has a display of at least fifteen Tiffany lampshades. You’ve seen these high-end items on the Antiques Roadshow. It has a wonderful collection of sculpture, tapestries, and other art from India. Because we didn’t have reservations for lunch, we made them for dinner at the museum’s restaurant. The museum was worth the day, and the dinner was worth the wait. Delicious fried catfish with roasted endive.

We also visited the Botanical Gardens’ conservatory for its bonsai exhibit, the Civil War Museum on the river front, and the Science Museum. We would have booked a room at the historic and opulent Jefferson Hotel downtown, but the price tag was $395. We enjoyed lunch there instead while the serving staff set up a tea in the lobby.

On the way to Norfolk, we stopped at the Mariner’s Museum in Newport News. This museum is world class and the entrance fee is only $1!. The museum’s pride is the turret from the ironclad ship, the Monitor, but my favorite area there was the small crafts room. I’m searching for a lightweight , easily transportable kayak or canoe and saw one possibility in the round Towy River coracle, but the most interesting item was a sailboat called

.” This 6’ x 5’ boat is more like a closet with a single mast. The designer boasts of sailing it across the ocean from Casablanca to Florida. You might ask how? I ask why? But you can find out more about it here.

Portsmouth is a charming shipyard town across the Elizabeth River from Norfolk. We toured the shipyard museum there, then walked down High Street (their main street) to the Lobscauser Restaurant for lunch.

On the way to Richmond, we traveled down Virginia’s Northern Neck to have lunch with daughter Donna at Kilmarnock Inn in Kilmarnock, VA. This inn is a mansion converted into restaurant and B&B. Lovely atmosphere and delicious lunch.

On the way back home, we went by way of the Chesapeake Bay Tunnel across the mouth of the Chesapeake and up the eastern shore of Virginia and Maryland. We stopped for lunch with daughter Lorien and then toured the relaxed and enjoyable Salisbury Zoo.

So now I’m back at work with renewed energy and interest in completing my ninth novel, The 90s Club & the Clue in the Old Album. A case of writer’s block cured by the new perspectives from travel.

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