When people go on vacations they collect and buy all sorts of souvenirs to remember their trips with. If you are not one of those people who go on trips I suggest you get off your couch and go somewhere. These souvenirs range from the extravagant like pricey statues, paintings or clothes to things far less extravagant. I am on the lower end of this line of souvenir purchases. I go for smaller, more meaningful things (to me at least) and I’ll admit cheaper. I have a horrible tendency to over pack so I don’t usually have a lot of room for big stuff.
My two main souvenirs I always get when I travel are postcards and pins. Why postcards? Well for one I loved and still love sending and receiving postcards. Even back when I was just a little Mike. Perhaps it’s a little old-fashioned in this day and age of being able to text pictures to family and friend, upload photos to Facebook or Instagram on the go (all of which I do when traveling). But sometimes a hand written postcard is still nice to get. I touched on this subject in another post about postcards and vacations.
A while back I sorted through my bag of postcards and separated them into groups of specific trips and places. I sat there wondering, “What should I do with all these?” Now yes, I do have a secret coffee shop dream that involves these postcards and others but that may never happen. As an author, I am very much inspired and helped by traveling and seeing pictures of the places I have been. Pictures help me. I have been trying to figure out a way to display these in some form so that I can see them and also so they are not stuck away in a bag. I got these for a reason right?
Now many of these postcards might night have anything to do with the current book I am writing titled All the Roads Home which is book one in my new Oregon Series. However, when I am sitting at my kitchen table or in my garage writing at 1am after Stacey and Jax are asleep and I feel frustrated about being trapped by Michigan until college is done or the next vacation they help. But it’s not always convenient to pull up pictures on my laptop and switching between windows gets annoying. Pictures and postcards let my mind drift to places I love being at, it allows my mind to imagine I am at one of the many places I have that are more inspiring than the walls around me.
So I finally got my butt in gear and figured out a way to get these things put together in a way which looks visually appealing and will help inspire my weary writer’s brain on those nights when the words are not flowing like I need them to.
Postcard project 1. The inspiration board.
I’ve had an inspiration board with a few things on it, but I felt it needed a change, updating I guess. This is 24X24 corkboard with plastic backing that I picked up at Walmart a few years back. Many students and people have these in their dorms, bedrooms, and offices. Before I had a few sticky notes, some Stephen King quotes, pictures of my niece, ultrasounds of my son from and a picture of Stacey and me from our first trip to Chicago. Not that it wasn’t inspiring, but change is necessary and needed when it came to my board. I guess it needed a wider representation of the things I love and what makes me feel inspired and happy.
What I did was put pictures of my family, my much loved dog Harley (even though we have been apart for 3 years) and of course postcards from several of the places I have been and ones people have sent me. Some of these postcards go back to the 80’s from family vacations. The idea behind this is that it will help me in the form a visual aid while I am writing.
Now on this new board there pictures of me, Stacey, and our son Jax. An old pic of Harley and me from Cannon Beach in 2002. Also, there are postcards from both my Oregon trips, Silver Lake Michigan (where I practically grew up), Chicago, Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and even a Stephen King Quote. After making this, I realized there are a lot of postcards from Michigan which is ironic since I loath it usually. It just proves there are parts of this state I actually do enjoy and have good memories of.
Postcard Project 2: Wall decorations
This next part of my project was more for decorative reasons. I took three 12X12 pieces of dark cork board and attached postcards. I tried my best to keep each one themed based on a particular trip or specific place I had been. As with the inspiration board, I didn’t want to have the Postcards just side by side and having a tile feel and effect. So let some partially cover others, offset them mixed up vertical and horizontal cards.
The first board was a Chicago themed one. I’ve been to Chicago many times over the years have a crap ton of postcards so there was no way I could use them all. ITS REALLY HARD PICKING 15 POSTCARDS OUT OF OVER 100!!!!.
The second board was from my road trip I took down to Florida 2 years ago where spent some time in South Carolina and Georgia among other places along the way there and back. I’m kind bummed about this one because I know I bought way more than this. I mean was gone for 2 weeks but apparently with moving I lost or misplaced some. Oh well I’ll get more the next time I come down my family.
The 3rd board is from Florida. Again I have been there so many times I have postcards from the 80’s and its choosing from so many cards and trips. This board includes a postcard my niece sent me from a trip she took down there a few years back. The centerpiece of this board is a postcard I picked up from NASA with the phrase “Failure is not an Option”. This phrase if you don’t know has become well known because of Apollo 13. For me, it helps me keep my focus on two things. My family and my writing…..Why isn’t this on my inspiration board!?!?
I’m planning on doing more of these eventually since I have a plethora of cars and there are always. So I ask my fellow authors and artists in the world: What do you use for inspiration while you are at work. My fellow travelers, I ask you: What do you collect or what do you do with your unsent postcards.