Step away from the screen

Hi everyone – my first SMP blog today.

My first novel with SMP is a time travel romance, Druid’s Portal. It is set in Roman Britain, in the Hadrian’s Wall area. Follow the adventures of archaeologist Janet as she finds the past is more than she learnt from textbooks. How will she cope with Trajan, the rugged Roman soldier who wants to teach her about more than just the past?

As writers it is all too easy to stay closeted in front of the computer, adhering firmly to the bum in seat, words on page philosophy. As a new author with Soul Mate Publishing, I put in many hours editing and tweaking words, because I had deadlines, and it became a habit. There was also all the associated marketing and promotion, which to my surprise took up far more time and energy than writing a novel.

But I soon realised sitting and being generally less active was a bad thing for both my body, but also creatively. Sure, I pull a lot from the past and experience, but even this feels stale after a while. For writers it is a necessity to get in some activity, to freshen the spirit and get the blood flowing again. Charles Dickens used to walk for an hour a day through the streets of London, no doubt picking up fresh images to use in his detailed novels. His great granddaughter Monica Dickens took up various odd jobs out of a restless spirit and soon she had turned those experiences into some very funny novels.

So what could I do to change it up? Walking – or being walked by my dog is the more accurate description – in the mornings and evenings, watching the sunset instead of a screen, listening to birds, looking at people’s gardens and flowers, keeping an eye out for insects and neighbours cats. You never know when one of these small moments will end up in a story, even years later.

At the moment, I sit in a cafe with my trusty iPad, fellow veteran companion in the quest for words. I sip with great contentment on a skinny iced coffee, no cream. But what would others order? And what does that say about them?  Can the drinks menu be a character sheet? What does a drink choice say about character?

An espresso drinker with a side of dark chocolate paints quite a different character to an almond milk latte with a hazelnut shot. One busy career girl, intense, full of nervous energy and ambition eyes the laid back girl with dreadlocks and flower patterned shoes. Do they go their separate ways, or become unlikely friends when the cafe enters a business crisis? And what of the barista, his dark hair falling over his forehead, his smouldering eyes on them both? How do they all react when a well-muscled fireman bursts through the door and tells them the café is on fire? What is their most precious possession they grab first – a baby? A phone? A photo of their cat? What about the quiet man in the corner that has been watching them for months? When the others leave, does he press a button on his phone and disappear in a haze of blue sparkles? Transform into a creature of the night? Rush back into the burning kitchen and rescue a person?

Will it become a story? I don’t know, but if I hadn’t got out of the house I would never have met them. And damn, the iced coffee is good!

About Cindy

Cindy Tomamichel is a first time SMP author, with her novel Druid’s Portal the first in a series of time travel romance set in Roman Britain.

Short stories of fantasy, scifi and romance can be found on her website, where she blogs on aspects of world building. Her Instagram account is devoted to tranquil scenes of nature and flowers.

Contact Cindy on







About Cindy Tomamichel

Escape the everyday with tales of time travel, romance, fantasy and science fiction. My website blog focuses on world building for scifi, fantasy and historical fiction writers. Wanting help with your author platform? Check out 'The Organized Author' book and services.
This entry was posted in Soul Mate Publishing, Word-Crafting With Cindy and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Step away from the screen

  1. Nancy Fraser says:

    Welcome to SMP’s Wednesday world! Nice first post. And, for the record,if I had to choose one thing to take with me it would likely be the hunky fireman.

  2. Claire Gem says:

    Welcome, Cindy! Your advice is sound. Sometimes just a change of scenery helps stimulate the imagination. Last weekend I toted my laptop to the local library to do some research for my next book. It was rejuvenating 🙂

  3. Beth Carter says:

    Yes, that definitely needs to become a story! I totally agree about screens. I get so tired of them. I often write at Starbucks, although noisy at times, for the very reasons you mentioned. Skinny vanilla latte girl here! Great first post.

  4. Nancy Thorne says:

    Yes, I’d read that too about Charles Dickens and his walks. Apparently some of them were very long and wore out his companions. Thanks for your post. Enjoyed it.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s