I climb the narrow attic stairs to my secret writing retreat. I find myself humming that wonderful line of Cinderella's song, "In my own little corner, in my own little chair, I can be whatever I want to be." There is a wonderful corner in my parent's attic where I've placed a small wooden chair. I sit along side a stack of well-worn suitcases. Old faded airline tags hang from the handles offering me ideas for destination places for my characters. The tales of my folks adventures return to me and stimulate my mind with dialogue and laughter. In front of me, leaning against a sturdy bare stud are several works of art. Long forgotten paintings and prints that had once adorned the walls of my parent's home, whisper to me suggestions of colors and scenery to fill my heroine's passions. There are boxes of mother's cherished trinkets and father's collectibles from another era. I hold them in my hands and the stories behind each one offer a wealth of scenerios for my story. Wonders from long ago and not so long ago inspire the time stamp for my tales. I see my childhood, my adolescence and my adulthood in this attic. Inspirations are everywhere. Ideas rush to my mind, almost too many to decide. That's when I stand and walk to the window. I open it and allow the fresh air to fill my secret retreat, my small corner of that attic. I look out and my view is the bay. The water is so blue. I lean against the window frame and rest my cheek against the wood. My mind begins to relax and I watch the water glisten. That's when my story begins to take shape.