One day many years back I wrote on a piece of paper a list of as many things I could think of that I love. The list did not include people but rather things that I liked to do, liked to look at, and that appealed to my senses.
For example, stained-glass windows were on that list. Though actually making them is still on my bucket list, I think there is nothing more beautiful than the sun streaming through a detailed pattern of richly colored glass. Roses were on that list. What is more lovely than the silky petals and heady scent of a rose? Tea was also on the list. I love a simple cup of black tea–with milk and sugar–and find great delight in looking at a cupboard laden with delicate teacups and teapots.
It was natural then to include things that I’m passionate about in my novel, and I hope people feel that passion when the read From Shards to Sea Glass. Because I included those things (and more!), the actual writing process–describing the objects, the scents, the scenes–was thoroughly enjoyable, and as Ann Patchett states above, I was consumed with writing it.
I’d like to encourage you to write your own list and see where it takes you.