Setting Pretty...

The Pacific Northwest is one of my favorite places in all the country. Having explored every nook and cranny (both when we lived here and on subsequent trips), we have many special spots we like to come back to. One of them is Port Townsend, on the Olympic Penninsula. We like it for the boats -- such a wonderful marina there -- the beaches, the bookshops, and the library.

This year, I rediscovered the most wonderful campground I have ever been to in my life that I first visited when I was fifteen. A place in the rainforest, where the canopy of pale green turns pathways and waterfalls almost magical. I could just picture Robin Hood and his merry men living in a forest like this... back in the days when I was still wishing I had been born a boy. They had more freedom to roam and adventure than girls did where I came from. Which is one of the reasons I so appreciate being married to such a wonderful adventurer as my husband.

There are two towns I had to look closer at while I was here, too, because they are lined up to be the settings for a couple of my upcoming novels. By another name, of course. Mostly because I lived too long in them, myself, not to expect one of those colorful residents might think I was writing about them.

Which would only be partly true.

Setting is such an integral part of a novel world. But I have found it to be quite a trick to choose just the right details in order to bring it sufficiently to life. I think the secret is in painting a very small piece, perfectly, rather than an entire landscape. A small quirky piece. Learned that from Isak Dinesen, way back when, who was a master at that sort of thing. Lovely to live in a day and age where it is so easy to study the masters. With so many of their very own words at our fingertips, it's almost as if they never left.

And maybe they haven't.

What I am working on today... a suspense that I am trying not to tip over into a thriller, but it is beginning to swirl in that direction. Yet, it seems the subject matter calls for it in order to ring true. So maybe I better get back to it, now...

No comments: