Butterflies aren’t static, they travel widely, like authors’ stories.
Not long ago, I wrote a blog post using setting as character, then most recently I wrote about one of my most favorite places in the Hawaiian Islands. So now that it’s summer, we’re all thinking of taking trips, no matter how long, short, close or far.
Planning a trip to Chicago this summer, for starters, but I’m also “percolating” an idea and a new setting for another novel. I’m considering starting with a Midwest setting and adding a setting in Greece.
As readers, what are your favorite geographical settings? The U.S. Europe, Islands, Asia?
Happy reading and traveling this summer!
Since the tag line of my blog, The Write Inspiration is to experience life, travel, be inspired and write, I thought I’d pen a bit about Kalalau Valley since I’ve traveled there, am always inspired when visiting and have a different experience each time I’ve had the opportunity to return. But I’ve never written about it, so I’d like to share it with you.
As with many photos, they can certainly give you an idea, but often can’t compete with the actual view. I keep a framed photo in my living room, and yet when I’ve visited I’ve forgotten to some extent how deep this valley is, (around 4,000 feet+/-) from above, how majestic and dramatic the cliffs are and the overall beauty down to and including the Pacific Ocean. It’s mesmerizing.
I’ve stood there looking out, barely able to hear the ocean. Sometimes there are waterfalls, but they’re not audible. Clouds can rush in, especially by afternoon and cover it as if it weren’t there.
I also enjoy seeing people who walk up to the lookout for the first time. They’re floored, making comments such as “awesome,” “we should have brought our chairs and sat here all day,” or “everything is right here, the cliffs, trees, and ocean, everything.”
Before taking a helicopter ride over Kauai and also the Kalalau Valley, a sign at the helicopter pad read, “You will have a spiritual experience on this flight.” I thought it a bit presumptuous at the time, but I must admit they were right.
Healing Journey is now available in print from https://www.createspace.com/6259415 and from https://amazon.com/author/pamelaharstad, as well as the digital version.
While I’ve mentioned I like to travel and create different settings in my stories, I’d like to mention setting as a character itself in a book. For instance, what would GONE WITH THE WIND be without the old south and the civil war, which definitely adds to the drama and story of the characters? Yes, it would still be a great novel, but think how the war and culture of the south affected the characters’ motivations and lives. I’m sure you can think of a lot more books where setting is a great foundation to a story.
When I set up my author page on Facebook sometime ago, I didn’t think about the photo image I placed there in relation to my new release, HEALING JOURNEY. I chose it as a peaceful, pleasant garden scene which happened to be from a photo I took over a year ago. However, Healing Journey is set in Florida and the heroine finds reprieve in this particular garden, Heathcote Botanical, as well as along the Atlantic coastline. The image above was taken from the Jensen Beach, Florida, Atlantic coastline.
Setting does not have to be a dominant presence to make a book great. But if you’re interested in settings or travel, the next time you read a novel consider how much the setting does relate to the book.
Happy reading and traveling,
I once remember Katherine Hepburn stating in a television interview that if she were a tree, it would be a strong oak. Perfect for her, I thought.
Although I live in the Midwest where oaks and various deciduous trees are in abundance, I would choose the palm as my tree. I like that it’s flexible, has many variations, thrives in warm weather, and has fronds that whisper in the wind.
Does that describe me? To an extent, yes.
More important, it’s amazing how nature can affect our feelings, moods and ideas, even inspire us to write, whether in a diary, journal or novel. Case in point, Heathcote Botanical Gardens in Fort Pierce, Florida is one of the settings in my novel to be released late this spring.
But there are many things that inspire us in life and in the world. I hope to share more of them with you.