Thursday, June 13, 2019

Finding New Joy in Old Haunts

Don’t we all have our favorite places we love to visit over and over again?  Those places where we get a chance to rejuvenate our souls so we can continue along life’s journey? For some people it might even be your home or a room or chair in your home. Maybe some people might prefer to visit new places. As a writer I am always looking for places where I know I can get new inspiration for my next book.

But sometimes it is fun to go back to those old places, the locations where you first came up with a story idea and it blossomed from there into a wonderful story. I know for me, the city of Vancouver, B.C. has always been a special location. I love walking along the sea wall and listening to the water lapping at the shore and the cry of the sea gulls overhead. I’ve often told about getting the idea for my romantic suspense book, Deadly Messages from a walk along the seawall. But there is more than a peaceful feeling involved. I know I appalled a reader when I told her I didn’t just get energized from that walk, I also started thinking about all the places a killer might stash a body or what might happen if two sisters became separated and one was never seen again. Ah, the joys of plotting a mystery!

Since then I’ve set my books in many different places, from the mountains of Colorado, to sunny Southern California.  But there is still the lure of the Northwest and a recent visit had me thinking again of one of my favorite “story” places—Redfern Manor—the spooky gothic house in my book, Shadows from the Past. In that book, a wounded TV anchorman is writing a book about a young actress who once lived at Redfern and he moves there to get more of a feel of who she was. I loved writing that story and while the mystery of the murder was solved, I realized I wasn’t finished with Redfern. I wanted to go back.

And so I made the decision to do it. Just like Mack Warren who was so obsessed with the house, I will be returning and revisiting Redfern Manor. I’ve just started working on it, but like all good things, sometimes we just want more. We want to go back and re-visit those places that brought us spiritual joy. And with Redfern Manor making its debut on audio last month, I had more than one good reason to celebrate the joy of the location. 
Recently I spent a few days back in the Northwest and, as usual, it captured me in a whole new way. The cities of Seattle and Vancouver have changed greatly since the days I lived there or visited so often, but the charm remained, whether it be walking along the Seattle waterfront or going for a drive around Stanley Park in the late afternoon when the sun was setting. 
New ideas for stories began forming, and I got out my pencil and started writing in the notebook I always carry with me.  Never lose sight of your writing past or being able to write down your thoughts and ideas. Even if it is tapping them into your phone or taking a picture of a place you love, keeping those places near and dear to your heart and your memory can have positive effects on your writing. 

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