Saturday, October 1, 2016

Place Is A State Of Mind

Today is the beginning of journey south.  It's a vacation to get away from it all although I'm still taking work with me.  What I bring with though, isn't really work, at least it doesn't feel like that.  When you love what you do, it doesn't feel like work.   This vacation is mostly about getting away from the usual, the mundane- the common place and the obligations for a time.  But all that is a post for another time.

In the meantime, let's state the obvious.  I love fiction and I especially love unique settings, places where I learn about people foreign to me and as I learn about them, they give me inspiration to give breath to their fictional lives.

So let's get to some places...

First stop - US customs that was slightly longer than anticipated.  Five minutes turned into fifteen, but finally we were on our way.

A few hours later, the outskirts of Sidney, Montana came into view.  Sidney is a welcoming little town, one that if we were further into our journey, would be a great place to stay but today is about making miles.  So after a slice of pizza and a coffee my husband and I head off.  Pizza and coffee, a strange combination but it worked!

Now it's off down the road and the deeper we get, unlike our shared border which is really a mirage that has you wondering if you left the country, it is so much the same.  Here though, the differences between Canada and our neighbour become clearer.  It is evident in the housing styles, in the crops and in so many other ways.  But that's travel and that's what makes it fun and enjoyable - the differences.

The differences run as shallow as they are deep.  Hours from the Canadian/American border,  we stop for gas and see - what would be a 911 call in Canada -  the armed man with the gun on his belt heading into the gas/convenience store.  Here, I take a step back and let him enter the story well ahead of me.

Inside the store, I find myself behind what I would call a cowboy, typical maybe to one born a hundred years ago but still, one born and bred to the land.  His cowboy hat is so stiff with dirt and shiny with grease that it makes me think that he was either born with it in his hand and he's worn it all his life or he inherited it.  His dirt encrusted boots indicate a life on the land and far form soap or maybe an equipment breakdown and a panicked trip to town.   Ether way, he's a character and it makes it all so deliciously foreign.

It's all intriguing and different from home, even here, these few miles over the border.   But it's all good because you know,  this is someone else's life and someone else's culture and as a writer, I greedily make a note of it all.

Seeing new sights, talking to new people, it all makes for another character, another situation and hopefully, another story.

And this is only the beginning...

...a world you never imagined

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