Sunday, July 19, 2009

A Mighty Wind

Daily Stats:
Words: home
Caffeine: morning cup
Evil Calories: peach pie and peach pancakes. Peachy, peach, peach.

For the last three weeks I've been visiting The Great Northwest, my former home, and also the home to my MC. While I always resided in Seattle, my MC busts out of the city, ventures through the mountain pass and ends up in a little town 80 miles southeast called Cle Elum. Funny thing, though...being the consummate city dweller in my eight years of living in Seattle, I'd never actually been to Cle Elum. And since I've moved away, I've only ever stopped there to gas up at the Safeway while making the long drive from my parent's house in southern Washington during my summer visits. Since I really had no clue what the real town was like, aside from piecing things together from Google, on this trip I managed to talk my mom into letting me take a photographic tour though the town. I should mention this took approximately six minutes, and that includes doubling back to reshoot the house where my MC rents an apartment.

I should back up a little. I didn't actually think I'd find the house where my MC lived. It just happened. See, when I write, I do these little "visual reference boards" where I find pics of everything in my story - towns, houses, apartments, cars, restaurants, parks, offices - whatever pertains to the story (thank you Google images!). When I made the board for my current novel, I got on and found houses for sale in Cle Elum, and found a house that would be was big and had a large upstairs/attic with windows that could easily be an upstairs apartment. So, while I'm driving around the little residential streets just to get a feel of what the houses near the downtown area look like, I turn a corner and holy-crap-on-a-crap-cracker, there's the house! Of course, I started flipping out (luckily I've been flipping out about bizarre things since before I could walk, so this didn't faze my mother). It was the strangest feeling...this house that I've been staring at for months and months was suddenly in front of me, and it was exactly what it was supposed to be. Even the sidewalks, the street and the houses next door were pretty much exactly the way I saw them in my mind. Spooooky, no? Anyhoo, I took about a thousand pictures of it, then had to go back just to get more from the other angle. And it didn't end there. Even the building where the cafe is supposed to be in in perfect proximity to not only the house, but to an old movie theater that plays a big part in the story, as well as an Italian restaurant. It was like suddenly being dropped into my imagination. I was half expecting to see a dark haired girl walking down the street carrying a tiny, growling dog that resembled a mop with teeth. (That would be my MC manhandling the grouchy, free-peeing dog she's left in charge of.)

Now, here's something my MC could tell me about living in Cle Elum. Never, ever, ever, ever, ever wear a short-ish sundress. Since the town sits at the base of the Cascades, there this little thing called WIND. Like, circling, gusting, no-matter-which-way-you-turn-it's-going-to-mess-with-you wind!! Currently, I owe a heartfelt apology to the poor family sitting inside Quiznos just trying to chow down on some turkey and bacon sammies. I know you weren't expecting a peep show outside in the parking lot. If I've traumatized your children, please just forward me the therapy bills. I was simply trying to lift my child out of the carseat, and at 31 pounds, this is no longer a one armed endeavor. I couldn't hold the boy and keep the bottom of my dress out of my armpits at the same time. I promise the next time I pass through town, I will be thoroughly clad in my fat pants.

Speaking of fat's a fun new blog that you should visit!


mmainero said...

Love it!

Big Plain V said...

I see you've not been blogging much lately either. That kind of makes me feel better.

Anyway, I love the idea of your visual reference boards. I do that too, but only a little -- just inspirational type pictures. I think I'm gonna start being more thorough like my hero, Vivi.

Your dress story made me laugh out loud. (I refuse to abbreviate that, btw)