Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Location. Location. Location.

By Marji Laine

My mother is a realtor, so I've heard about the benefits of neighborhood and area for most of my life. But a few years ago as I jumped into my writing career, my surroundings became even more important.

Some writers are inspired by the people they meet. Others can adapt experiences of life into outstanding plots. I'm intrigued with settings. My sweet hubby laughs and claims that I see dead people.

He's not really far from the truth. My imagination can run wild sometimes with a unique environment. Living in Dallas, I usually have ample fodder.

In fact, last Christmas, I indulged in a bit of fantasy at the fabulous Gaylord Texan Hotel. Surrounded by my family, I wandered the pathways, in and out of lighted displays, gingerbread houses, fabulous train set-ups, and cartoon characters.

This place is gorgeous anyway. Like an indoor river-walk with benches, trickling streams, lots of greenery. But at Christmas, it's one of the most festive treats!

While dawdling in the center of a large open area, used like a miniature amphitheater, I paused near a monstrous rotating Christmas tree. It was on a level above the "stage" where we stood and I could visualize possibilities.

I grabbed my redheaded daughter and pointed. "I can see a body falling out from under that tree. It's the guy who stayed late the night before to finish decorating."

She giggled. "You'll have to figure out why he was killed." Well, that shifted my gears into overdrive.

But before I could offer more on the story, she pointed to a tower on the edge of the stage. "Wouldn't that make a lovely place for a wedding?"

(I guess you can tell who the romantic of the family is!) We laughed about our different view points and wandered toward sweet hubby. He was leaning over the rail at the other edge of the stage area. We told him about our thoughts on the Christmas tree and the tower.

"So what are you thinking?" dear daughter asked.

He leaned a little further over the rail. "I'm wondering if there are any fish in that stream down there." (There were, by the way.)

Cracked me up. I guess, while location is still important, it's the filters that we use to give it meaning.

Your Turn: Have you recently visited some place that stimulated your imagination?

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