Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Settings For Spice

My stories are set in the Gold Rush era of 1849. Because we live where this interesting part of history happened, I look for something new every time we go out on drive. I've always been one to watch people and try to figure out who they might be and what kind of life's experiences they've had. Now I watch scenery, search out old buildings, travel through gold mines, see which trees are blooming and when. It's quite interesting to pay attention to your surroundings, especially when you see or find things you weren't aware of in your community. My husband says it's like taking a three year old out because I get excited with each new discovery.
We have a herd of buffalo alongside the highway near Sacramento. When we first noticed them, there were only two animals. Now there are several that we watch for every time we travel through that area. We live in the Sierra Mountains
and in the past week we had two silver foxes run across the backyard. I noticed when they ran, they had a arrogant tilt to their head. We have six deer who are around the yard. I love to watch the graceful way they walk and wonder how their heads can hold up those antlers. As I was driving down our road the other day, a vulture flew slow and low over my car. I got a close look at his red head. Not such a pleasant type, if you know what I mean. We also have characters who've lived here all of their lives. I notice their dress, listen to them talking about events they remember happening in our community and stories they'd been told by their grandparents. These are the spices I use for my stories. It's so much better for me to allow my surroundings to help me write my stories rather than grabbing them off the internet. I realize how lucky I am to have the spices at my fingertips and I use them.

7 comments:

Dawn Marie Hamilton said...

Enjoyed your post, Paisley. Spice is so very important in both food and stories. :) You live in some beautiful country.

Sheila Tenold said...

I envy you your location, Paisley. The Gold Country is truly inspiring. Along with a dash of spice from long-time locals. Good post!

Paisley Kirkpatrick said...

Thanks Dawn Marie. We love it here and discover new things all the time.

Paisley Kirkpatrick said...

Thanks for stopping by, Sheila. It's great that a lot of the buildings and Victorian houses are open for people to see. I will never forget the first time I saw a feather mattress and wonder how people actually slept on one. :)

Ana Morgan said...

I love that kind of expedition, Paisley!

Paisley Kirkpatrick said...

Thanks Ana. I know we should go out more often, but I'm just a homebody.

Josie said...

Paisley,
We live on opposite ends of the U.S. (I'm on the East coast), but my surroundings play a part in every story I write, also.