SMALL TOWN LIFE
I've been thinking about settings lately, and I find that I'm naturally drawn to small town settings. Maybe that's because the thought of living in a city makes me break out in hives. But mostly it's because life in a small town is real. It forces you to have community. You can't step outside your house without seeing someone you know.
Yesterday my mother-in-law was having heart palpitations, and I rushed her to the ER where we discovered she's been having small strokes (I've suspected this since September and have been after her to go in for tests. She's going to be fine, btw.) Anyway, this is the same ER where I took my mom and my father-in-law in September. There were some of the same doctors and nurses there, who all recognized me. I ran into an old friend I hadn't seen in a while.
There's no anonymity in a small town. Everyone remembers the day you broke your foot in front of the library and the fact your dad is the loudest yeller at the football game. Life moves at a slower pace here. The mailman stops to chat a minute, people you don't know feel free to look you up in the phone book and call (okay, maybe that's not a benefit. LOL).
I think the midwest has a special quality that way too. It could be because I've always lived in Indiana, but I think it's more than that. I think the midwest is real. We don't get influenced by the craziness that hits the coasts. We have our values in bedrock, and we're a little harder to shake up.
So I'm thinking about setting more books in the midwest. Maybe Wisconsin. Some of the best memories of my childhood are the summers we went fishing on Lake Chetek. Like the time my brother Randy and I were going to make sure our brother Rick caught his first fish. I distracted him and Randy put a fish on Ricky's hook, then we screamed and yelled for him to catch it. LOL
But here's the question of the day. What settings appeal to YOU? When you go to a bookstore, is there a setting that makes you think, "Oh I've got to read this?"
And hey, I'm about to leave for my favorite setting of all--Hawaii!! Malia, I'm coming your way!