Girls Write Out
Thursday, October 11, 2012

I'm not sharing this picture because I particularly like the way I look in it, especially since it no longer looks much like me. I'm sharing it because it was taken by my favorite man beneath a sycamore tree at Jolly Mill, Missouri. The tiny historical mill town--which is now a privately owned park--is the setting for the books I've been writing the past couple of years, with the permission of the park board. The place intrigues me because of the amount of history that has taken place there, including my own. I went to high school nearby, and when I was a freshman, we were initiated by the upperclassmen. Those they could grab, they would drive to Jolly Mill and dump them into Capps Creek from the old bridge. The tradition ended my freshman year because a friend of mine was dropped a little too hard and sprained her ankle in the foot-deep water.

Local residents have built beautiful homes into the cliffs above the old mill and the creek, in a gated community in the middle of the countryside. I love to return to this park whenever I need inspiration, because just listening to the birdsong and walking along the older buildings, strolling beside the creek, can start my imagination jumping into story mode.

What places inspire you? I've always loved the Grand Canyon and hiked it nine times, but since eight of those nine times I've gotten sick, I've kind of lost my passion for it. I do love Branson, which isn't far from us, and we go there quite a bit, but I don't go to shows, I just love to stay there and relax away from home. I love Colorado, but the moose on the hiking trails scare me. Things change. My favorite places change.

Have your favorites changed over the years? Any input you'd like to share with us?

Hannah Alexander  
posted at 10:31 PM  
  Comments (9)
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At 9:00 AM, Blogger Candi Sue said...

I too have hiked the Grand Canyon! What a neat fact to learn about you. I've know several people who have seen it, but never anyone who's experienced it. It taught me a lot about myself but it's rough!

We took vacations out west every summer when I was growing up and it was always my favorite place to go. As Ive gotten older and much busier (kids, farming, church, etc.) I enjoy more relaxing vacations. Coastal Maine is my new favorite place to go- eat seafood, sit on the pebbled beach and look at the ocean, hike through the pines and wild blueberry bushes.

But, I've still got adventure left in me and as my boys get older I'm sure we'll head out west again. :)

Hope you're feeling better. I've been praying for you.

At 9:19 AM, Blogger Mary-Louise said...

You are right when you say that favorite places change. One of my favorite places is Jasper National Park, the pristine lakes, the smell of the pines nearby... But it is over 2000 miles away, so I've had to change my favorite place. A waterfall, only 20 minutes away, that offers some rugged hiking. When the colors turn in the fall, the scenery is breathtaking.

At 11:01 AM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

Candi Sue, the Grand Canyon has been my go-to place for many years, but it got so crowded that I couldn't handle the press of people. Yes, it's a hard hike! If you want the wide, open spaces without the crowds, I highly recommend hiking Utah. You can stay in a hotel at night and drive to a new trail every day for a week, maybe stop and take in a float down the Colorado River for a break for your knees. I, in turn, will take some beaches for awhile. Thanks so much for your prayers. I'm in group grief therapy right now.

Mary-Louise, finding a place closer to home makes it so much easier to have a break more often. That's why I've always loved my hiking trails in our nearby Mark Twain National Forest.

At 3:06 PM, Blogger jel said...

Bennett Spring, is my go to place.

At 3:17 PM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

Next time we're up that way, we'll have to look up Bennett Spring. Missouri is so beautiful. Thanks, Jel!

At 3:27 PM, Blogger Tracy Ruckman said...

I grew up on Guntersville Lake in Alabama, and to me, it's still one of my favorite retreats. We have a couple of different campgrounds that we love, but don't get over there very often.

I'll take anywhere on the ocean, too. I love the water - not a big fan of mountains.

At 3:40 PM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

Tracy, I grew up in Ventura, California, between the mountains and the beach. When we moved here to Missouri, I missed those, plus the desert, more than anything else, except for uncles, aunts, cousins, friends, horse. Something about the ocean is a huge draw.

At 4:11 PM, Blogger jel said...

ya havn't been too Bennett ?

I have been going since I was a baby.
have any of ya read the books
The Heart og the Spring,
The Heart of the Spring Lives On
they are novels, of Bennett Spring
by Laura L. Valenti.

a very nice lady.

At 4:53 PM, Blogger Hannah Alexander said...

Our go-to place here is Roaring River. I've been there many times.


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The Authors
Kristin Billerbeck
Kristin Billerbeck is a proud Californian, wife, mother of four, and connoisseur of the irrelevant. She writes Christian Chick Lit; where she finds need for most of the useless facts lulling about in her head.

Colleen Coble

Colleen Coble writes romantic suspense with a strong atmospheric element. A lovable animal of some kind--usually a dog--always populates her novels. She can be bribed with DeBrand mocha truffles.

Denise Hunter

Denise Hunter writes women's fiction and love stories with a strong emotional element. Her husband says he provides her with all her romantic material, but Denise insists a good imagination helps too.

Diann Hunt

Diann Hunt writes romantic comedy and humorous women's fiction. She has been happily married forever, loves her family, chocolate, her friends, chocolate, her dog, and well, chocolate.

Hannah Alexander

Cheryl Hodde writes romantic medical suspense under the pen name of Hannah Alexander, using all the input she can get from her husband, Mel, for the medical expertise. For fun she hikes and reads. Out of guilt, she rescues discarded cats. She and Mel are presently taking orders from four pampered strays.

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