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Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Write on Wednesday: Power of Place

In this week’s Write on Wednesday, Becca discusses the power of “place” in writing and asks:

How about you? How does place figure in your writing? Do you feel comfortable in the place you live, or do you feel at odds with your atmosphere? Do you convey that in your writing? What stories does your location have to tell?

I haven’t really thought much about place in writing, as most of what I write is not place-centered. I guess when I write on The Marmelade Gypsy, I try to convey a sense of what the place is like through both words and photos, but it’s not quite like a novel, when you’re conveying the place in a way that paints the picture along with it.

I “think” place a lot – in my unwritten stories I have great place, no plot. I can tell you exactly what the house is like, the yard, the lake, the way it smells, describe how the fabrics feel.

But I can’t get enough plot to go with the story and the characters I’ve so neatly laid out in my mind!

Becca asked if we felt at odds with our atmosphere or comfortable in the place we live. I love the place I live, except when it’s a little messy and out of control!

My home isn’t a place I want to write about, though. My unwritten stories are set at the lake, which many of you “visited” with me last week on the Gypsy. That area does indeed have stories to tell.

Interesting. Perhaps it intrigues me as a location because it is so far afield from my daily life. It’s beautiful, picturesque, a town with its own quirky character.

Or, perhaps because it’s so lovely and so easy to describe.

Or, quite likely, it’s because for all my life I heard stories about “the lake” and the people, I remember seeing it through the eyes of an older generation as well as seeing it change in my eyes with passing years.

Becca also offers a writing prompt, called “Write on This,” should you want to write your own piece. I haven’t done this one yet, but leave it here to share with you.

“The loss of a place isn’t really so different from the loss of a person. Both disappear without permission, leaving the self diminished, in need of testimony and evidence.” Bridge of Sighs, Richard Russo

Write about a place you’ve lost….

6 comments:

BK said...

Hi Jeanie,
I'm new to this writing group and excited about clicking to new blogs. I am struck by your writing fused with photos. It's hard to me to write without at least one photo. I loved moving through your words with your images.
Looking forward to more
Bonnie

Becca said...

Jeanie, you always take us great places in your photo-posts. And I get a definite sense of place in your writing - a feeling of a warm, welcoming, comfortable place to be.

I loved your posts about the lake...we haven't been up north this summer. We usually take a fall trip over to the west side of the state and visit Saugatuck and the wineries over there. My in laws used to have a home on Houghton Lake, but it's long gone (another place lost!)

Yolanda said...

I reaaly enjoyed this post and the photos so much.

Karen Owen said...

I so enjoyed reading your thoughts on the power of place. I might just have to give this one a try. You do take me new places all the time with your beautiful photos. Hey, your photo of the Big Boy in your town reminds me of our Big Chicken here. Have you heard of it?

Karen

jet1960 said...

Loved the lake sunset photos! One of my favorite sights is that of a sunset over water. Interesting to think of your feelings as related to place. I guess one of the places I most associate with good relaxing feelings is the beach. We don't have a specific place we go to like you, but just being on the sand near the waves, especially early or late in the day when it is not so hot, brings me a feeling of renewal of my spirit.

anno said...

I agree with Becca -- your posts create a warm, welcoming place that is always a treat to visit. I've loved your posts about your time on the lake this summer, and I enjoy every picture of the Gypsy!

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