Monday, May 24, 2010

Open Spaces and Green Mountains

I recently took a trip to New Hampshire with the collegiate cycling team that my husband and I coach. Dartmouth College was the host of our conference championship in and around Hanover, NH. This trip also gave me a chance to do some research on the setting for my series of books. I've lived in New York City long enough to need a reminder of life in a more rural setting is like.

The first thing that struck me was how dark the nights are and how many stars you can see. It's amazing how much the street lamps or light from office buildings overpower. Equally impressive is the sound. It's amazingly quiet at night in New Hampshire. Then there's transportation. In New York we walk or take public transportation everywhere. In New Hampshire, almost everything is a drive away.

After that there is a raft of smaller, sometimes more confusing, things. Signs on many of the rural roads warn of "frost heaves." Thanks to web enabled phones, our band of urbanites discovered what they are and why we have to watch out for them. There are also a lot of "Moose Crossing" signs. We were not sure why you need a sign to yield to an animal that weighs around 1,500 pounds.

As I wrote this blog, I sat across from a house that reminded me of Sarah's dorm. I studied it and visualized her inside of it. The house is white with green shutters. There are tree branches touching almost every window and a stone wall that goes around the yard. It's mostly square, with windows and columns on the porch. It's three stories and probably seems like a midget compared to Sarah's apartment building. I felt like if I were to go inside, the floor boards would creak underneath my feet and the air would smell different, fresh and maybe tinged with pine.

My college writing professor said that there is inspiration everywhere. I found a lot of it that day.

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