Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Time to Feed My Soul...

Tomorrow I hit the skies and head for Pennsylvania once again. A dear friend is showing her work as the Emerging Artist at the phenomenal Red Raven Art Gallery in Lancaster, PA. I have watched her hone her craft just as she has taken almost every step of my artistic journey with me (and read thousands of my pages) over the last 7 years. Together, we have walked through the fire and shared our little bits of heaven and hell as we grew our gifts. I don't know what I would have done without her. And her latest work is truly brilliant.

I've complained a lot about our recent move to the "arm pit of the South," and I stand by my words. Or at least one word—"desolate." However, there is a feast of sub-cultures down here, and plenty of regional flavor to inform my writing. As of yet, however, the South doesn't really fit into my WIP's setting or plot. I haven't given up or anything, but it's time to feed my writer's soul with some dear friends and a breath of metropolitan life. Okay, so Lancaster PA isn't exactly a teeming metropolis, but it is the East and only a breath away from Philly. There is plenty of artistic influence seeping over the county line and I can't wait to get up there and take it all in again.

But I wonder how other writers who live in small towns far away from a cultural center deal with such cultural quietude. It's not that I'm a cosmo girl or anything. I grew up on a small horse farm in Northern Indiana. But I was close to some Midwestern centers, including Chicago, and I did my fair share of traveling. At heart I am indeed a country girl and I miss my farm, but I really miss the proximity of a city where I can feast on diversity, progressive attitudes, culture. And it wouldn't hurt to go to a real museum or even a real book store! I'm not that I'm a city girl. That's absolutely not the issue. I need my quiet place to nest and cloister myself on my own terms. But I have to know that civilization is close at hand if I need it.

So what is it in me, a girl from northeastern Indiana, that hungers for such things? Maybe it's a past life intruding on the present. Or maybe it's a deep instinct for escapism. Perhaps it's just an innate sense that the world is bigger than me and I don't want to miss something. Whatever it is, I gotta have it. So I guess I am destined to be a traveler. Which is probably a good thing, because I plan to do some major book tours...when my time comes!

1 comment:

  1. I think its simply natural to hunger for what you don't have- providing that it is a need. I mean, if one has never experienced culture or doesn't read and know or care that it's out there, then that person won't hunger for it. It's like that old saying after WWII- how will we keep 'em on the farm now they've seen gay Paris?

    I grew up in rural south Texas- flat as a pancake and covered mostly with scrub. Not an area known for natural beauty. And my little town of barely 50,000 was a hubbub for the tinier towns around but my parents had regularly taken me to much larger cities-including London, Paris, Munich, Rome.

    I went off to a big city for college, loved it and stayed. But, I never realized how much those summers and holidays at home filled my need. Now, I long for coyotes howling, cows mooing, bluebonnets, hawks circling, floods, waking up to fog from the humidity, big lone oaks full of huge spider yea but also Spanish moss- a laughable "rush hour", low prices, etc.

    My husband and I have considered moving back and then been aghast at the horrible selection of movies for rent, or showing, and the lack of a decent Italian resteraunt. And certainly no Middle Eastern one at all.

    OK, this has gone long, but thing is, I hear ya. But maybe writers are sensitive to these things.


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