by Mary Saums
What a lovely story in Nicole's blog yesterday. God bless Jennifer and all the earthly angels like her who make us stop, slow down and see the beauty of every moment we're granted.
Like Nicole, most days I need a little help to jumpstart my brain. Gotta have that morning fix of hot tea. Maybe writers tend to crave coffee and tea because, way down, our subconscious relates them to the 'wake-up call' we need, in our own lives and as we write about our characters' lives. There's no way I could have one of those 'A-ha!' moments while writing without a hot mug of something next to me.
I agree that stress is a big part of being a writer. That may be why I write about a peaceful, magical forest. When I'm able, I travel to the real forest my books are based on. Talk about a wake-up call. Nothing compares to the tranquility that seeps into you when you're surrounded by beautiful woods.
The photo at right was taken on a hike through Bankhead National Forest. My mystery series is set in the fictional town of Tullulah, Alabama at the edge of the forest. Thistle & Twigg, the first in the series, is about two very different women. One is British and quite fond of nature, the other is Southern and prefers civilization. Thank goodness their friendship is such that Phoebe, the Southern one, doesn't let her lack of tree-hugging genes stop her from plunging through the wilderness when trouble strikes.
This picture shows a typical view in the forest. Huge limestone outcroppings jut out of the landscape and, as this one, often provide shelter for travellers. Did you know that ghost hunters claim there are more sightings of ghosts on land with limestone bedrocks? This may explain the occasional appearance of friendly apparitions in and around Tullulah.
The rock formations here dwarf my fellow hikers. I think this sort of reality check is what we humans need more of, the perspective of how small we really are in the scheme of things.
The second book in my series, Mighty Old Bones, comes out next week. The mystery revolves around an ancient tree uprooted when lightning strikes it and an old skeleton revealed near the upturned rootball. I hope to see some of you on the road this year as I meander about the South. Please check my website in the next few weeks as I add dates to my calendar.
Mary Saums slugs coffee and prays for lightning strikes in the cranial area as she writes. She is thrilled that her book, Thistle & Twigg, is a finalist for the SIBA 2008 Book Award for Fiction. For more information about Mary and her books, please visit her website at http://www.marysaums.com/.