Confessions of a Northwesterner in New England

IMG_1675I meant to title this “Confessions of a New-New Englander” but since I’ve only been here for about two months I don’t think I qualify for the title. I’m pretty sure I need to survive at least one winter before I can even come close to that.

Since the move, I have been to Northhampton Beach and a couple others – and wandered through Purgatory Chasm. (No joke, it’s actually called that.)

I have also visited Boston and wandered through the Mount Auburn Cemetery in Watertown. And before you squint at me for visiting a cemetery, I will have you knowIMG_1699 that I saw Robert Gould Shaw’s gravestone along with Faulker’s – they’re pretty close together, actually.

The place is beautiful and respectful and full of history and I loved it. I look forward to future visits because it’s too large to take in one night.

Now then, I do have to complain about the state of the roads. They are simply too small for all the cars and the light systems are weird. Furthermore, particularly in the larger cities, people seem to have no sense of self-preservation.

By that I mean they don’t use crosswalks, they simply make their way across the road whenever they like and pay no mind to oncoming traffic. And the best part… If they make eye contact, they grin and wave at you like it’s no big thing that they were nearly your first ever manslaughter.

IMG_1701I lived in Hawaii for a time and not even Waikiki Beach was this bad.

That said… it rains a lot. And there are tree frogs every night because we live in a remote area. And it is so very, very green.

Which brings me to my writing, because as much as I might have said I pay attention to my worldbuilding and things, I can tell you that I missed a lot in my work. There’s something to be said about not hammering too many details into a reader, but there’s something else to be said about digging deeper and finding the details that matter.

Such as the feel of arid summers against humid summers. Or the prominent smell of IMG_1708wildflowers against localized gardens. Or desert bugs against verdant bugs – HINT: There are more of them here than I recall in Idaho.

Or even the light, which is different here. I’m still working on how to describe that, but the basis I think is in all the greenery and tall trees versus the wide open blue of Idaho.

Suffice to say, I am paying better attention to the right details for my settings now. And I challenge any writers out there to go somewhere and make a note of the differences you find.

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