Welcome to IWSG Day. The goal of this blog hop is to share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a haven for insecure writers of all kinds. IWSG is the brainchild of the amazing and generous Alex Cavanaugh. Thank you to co-hosts for July: J Lenni Dorner, Janet Alcorn, PJ Colando, Jenni Enzor, and Diane Burton! To read other contributors to IWSG click here.
July optional question: If you could live in any book world, which one would you choose?
In high school, I read a book called Celia Garth by Gwen Bristow, the fictional story of a young woman in Charleston during the American Revolution. It left me with a yearning to visit the South Carolina low country. Over the years since, I’ve read so many southern authors, Pat Conroy, Cormac McCarthy, Anne Rivers Siddons, Dorothea Benton Frank. If a book had the potential to mention a low country sunset, I was all in.
By the time my daughter moved to Charleston for a period and the chance came to visit, I could name the places I wanted to see –Trad Street, Rainbow Row, the Battery, Fort Sumpter, Sullivan’s Island, Folly Beach. She ended moving back there for a few years and through subsequent visits, I became familiar with the area. How I loved driving Route 17 from Charleston to Savannah and seeing kids casting shrimp nets by the side of the road, or slow trawlers waddling out to sea. I witnessed sunsets over winding creeks that were so beautiful they made me want to cry— it was all there— everything I read about in those books I so enjoyed.
But would I want to live there? Well, no, but not because the location doesn’t speak to me. It’s just that I lean equally toward books that feature New England. Perhaps it’s the familiarity that draws me in. I feel blessed to live less than an hour from a metropolitan city, but also close to lobster boats, farmers, apple orchards and tumbled stone walls, plus so much history almost everywhere we walk we mark famous footsteps. Case in point, two participants of the Boston Tea Party are buried in my town cemetery.
The other morning, I sat at my computer drafting this piece and looked out the window to see a truck from the local dairy farm delivering fresh milk in glass bottles to my neighbors. Where else does this happen anymore? When I read books that take place in this world, it’s like my oldest best friend, coming to visit.
So, to answer this month’s question, I can only say this. I'll always welcome an opportunity to visit the low country, but as Dorothy said so famously as she tapped her ruby slippers, “There’s no place like home.”