Getting it Right: Places and Settings

Birch Creek Valley, Idaho

by Jacqueline Hopkins

Since I love to travel, geography, studying maps and taking pictures go hand in hand with my traveling. I like to study the topography of an area, see its natural features, and get to know its characteristics. I take lots of pictures and make lots of notes in case I want to put the place or setting into one of my books.

My book, Wilderness Heart, was set along Highway 14 in Idaho. Highway 14 goes east of Grangeville, Idaho, to Elk City, Idaho. As a teenager growing up in Lewiston, Idaho, we drove Highway 14 to Red River Road, then on to Red River Ranger Station in the wintertime, where we would grab the entire contents of our truck and pile them onto sleds to be pulled behind snowmobiles. We would ride about 15 miles all the way into Dixie, Idaho, where my parents had a cabin. Continue reading “Getting it Right: Places and Settings”

Ed’s Casual Friday: You are here. (Maps and stories)

I love maps.

There, I said it. And while that isn’t a particularly damning admission, like saying “I love black tar heroin,” it’s not exactly cool. You’re not going to get far in a singles bar sidling up to somebody and whispering, “Hey, baby. You want to see a map made in Virginia in 1862 with The Confederate Territory of Arizona on it?”

So why bring it up? Well, it’s like this. Inspiration for us writerly types can come from just about anywhere, as I’m sure you all know. One sentence in a conversation, dog running down the sidewalk, Liquid Plumr commercial (that’s how they spell it). Absolutely anything can trip the synapses fandango, and send any one of us down a scribbling path we had no idea was there. Continue reading “Ed’s Casual Friday: You are here. (Maps and stories)”