I have been neglecting this blog horribly the past few months. However, I haven't been stagnant; far from it. My biggest project has been moving out of state, for the first time to a place we chose. For years, we have pondered settling in Pennsylvania and it has finally happened. Why here? It's beautiful. And it's friendly. It's in the north but not the northernmost north (nothing against the south but I can't help being a northern girl at heart). It feels like home.
Those who have done a lot of moving for business reasons will understand how "home" is more than wherever you live at the moment. There is a feeling attached to actually being "home" that can't be found anywhere you happen to reside. My Eastern astrology sign tells me I'm meant to be in the northeast. I could feel that long before I ever read it. It's where I'm comfortable, although I was raised in the midwest and still have a fondness for it. Now, I'm in the northeast but bordering on the midwest, and I'm home.
The move itself was quite stressful, followed by other stressful things falling upon its heels, and I'm still trying to settle physically. Mentally, I was settled here from the day we drove into our new driveway (new to us, that is). I look forward to the relaxed creativity that I know will be spurred by finally being in the right place. In fact, since we arrived, I have written two short stories; the second was finished while sitting outside on my back porch feeling the breeze against my skin and looking out over the gorgeous fall colors and the rain of leaves.
Atmosphere matters to artists. I suppose it does to anyone, but artists are, I think, more greatly affected by where they are moment to moment, as everything around is an inspiration or a barricade to creativity. I am affected by the view, by the weather, by the culture and how friendly or distant people are when I have to be out and about. I am affected by how well or how poorly my flowers are doing, how cluttered or uncluttered my desk is, and how much positivity or negativity I feel around me.
Now, I am surrounded by incredible maple trees turning bright yellow and orange and red. I have a front porch for welcoming guests and a back porch that's completely private where I plan to do much of my writing that doesn't need to be done on the computer. I am close to civilization but not right within it. This is a writer's place; a place I had only been able to dream about during the previous times of my life, the times we were told where to live and making do with hearing neighbors running up and down their stairs and having no individual breathing room. It comes with sacrifice, as all things do, but that makes it more special and more meaningful. I appreciate it as I do the sunshine after bouts of rainfall.
In a few days, I will be again participating in Nanowrimo. The novel I will be writing is darker than my others; more literary and less romantic. Still, glimpses of that life-giving, refreshing sunlight will seep through. I'm not sure how my readers will respond to the different genre, but I won't be held back by worries of acceptance. There are many stories that need to be written and they must be told in the way that works for the story. As strong as it is in my head, it needs to be written. "Katie" must come to life.