Wednesday, February 16, 2011

A sense of place is a feeling you get when you feel like you belong somewhere; where you love and feel comfortable. Maybe it is where you experienced the best years of their life. The place gives a feeling of belonging.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

A Sense of Where We Were; Writing about where we choose to live

Since returning from the AWP conference in Washington DC, I have so many ways to improve my story collection that I’m trying to find a publisher for. The story I’ve been working on this week is called, Granby Colorado, Stories from 8,000.

The panel that influenced me the most was called A Sense of Where We Were: Nonfiction Writers on Setting. I really enjoyed listening to Bob Cowser and Kristen Iversen.

Cowser grew up in rural west Tennessee and wrote about this place in his book, Scorekeeping. He told us that he started writing about the history of this place from the town information in the phone book.
He gave me some ideas on how to rework my Granby essay using historical facts and not just writing about my own impressions of a place.

So here are the first few paragraphs of a revised Granby Story, still a work-in-progress.

Dr. Susan Anderson arrived in Fraser in 1907 "Train Number One" of the Northwestern & Pacific Railway at the Moffat Road Station. She crossed the Continental Divide at 11,660 feet, at the time the only way to get to Grand County in the winter months. She ended up staying for fifty years. Initially she had to prove herself at a doctor over and over to locals and arriving to see patients on snowshoes and in snowstorms. Her patients were lumberjacks, railroad men and women who needed medical care.

One hundred years later, I arrived in Grand County from the north via highway 40 in my 2001 Subaru.

Grand County is named after Grand Lake and the Grand River, the first name given for the Colorado River with its headwaters on the western slope of Rocky Mountain National Park. Granby, the town I live in is 7,939 feet above sea level. Latitude: 40.09 N, Longitude: 105.94 W

Grand County’s rugged terrain is much different from its surrounding counties most likely due to extreme temperatures and wind. Despite all of the extremes I encounter my first year, I surprise myself and fall in love with this place.