Sunday, November 8, 2015

A Change of Scene

I have lived in two states in the U.S. soon to be three. I grew up in Montana but moved to California just before starting 7th grade. Needless to say California was a huge change from the Midwest and not a particularly positive one.

I came to like California a little more over the years and appreciate the opportunities it afforded me. I was able to do a lot that I never would have been able to from Montana, like going to San Diego Comic Con, two World Fantasy cons, and anime conventions.

But I have never written about the area where I live. When anyone outside of California (and even many of those in CA) think of the state it generally breaks down to San Francisco and Hollywood. That's the only thing that anyone associates with the state. I live very far from those two places in the Central Valley. Which people don't think of except for the occasional joke about Fresno or Bakersfield cropping up in TV, film or books. One of the lines I remember was basically "Fresno is somewhere you end up" it's not a place people go to voluntarily.

In a month however I'm moving to new state which I've never been to. Oregon. I am looking forward to leaving behind the small town I live in which is very isolating. I have one local writer friend- our very own Sunny Frazier (who DOES write about this area)- but we write very different genres.

And despite my dislike for where I live in CA, I am wondering if time and distance will soften my perspective. Perhaps, someday, despite all my opinions that 'nothing ever happens here', I will one day set an Urban Fantasy novel or a children's book  in the Central Valley where I used to live.


authorlindathorne said...

You should love Oregon. I think there's lots of rain, but I grew up in Phoenix, Az and love the rain we get where I live now in Tennessee. I've never been to Oregon, but I've always wanted to see that state and also Washington.
Hope to hear more about you new life in a new state.

Liane Spicer said...

A writer I admire, Heather Sellers, said in Page After Page that it takes about ten years before you can write about things, that they need to lie in the compost heap of the subconscious and go through processes before they're rich and loamy and ready. So you might write about good ole CA some time when impressions and experiences have sorted themselves out into something coherent. In my experience, while you're living through things they are the furthest thing from coherent. Distance lends clarity.

Oregon sounds like a fantastic place. It's not too far away from the place I dream of making my home one day: Vancouver, British Columbia. Oh, and I love rain.

Charles Gramlich said...

I've lived in two states as well, Arkansas and Louisiana. For me, living in a rural environment is critical. I hate being within even driving distance of a big city, but I have to be because of my work.

Che Gilson said...

Kinda- I'm really looking forward to Oregon! I think it'll be great, and the weather will be much better :)

Liane- I think you're right, CenCal may be future story fodder. Wow! Vancouver! I hear it's beautiful! But I've never been.

Charles- I'm glad you enjoy the country. A lot of people do! It must be wonderfully peaceful.

Jewel Amethyst said...

From the video clip, seems Fresno is very popular in the movies :). Where ever you live, whether you like it or not it shapes you and it influences your writing.

I lived in the USVI briefly over 20 years ago. I was not very fond of it at the time. I have never set a novel in that place, but it has still influenced my writing and often I find characters from there pop into my head while I'm writing.

I figure that'll be the same with you and Fresno as time goes by.