Friday, February 27, 2009

Friday Forays In Fiction: Setting/Landscape

Buried A-Frame at Kid Valley, Washington. Mid 1980s


Big Foot Statue at Kid Valley, Washington. Mid 1980s

While working on the family photo scanning project this week, it occurred to me that many of the landscape photos taken on the road trips over the decades since the mid 50s, which I'd been mostly passing over until now, could be useful for my FOS (Fruits of the Spirit) story world as inspiration and reference. Much the same way the dozens of pictures I took of our trailer park before and during NaNoWriMo last November helped me with the setting issues for my NaNo novel, Mobile Hopes. So I've started scanning them too. And thus, I don't have to write this past week off as a total bust for my fiction projects.

Many of the photos I'm finding have no notations on them of year or place. When I found the two I've posted above, I did not recognize them as anywhere I'd ever been. I noted that my Mom (on the left between Big Foot's feet) was not carrying her white cane. Which meant the time frame was delimited by after I left home in 1978 and before she began using a cane in the mid 80s (mental note: ask Mom when, precisely that was) and if the Big Foot picture and the Buried A-Frame picture were taken on the same road trip it must have been, at minimum, a year or two after Mt. St. Helens eruption in May 1980. I wasn't sure where either tourist attraction was either. I had a faint memory of hearing about that buried A-Frame in association with the St. Helens erruption.

So I Googled, 'Buried A-Frame'. Was going to Goodle 'Big Foot statue' next but ended up finding this article containing reference to both. They are both part of The Survivor's Gift Shop in Kid Valley, Washington. The article mentions that the first statue they put up in the mid 80's was made of combustible material and was destroyed in the mid 90s. Their current one is taller and made of cement. So I guess that means my folks made that trip with my Dad's brother and his wife shortly after the first Big Foot statue was errected. Something about discovering that the Big Foot statue in the picture I found no longer existed tickled my fancy, made it harder to tear my gaze off it or my mind away once I was forced to move on to more pressing tasks. I recognize that feeling as the taking root of imagination. When ever I get that 'haunted' feeling it means I'm onto something.

So I definitely don't have to call this week a bust for my fiction projects.

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