I didn't post regularly on The Chorus of the Crows throughout January, but I was jiggling those tiny computer keys somewhere. I dragged my little laptop all the way to Boquete, Panama earlier this month. And in-between hiking the foothills of Volcan Baru, reveling at Mike's Global Grill and listening to the chorus of charming little birds, I wrote. I really wrote!
Before we left home, I wondered how writing in a warm and inspiring environment would affect my story. In his book On Writing, Stephen King wrote about his early dream of writing at a beautiful behemoth. A big frigging desk. Instead of a lowly desk shoved into a dark corner of a seedy apartment. He threw the first few pages of his novel Carrie into the garbage at a lowly desk. He was disgusted with it. The novel, not the desk! Until his wife rummaged through the trash, read his first draft, encouraged him to continue and the rest, well, is history. Later in life, King suffered a near death injury from a distracted driver. At this point, he had the behemoth. He had the desk of his dreams. But he couldn't write there. Not while he was struggling to survive. But he did start writing again. And in the end, it didn't really matter where.
I realized that in Panama. My new and improved location didn't really impact my story at all. Because as a writer, you just immerse yourself in the alternate reality of your story. Wherever you hang your hat just fades away.
The second leg of our travels took us to the beach. To Corona. A sleepy beach lined with cactus strewn cliffs. At one point, cowboys herded one hundred cows in front of our room. Priceless. I'd look out at the sparkles of the ocean and think, if only I could finish my novel here. If only...
Then, we arrived in Panama City. (shown above and below) I celebrated a mile stone on this balcony. I surpassed 50,000 words! A probable halfway point and a definite switch in the story line occurred here. My steamy new location may have seeped into my story line ever so slightly here. My main character Oren Walton, suffered through a sultry summer night while I overlooked the skyline of Panama City. Hmmm. Coincidence? I think not. But, unlike poor Oren, I loved every hot minute.
Location, location, location. It might not influence your story, but it damn well puts an exclamation point on your life.