I’ve returned from Oregon - more on that later. While I was there, an experience inspired me in terms of writing and details.
And, I am visiting Patricia Stoltey today with “My Writing Life - so stop by her blog and say hello!
What struck me was the difference in driving between North Carolina and Oregon. Now, we have our Pokey Puppies here! It’s not uncommon to get behind someone going 45 in a 55 mph zone. On the flip side, there’s those driving 10-15 mph over the speed limit. (And if you’re on I-95 and you’re NOT one of those people, you WILL be run over!) However, in Oregon, the range is much smaller. Most people drive five miles over to five miles under. This causes a steady flow of traffic rather than the obstacle course that is NC.
Did you know that? (Did you know that there is no self-serve gas pumps in Oregon either? Weird, huh?)
As writers, we have to be aware of these subtle differences. A detail like that won’t be listed on a fact sheet or website, either. We would need firsthand experience, either ours or someone else’s. Yet it’s those little details that add depth and reality to our work.
I spent the first nineteen years of my life in Oregon. I’ve visited many times over the years, and eventually I realized that it just wasn’t the same anymore and not really home. This past visit it really hit me that NC and the East Coast is my home now. Yes, we have our humidity and hurricanes. Tomorrow I will be forced to go around a large tractor or a lawn maintenance truck parked in the road. (And I do mean parked IN the road.) Everyone here thinks BBQ is pulled pork rather than a rack of ribs. But there is something to be said for Southern hospitality. The East Coast is packed full of interesting people and places. I like the consevative attitudes here. My friends, family, and business are here. This is home. Southern people no longer scare me! LOL
Thanks to everyone who left well-wishes for my mother this past week. We hope she will be out of the hospital in a couple days. I spent my time there looking at skilled nursing facilities (she will need a couple weeks of rehab) and assisted living homes. She’s not crazy about the idea, but knows it needs to happen soon. So another trip to Oregon to help her sort her house is in the very near future.
I am just happy I get to return home to North Carolina afterwards!