Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Photo Tuesday

The world is full of great places for a story's setting. The bustle of a large city like New York. The romance of the beaches of the Bahamas. The mystery of the Orient.

I'll provide another idea for your storyline - have you considered the beauty of a high desert?

When most people think of deserts, they picture sand and camels. The Sahara and Death Valley come to mind. But high desert is different.

I lived in New Mexico for four years and it is the perfect example of high desert.

High desert is just that - high elevation. (As in, you get to use the high altitude directions on cake mixes.)

There's more rock than sand.

Scrub brush and cacti abound, but so do pine trees at the higher elevations.

There's rolling hills and large mountains.

Yes, it's hot in the summer. (Dry heat people! Humidity's around 11%) But it's also cold in the winter. And it snows. Sometimes a lot!

It doesn't rain often, but there's definitely a thunderstorm season.

There's also a dust season, Yes, tumbleweeds are for real!

Fewer bugs, but more poisonous critters.

It's often windy. Okay, where I lived, it was always windy! And there was always a headwind, no matter which direction you faced.

The air is thinner.

Since rocks outnumber trees, many buildings are made of adobe. (Such a fun word, isn't it?)

Fall mornings, it is cold before the sun rises, and at its coldest the moment the sun crests the horizon.

And the most beautiful thing about high desert - sunsets. The gradual shading of yellow to orange to red to purple to blue to black is indescribable. Sorry no photo - I always meant to take a picture!

I used a high desert setting and the city of Albuquerque in Book IV of my series, incorporating most of the above into my story.

Are you ready to incorporate a high desert into your story?


A said...

Oh my -- LOVE it.

Mason Canyon said...

Love the photos, they're breathtaking. The high desert is a perfect place for a story of any genre.

Thoughts in Progress

Karen Jones Gowen said...

The setting of a story is important to me when I go to read a book. I recently read a novel set in Delhi, and I learned so much about Indian food and culture. It was awesome!

Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

Great pictures! Definitely not NC. :)

Love the idea of a desert setting.

Summer Ross said...

Great pictures and lovely idea for settings.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I could handle the dry heat! Nice pictures.


These pictures just go to show there are some wonderful places in the world. Thanks for sharing.


Anonymous said...

Beautiful pictures. Thanks for sharing!

Hart Johnson said...

It really is beautiful. I love the jarring geography, and the idea of 4 seasons but winter not lasting 9 months... Seems pretty ideal to me. (not the poisonous critters though--I'd probably fall over dead if I ever saw a scorpion)

Jemi Fraser said...

Love these photos! Setting is so important to a book! :)

Sylvia Dickey Smith said...

High desert is indeed a beautiful spot! I lived in Albuquerque for a few months and loved it! A beautiful setting for a story! Thanks for reminding me of the beauty!

Sylvia Dickey Smith

A War of Her Own

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Thanks, everyone.

Hart, I never saw a scorpion or rattlesnake, but we did have black widows and brown recluses in our wood pile. Not fun!

Bob Sanchez said...

The first thing I noticed on arriving at your blog post was the first photo and the word "Bahamas." And I sez to myself, I sez, "The Bahama? Boy, that sure looks like New Mexico!"

I've lived in southern New Mexico since '06 and love it here. You're absolutely right about the desert being a great venue for a story.

Helen Ginger said...

This just emphasizes how important it is to know the area where your book is set or to do research.

Fabulous pictures, Diane.


Will Burke said...

Breath taking, and it speaks of a rugged people!

Jai Joshi said...

I've just been to a high desert called Tibet. It was stunning and bleak and beautiful all in one. Great place to set a story.


Unknown said...

What a great photo story. Yes, someday I will write about a high desert.


Arlee Bird said...

Nice photos. The desert and desolate places have a beauty and mystery that has always fascinated me. My WIP (which I have put on hold for a bit) is called A Desert Place and it opens on a ranch northwesterly of Albuquerque and later some of the action shifts to that city. I will be going back to put the finishing touches on this novel soon.

Tossing It Out

Simon Hay said...

Cool photos! I love the one with snow. In New Zealand alpine plants look similar to desert plants, and it can be hot and dry in the summer.

Jane Kennedy Sutton said...

Wonderful photos. Though I’ve visited high desert areas, I haven’t thought of incorporating them into anything I’ve written – yet.

Tamara Narayan said...

I don't think I'll be doing any stories in the high desert, because I haven't spent enough time around one to do it justice. The closest I've gotten is Flagstaff. Great pictures, though.

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Bob, them's some funny lookin' Bahamas! LOL

Jai, I would love to see Tibet!

Lee, that is cool! If you have any ABQ questions, let me know.

Simon, I definitely want to visit New Zealand! (And I wanted to even before the LOTR movies.)

Kathi Oram Peterson said...

Looks like a great place to set a book. Nice pics!

Patricia Stoltey said...

These are wonderful photos and look a little like the northwestern Arizona country where I visit my youngest son and daughter-in-law.


Kay Richardson said...

I love your words and your pictures. The word 'spunk' had me worried, however, as it means something a bit rude in the UK.

N A Sharpe said...

Wow! Love the pics! I can honestly say this has never crossed my mind for a setting...may be time to think about it.

Talli Roland said...

Love love LOVE the photos! I think I'm ready to live there. Not sure about writing though -- most my stories take place in an urban setting.

Unknown said...

There are so many possibilities in a desert setting! I lived in the Death Valley area for 12 years and there IS so much more than sand and cactus!

Love the photos!

L. Diane Wolfe said...

Hi Kay! Since it's a juvenile term, I don't worry about it.

Tali, there's urban in Albuquerque!

Crystal, you'll need to tell me about your Death Valley Days - LOL!

Anonymous said...

Awesome pictures. Truly beautiful and inspiring. I recently did a review for author Larry Seeley who lives in the high desert of New Mexico and that is where the setting of the book is.

Stephen Tremp

RaShelle Workman said...

Gorgeous pics. Here in Utah we have Black Widow spiders too. I watched one rude girl build a web in our garage from the lawn mower we'd just used to our car bumper. You better believe we had the Orkin man at our house THAT DAY!!!

Carolyn Howard-Johnson said...

Great photos, Diane. I was raised in the high desert. REally high. Over 4,000 feet. Lived in Phoenix for a while, too. Still collect cacti and succulets. Love your photos.

Kristin Rae said...

Very neat pictures!