Wickeds, continuing with our November theme of joy–
What place consistently brings you joy? It can be a small place like a reading nook or a favorite chair, or as big as a town or even a country. It may even exist today in your memory. But you know that whenever you go there, even if you are tired, or stressed, or down, it will bring you joy. And then tell me the same thing about one of your characters.
Sherry: Do I have to pick just one? Okay, okay. Boston. Every time I fly into Logan I think, “I’m home.” I love the history, the ocean, the accents, the food. I found out a few years ago that in the 1600s someone from my maternal grandmother’s side of the family landed in Hingham, Massachusetts. I think the love for that city is in my DNA. Sarah Winston ended up in Massachusetts because of her ex-husband’s military career. She fell in love for it too and didn’t leave after they divorced.
Edith/Maddie: I find great joy and peace in being at my uncle’s second home in the Alexander Valley north of San Francisco. It’s in the area where I set the Cece Barton Mysteries and where I was last week for in-person launch events for Murder Uncorked. plus some solo writing time. The air is dry and quiet and fragrant with western scents of herbs and live oaks. The view is stunning. Little California quail run along the top of the fence and call to each other. And when my cousins and their spouses are here, we talk and laugh and eat and drink. I’m so lucky to be connected to their family. Cece feels the same about Colinas, where she lives half a mile from her twin sister in one direction and a mile from her wine bar in the other. She also has quails on her fence!
Julie: Edith, what a lovely view! My place is a memory now–my grandparents had a cottage on Lake Winnipesaukee and I have nothing but joyful memories there. A beautiful place full of love. In my books, Lilly has her gardens. I think that Delia, Lilly’s roommate, is happiest in the town archives. Places have such emotional resonance, don’t they?
Barb: I get very attached to places and the memory of places. Right now, I would say the place that brings me joy is my fourth floor study in our townhouse-style condo in Portland, Maine. It had big windows and glass doors to large decks on two sides, and I can see the cruise ships at dock out the eastern windows and the oldest cemetery in Portland out the west. It’s my personal space and I have it set up just the way I want it. For Julia Snowden, the protagonist in the Maine Clambake Mysteries, joy is her new apartment in the renovated mansion, Windsholme, on Morrow Island, where her family runs their authentic Maine clambakes. Specifically, it’s the window seat in her living room, where she reads, relaxes and sometimes does a little sleuthing in her limited free time.
Jessie: we should check to see if our family trees are in the same grove, Sherry! My family was heading generally that way in the 1600s too! For a large scale place I would have to say the seaside, particularly the North Atlantic. My spirits lift every time I draw near to it. My heart pinches and sinks as I watch it fade in the rear view mirror as I drive away. As to personal space, I would have to mention my library, office, and screen house as places that bring me quiet joy. As Barb says, I have things just as I like them and it all pleases me immensely.
My sleuth, Edwina, feels much the same way about her home, the Beeches, as well as her surrounding gardens. She is always refreshed by returning home no matter how much fun she has out in the wider world.
Readers: Tell us about a place that brings you joy.