Saturday, November 5, 2016

Writing Prompts: Setting

Day 5 of NaNoWriMo: how's your story going?

Today's prompt is: describe the view out your window.

What is the season?  Vegetation, grass, trees, sand, sea?  Are there animals?  Is the wind blowing or is it quiet?  Is it sunny or dark?  What sounds do you hear?  Early morning garbage truck or bird song or the pounding of surf?  How will it look different 6 months from now?

What do you smell?  Fresh-mown hay, the garbage dump next door, the neighbors' barbecue, salt air?

Are there memories, good or bad, associated with this view and this place?

What do you like most about your view?  What do you like least?  If you could change just one thing, what would it be?

If you could have any view you want, what would you be looking at?  A real place, an imaginary place?  Describe the sights, sounds, smells, weather, landscape, animals, people.  Who would be there with you?

My picture shows the view I had from my window for a week over New Year's Eve.  It was in Panama City Beach, Florida, the third floor of a condo overlooking the Gulf of Mexico.  It was winter, but hardly what a Minnesotan thinks of as winter, with the really coldest days dropping only into the 50s!  Most days we were out on the beach in our swimming suits, and we had constant cognitive dissonance from seeing white, white, white everywhere we went--and having to constantly remind ourselves it was not snow, but sand!

The view had scrub grass of some sort, reedy plants waving between the condo and the beach, but mostly sand and sea.  The wildlife I saw was all birds.

There was a smell of salt in the air.  While I have been to the Atlantic when I lived in Virginia,  to the Pacific when I lived in Washington, very briefly lived in Mississippi (a whole two months in Biloxi), and spent some time at my former in-laws' house on the Irish Sea (like cross a very small road, and you're on the beach), most of my memories of and experience with water are the lakes in Minnesota--big lakes, small lakes, Lake Superior (yes, it does get a whole category to itself!), so salt water and the smell of it is always striking to me.

The sound, too, was amazing to me.  Although I once stayed at a friend's beach house when I was about 11, that was a few blocks from the water.  This was right on it, and it was amazing to hear the roar of the surf constantly, all day and all night.

And now...I'd say more.  But I have to get to work this morning.  Maybe I'll fill in more later!


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