I just returned from a week long trip to western North Carolina. It’s been a favorite vacation spot for me for several years now. Every time I’m there, it’s a major detox. Not only is the scenery breath taking, but the people are refreshing as well. The areas I visit most often are Lake Lure, Chimney Rock, Bat Cave, Black Mountain, and Henderson. There, the people seem to have a stronger sense of community, of people. It’s like a modern day Mayberry for those old Andy Griffith fans.
The people are from all over – the eastern seaboard, out west, and the midwest. Some have lived there all their lives. What I’ve noticed in all of them is how much more laid back they are even though they work very hard. They aren’t slow. They’ve learned to pace themselves. And more importantly, I think they’ve found what is most important – they take the time to enjoy the moment and the things they have. I say this because, here in Atlanta, everyone is in a hurry. Here, fancy houses, cars, and gourmet food rules. In my vacationing corner of the world, it’s not so much about what you have, but how content you are with your lifestyle.
This always brings a fresh perspective on characters and personalities. It’s easy for me to sit in tiny coffee shops (one of which is also a real estate office), and talk to people who treat me as though I’ve been sipping brew with them for years. It’s easier still to come up with personalities and traits to combine and alter for more fictional characters – ones I hope readers will find as enjoyable as I do.
Is there a place where you find the people and the environment so enjoyable that it inspires you, not only in soul, but in your craft?