Good morning, ladies! I'm in Colorado Springs, meeting with my agent and my virtual assistant (who is responsible for the existence of my Facebook Fan Pages and the Scavenger Hunt that's starting next week and all those other social media things I would never be able to a. think of on my own or b. pull off!) and a new publisher (to discuss our witnessing without words book -- remember that?), and the marketing director for the Reluctant Prophet books and the lady who's writing BIble studies for those and . . . big breath . . . my assistant for the writing-for-kids conference I'm doing at Glen Eyrie in October. AND I'm enjoying being with some really close friends. It's full and rich and I love it.
But I can never be here in Colorado Springs without thinking about the characters in Tournaments, Cocoa, and One Wrong Move. This is where I set that book, with the help of a group of teen girls like you who I met at Glen Eyrie. Whenever I glimpse Pike's Peak or have a latte at Pike's Perk or just breathe that fresh mountain air, I once again feel Cassidy's confusion and anger and hurt, and then her growth and her healing and her peace. It's as if it really happened, right here.
Kinda weird, huh?
It is to people who (a) have never thought up stories or (b) don't connect God with place. Okay, yeah, God is everywhere. Hopefully God will be waiting for me in Montana when I get there tonight, as well as on the plane when I board in an hour. But in my experience, the presence of God is felt more deeply in some places than in others. Those are the places where I set my stories.
St. Augustine, Florida
White Sands, New Mexico
Puget Sound, Washington
On the Cumberland River in Tennessee
I've never been to Montana where I'll be spending the next week, but I've been pulled there to "find" Kirsten, the main character in my next book called "Kirsten's Voice", about a young woman who self-injures. I'm thinking that's where God's going to heal her, and I'm headed that way in the hope that those who read her story will be led to healing too, from whatever ways they damage themselves.
So here's my question as I leave Cassidy's town and head for Kirsten's. If YOU were going to write a story about the presence of God in someone's very real experience, where would you set it and why? Even if you aren't an aspiring writer, think about it and let us know what you come up with. It may show you just how close God is . . .