December 23, 2016

Where we are in life will help us grow to be more of an individual, while also finding a sector in society.

In Arica, Chile, we were in the “heart of the Atacama Desert,” according to our 23 year old bilingual tour guide.

Because of my acute awareness of my surroundings, I was the first one to hear beeps.  Somehow they became a bit louder, a little more persistent. At this time I was telling my husband to stop drinking water from the bottle we bought along the way.  He looked at me, somehow questioning my remark, before the bus pulled off the road.

The Atacama Desert, the most arid desert on the planet is a sight to see…and be in the belly of.

Setting plays a critical part in stories.  I’ve been on tours where buses tip over (people were safe, thankfully) then explode, but this was a different scenario.

We were at least a good 40 miles away from Arica.  Would we walk? Would another bus come to our rescue?  What do you do when there’s no air conditioning?

Furthermore, where are you in the desert? Alone with feelings of betrayal or loss? Surely this bus was ready for the day trip, but something went awry, even if for 20 minutes.  Analyze the situation. Reactions of people.   Look inside yourself.  There is always a story.  Setting is going to help you get there.

I’m nearing the conclusion of another term and setting is my forte.  My characters have been in an apocalyptic world, found themselves soul-searching in Paris at the top of Notre Dame, and had a moment of panic while snorkeling at World’s End.

Place is where we can build worlds to grow, learn, love, hate, die and even forgive.

In this instance, the Atacama Desert forgives nothing.  Oh, the intricate weavings of writing!


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