It’s been a few months since we settled into Little Pod and, to be honest, the solitude has taken some getting used to. That is, at least until you realize you’re not really alone out here — and then it becomes a bit, well, extra.
Here’s what I mean — that “little visitor” was in our driveway. He’s about 8 feet long and hungry. We often hear him calling in the darkness and it’s more than a little unsettling to know when you drive up in the evening, he could be waiting to greet you.
There are coyotes, too, and although I sometimes like hearing their chorus of yips and yowls of an evening, it’s chilling to note that they’re probably celebrating over some bloody hors d’oeuvres.
And then there’s the Body Farm. For those of you who don’t know, there are seven body farms in the U.S., of which the one at Freeman Ranch (right across the street from Little Pod) is the largest at 26 acres. What’s a body farm? A research facility where decomposition can be studied in a variety of settings. You know, they arrange various and sundry corpses out on the range and watch how fast the weather and vermin take their toll. Nice, right?
Actually, PERFECT for someone who writes strange and twisted tales like I do. But on days when I’m alone in the dark in the middle of 10,000 acres of undeveloped land, my imagination can get even bigger than is comfortable.
Discomfort, however, produces some of the finest writing. I’ve noticed my prose taking on an edge that it didn’t previously have. Being here in the dark and the danger (real or perceived) is a great way to live the emotions I’m trying to provoke in my writing.
My short dark tales have benefitted most from this immersion, but my Vikings novel (no real title yet) has flown together faster than I imagined, partially because of the wild landscape that threatens to intrude on my sanity each time I sit down to write.
So, even though I sometimes spare a wistful thought or two for life in suburbia, I’ll take the wild freedom of Little Pod any day. It sets my imagination free and adds just enough risk to daily living that my writing becomes all the more authentic.
See you on the next page!