Today I’m going to pretend it’s Tuesday instead of Thursday. Those days always confused me anyway… I’ve been reading the Top Ten Tuesday (created by The Broke and the Bookish) over on Paper Fury for a while and it looks quite interesting. I thought I’d give it a trail run; perhaps if it tickles the right cords I’ll be back with more on the real Tuesday… I’d be delighted to hear your thoughts!
I decided to go with an old-ish TTT and answer:
1. Switzerland. This is a really special for me because I have gone to Switzerland and sat in a flower-strewn meadow under the Swiss Alps reading the book that put the dream in my heart. Treasures of the Snow was one of my all-time favorite childhood novels and I spent years daydreaming of one day visiting the country and seeing it for myself.
2. South Dakota. I can’t imagine what my life would have been like without the constant companionship of Laura Ingalls. I read her books and re-read them so many times I still probably have some of her experiences lodged in my brain as my own. The idea of living back in a century when people had the freedom to pack all their belongs in a covered wagon and openly travel across a continent then settle and begin a new life is mind-boggling to me. Taking a road trip out west is one of my greatest dreams.
3. Great Lakes in Michigan. The book Scout made such a big impact on my life that I named my first dog Scout years before she was even born. From the adventure, family-ness, pure enjoyment of riding horses out on the beach and getting a boat license before a drivers license, the book made the Great Lakes sound like the most amazing place on earth. I actually used to imagine I would move there and write books that took place in such a spectacular setting. That was until I realized that where I grew up was just as magical and if I crafted my stories well enough, children might one day feel the same way about my childhood stomping grounds.
4. Alaska. I’ve read a number of books that take place in this cold and wind-swept region. I’m not sure which ones first inspired my great interest in this state, all I have to say is: It’s there. Alaska would probably rank in the top five places I want to visit most.
5. Holland. Going to Holland and actually getting to visit The Hiding Place and walk though the rooms was an experience I’m still in awe over. Sometimes I have to remind myself that yes, I really got to do that. I’ve dreamed of visiting the country ever since I fell in love with Corrie ten Boom’s books when I was about eight years old. When I was in my early teens I was also introduced to the writings of Brother Andrew. The Hiding Place and God’s Smuggler are two books that have made a huge difference in my life. And let me tell you, there’s practically nothing like buying The Hiding Place in the Hiding Place!
6. Montana. Catherine Farnes has several books that take place in this state. I find them all fascinating. I love being far away from big cities and Montana seems like the perfect place to accomplish such a task. If I could go and spend several weeks camping in this delightful state I would be more than thrilled.
7. Oregon. There is no way I can choose one book out of the dozens I read as a child of families who braved the long and difficult trail to make a new start out West. The adventure, the trouble, the hard work and the uncertainness all added to the allure of this state. Now I would just like to go and explore the countryside and relive some of the excitement I dreamed up as a little girl.
8. Ireland. Lois Walfrid Johnson wrote The Viking Quest Series. I didn’t grow up on her books like I did most of these other authors meaning I probably only read it once, yet her descriptions left me wanting to visit the country for myself. I can almost feel the stinging breeze of the salt water as I write this. And speaking of that, I should find those books and read though them again one of these days…
9. The Continental Divide. Over the Divide is one of those books that captured my attention and almost made me swoon over the writing style. Since I began writing seriously there hasn’t been another fiction book that has inspired me, helped me or been more of a comfort to me. I would love to meet the author, Catherine Farnes, some day and have tried unsuccessfully to find contact information so I can write and thank her for her amazing work. (If any of y’all know how to get in touch with her, I would be delighted to know!) Hiking over the Continental Divide is one of those dreams I hope to one day realize.
10. England. Patricia St. John (who’s the author of Treasures of the Snow) has several books that take place in England. (The Tanglewoods’ Secret, Rainbow Garden and The Secret at Pheasant Cottage to name a few.) Since I grew up on a steady diet of her books, it’s no surprise I wanted to go and explore the country for myself. There’s something magical about getting to visit the country of some of my favorite books, so I was thrilled to get to go to England last year. It makes the whole country more intriguing. I dream of one day having children feel the same about the settings in my books.