One of my all time favourite series, is Anne of Green Gables, by Lucy Maude Montgomery. I love the Anne-girl fiercely; she embodies all the wonderful qualities of a true heroine, I also love watching Road To Avonlea, a television series based off Lucy Maude Montgomery’s The Story Girl. The maritime location is absolutely stunning, and creates a marvelous backdrop for a compelling and dear story. As Anne would say about her beloved Prince Edward Island: “There’s so much scope for the imagination,”
I find there is something magical about visiting a place that has maintained its historical roots. If done well, it feels as though you are stepping back in time. The closest I can get in my hometown of Calgary, Alberta, is Heritage Park. This place is near and dear to me for many reasons; my parents met, and fell in love while working there in the summer, when I was twelve, I spent a wonderful summer in a Heritage Park children’s program, dressing up in period costumes, playing with piglets, and churning butter. And every Christmas my family would come to Heritage Park for their 12 Days of Christmas celebration.
Which is why every year I get a season’s pass to Heritage Park, so that I can pop in any time I want. This has proven to be wonderful for my writing because, as Anne Shirley would say: “It provides so much scope for the imagination.”
#1. The Great Outdoors:
I’ve discussed before the myriad benefits to my writing of getting outside and into nature. Heritage Park is one of the largest historical parks in North America, and not only do they have an expansive historical village, but the grounds are extensive as well. The rolling hills, gorgeous forestry, and beautiful view of the reservoir, are all wonderfully inspiring, and make for a relaxing atmosphere for writing.
#2. Outside of Time:
Although none of my novels are in the historical fiction genres, I have a special place in my heart for all things history! (I love it so much I went and got a degree in the subject!) So even though my love of history doesn’t directly relate to any of my novels, what it does do is give me a different perspective. Part of what I love so much about history is the ability to imagine what life was like for those living in a different time. This is so essential to my writing, because it allows me to really stretch my imagination beyond what I know. Since most of my writing is in the fantasy genre, it is important that I gather inspiration from a myriad of sources; and Heritage Park is a perfect place to inspire creativity!
#3. Unexpected Joys:
Heritage Park is a wonderful place for me to gather inspiration, and to feel creative, but it also is a place I go to feel happy, and peaceful. One of the things I love most about going there, is that every trip is different – there are always unexpected little joys in every experience.
In the spring, there is always new life at Heritage Park; baby chicks happening, little piglets playing in the mud, and little lambs frolicking along the hillside. Throughout summer there are midway rides, and sticky treats from the concession. Come autumn there is the fall harvest, and antiques sales, and in the heart of winter, there are the 12 Days of Christmas celebrations, with crackling wood fires, hay wagon rides, and handmade ornaments.
Do you have a place you go where there’s plenty of ‘scope for the imagination’? Tell me about it in the comments below!
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