This Crazy Beautiful World

I grew up in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado where the dry heat in the summer brings out the sharp smell of pines and juniper and the snows in winter can stack up in feet and not just inches. Where sometimes it snows on the Fourth of July and lightning travels miles to strike a tree on a distant mountainside.

With such influences, of course these settings make it into my writing. They’re so vivid that I can practically taste the pine sap and feel the cool breeze.

This is also why I love to travel. The exposure to new environments feeds into new, vibrant settings.

So, it’s only natural that South Carolina has started filtering into some of my newer stories. It’s so drastically different from Colorado that I can just sit and soak in the differences. The world here breathes the odor of moldering leaves and damp earth. Sand sneaks into shoes and lizards skitter across brick walls. Flowers bloom year-round in a menagerie of colors and instead of snow, it rains leaves and buckets of water.

Thus, the newest adventure book boasts twittering warblers, sandy shores, and the thick foliage of magnolias, palms, and pines. (I’ve yet to find a place that doesn’t have a pine or two).

It’s a different feel for the story, and I love the variety this crazy beautiful world offers. I’ll never grow tired of exploring it. What influences your settings? Or what do you notice most about the place in which you live?



10 thoughts on “This Crazy Beautiful World”

  1. Jennifer, you do so well with your words that I can smell what you describe! And the smell of pine in the dry Colorado summers brings back memories of going to a Western riding camp I went to in Colorado for three summers as a child.
    The sense of smell is so powerful. I was walking in our Louisville neighborhood, smelling the fragrances of various flowering trees, and at one moment I was suddenly and unexpectedly taken back to our patio in St. Louis, where my sister and I would do our homework on Sunday afternoons in the late spring. I could almost hear the fountain where our little pet turtles spent the afternoon swimming.

  2. Probably birds, plants and weather as we explore new areas. The birds and their migratory patterns, so seeing different birds throughout the year. Plants and their seasons and how they vary so much from place to place (of course being further south makes a difference and also at a lower altitude) it’s a joy to watch the transformation as they grow…. Weather as you mention, it’s amazing and the rainbow reminds me of God’s promise.

  3. Love your sources of inspiration! 😊 I also like to find inspiration in the natural world, as well as in my favorite stories and myths! 🙂

  4. I love how the natural world makes such a strong presence in your books and stories! There’s world building, which is wonderful and so much fun to read to piece together a story, and then there’s the feeling of being dropped in the natural world and getting to walk around in it. Needless to say, I’m looking forward to being transported to South Carolina.

    1. Hopefully Golden Shells does it some justice since the adventures are light on the world building! I’m glad my love of the outdoors comes through even just a little 🙂

  5. This year, it’s the wind! I can’t remember it ever being this windy in Colorado…. 🤪

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