In 2020 we were blessed to move into a quaint, Cape Cod style home built in 1931. The house still has the original chandeliers and wall sconces. Glass drawer pulls and door handles. Gorgeous cupboards. Pink-and-black tiled bathroom. A covered stoop over the side door. And a prayer room.
As writers we create our characters, and over time, they tell us who they are, about their background, their secrets. This home is like one of my characters with her own, unique charm. I wonder too,
what she will tell me in time. Her stories.
My dad's grandfather, Charls Veden, emigrated from Sweden to America in 1858, the same year Minnesota because a state. He fought in the Civil War before becoming a U.S. citizen and served three years in the Minnesota Voluntary Infantry, Company D. After the war, Charls and Carolina left the Swedish settlement in Stillwater and homesteaded 160 acres on Horsehead Lake in the prairielands of Central Minnesota.
Family history notes tell the tragic story of the young family who lived across the lake. On a cold, winter night their cabin caught fire and they were forced into the frigid elements. Barefoot, they walked across the frozen lake to seek help from Charls and Carolina. Days later, my great-grandfather was burdened with a heavy task.
My short story, Cries on the Prairie recounts a fictional version of that night, and earned "Winner" in the 2014 Wyoming Writer's Contest.
Inspiration. Often, I find the best inspiration at a writer's retreat.
Time away brings clarity and vision for the current piece I'm working on. I've been blessed to attend retreats in such wonderful places as Devils Tower National Monument, Vee Bar Guest Ranch, Willow Creek Ranch, St Olaf Art Barn, and the Saffrin Family Cabin on Dead Lake to name a few.
Where do you find inspiration?? What triggers your creativity?
I say, who needs a garage when you can have a studio. This is my space to be creative or have a craft day with the grandgirls. This summer it expanded into a boutique, a place for friends to stop by and visit or shop my collection of products. Books, photo cards & notebooks, soy candles & more!