The joy of finding reality in the midst of fiction
June 3, 2017
I drank from the Fountain of Youth. The water tasted remarkably like well water. I’m still waiting for the ‘youth’ bit to kick in.
Have you ever imagined a place and when you finally got the chance to visit, it was exactly as you pictured?
In my book, WILD GOOSE CHASE, Olivia Pence and Dezz Casey had a love-hate relationship since kindergarten. When they ended up working for the same magazine, all hell broke loose. Their boss had her fill of their back and forth taunts, and ordered them to take a two-week cooling off period. They were to travel separately and find serendipitous situations to write about and if the time away didn’t fix their woes, the boss threatened to take drastic action.
Of course, Dezz laughed in the face of danger (a/k/a being fired) and followed Olivia, who was on her way to Florida. Some funny situations took place along the way and so did some romantic ones. Of course, trouble also found it’s way into their adventure. Dezz headed back to New York and Olivia continued on.
Olivia visited Ponce de Leon’s Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park in St. Augustine, Florida. When I wrote this scene for her, I’d never actually been to this amazing attraction and had to heavily rely on information from the internet. WILD GOOSE CHASE was published in May 2016 by the Wild Rose Press.
In February 2017, I finally got to visit the place I wrote about. I admit to being in awe when I realized how close I came with my descriptions in the book. The second I saw the albino peacocks I got all warm and gushy inside. There were also colorful male peacocks strutting around, making noise since they were in rut.
I drank from the Fountain of Youth. The water tasted remarkably like well water. I’m still waiting for the ‘youth’ bit to kick in. At present, those pesky crows feet are still creasing the corners of my eyes.
In my story, Olivia sat on a bench and tried to come to grips with her true feelings for Dezz. I think I sat on that same bench after I finished touring the park.
For me, this after-the-fact research was surreal. It was a writer’s retreat that not only helped me reconnect with the characters in the book, but also recharged by my creative batteries for future stories.
There’s a lot of beauty and history to enjoy at Ponce de Leon’s Fountain of Youth Archaeological Park. If you get a chance, check it out.
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