Writing in a Small Town

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I live in a small town, always have.

Not that cities don’t have their allure, they just aren’t for me. I require a tour guide and someone to drive me through all the crazy traffic. My daughter became a city girl after 4 years at Boston University. The idea of living in the mountains makes her eyes roll back in her head.

20140718-banks-vernonia-01I moved to the Coastal Range of Oregon about 4 years ago, following the dream of grannyhood that’s since come to fruition. We live up winding roads amidst giant trees and autumn fog. The owls and coyotes sing for our nighttime pleasure. We heat with wood and I attempt to grow vegetables. Thank goodness for satellite despite its painful slowness.

Our community is cohesive despite our many differences. We know each other by sight, if not by name. I’ll get there as the years ramble by; I’m an introvert but rarely shy.

I like the history of the place I live – the pioneers and booming logging days. I love the stories, poetry, and songs that arose from the wilderness and aΒ community close to the land. Many of the people in those storiesΒ and songs are still here. At the very least, they’re remembered. We have our local legends; we run into them at the hardware store or post office.

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Me and my helpers at the Saturday Market. I borrowed them from the neighboring tent and compensated them with homemade cookies.

Small towns are great placesΒ to be a writer. My books are popular at the library as my neighbors explore what the local author is dishing out. Our librarian called me about hosting an event and will stay open after hours for my November signing. I find space in the local newspaper and on the shelves of shops that don’t even sell books. I did a signing at the Saturday Farmer’s Market and had my best day of sales as the community stopped by with their enthusiasm and friendly support.

I may have to drive 40 minutes to the pharmacy or to purchase paper for my printer. The movie theater is an hour’s trip, the same haul for a host of other conveniences. But I love my small town. It’s a great place to write.

 

 

 

93 thoughts on “Writing in a Small Town

  1. Erik says:

    I feel like I have the best of all worlds. I live in a small town, but it has a university. It has lots of farmland and fresh-made ice cream. But if I want city life, it’s only 35 minutes to either Boston or Providence, RI. Same distance to oceans or mountains.

    But your little town reminds me a bit of Anne of Green Gables!

    Liked by 2 people

    • I love university towns – lots to do and great restaurants. (I can’t cook worth beans, so I love eating out). Your spot sounds just right, Erik. I haven’t read Anne of Green Gables (I cringe as I admit this) – now I’ll have to. πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      • Erik says:

        In turn, I’ll cringe while I admit that I really like the movie versions of both Anne of Green Gables and Anne of Avonlea just as much as the books. But whatever you do, don’t watch the sequel to these, which departs from the books and mucks everything up!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. hsampson says:

    Thank you D! you finally changed my perspective of little towns!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Ha ha. Are you a city dweller, Hector? Or tired of small towns? Either way, I’m glad I gave you a glimpse of my small town life. I do a lot of volunteering which connects me to a great bunch of people. Perhaps that’s why I love the place I live now more than I did my towns of the past. Thanks for visiting!

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Cat says:

    Your little town looks beautiful and I love the idea of you being the local author-celebrity and guest at the library. I have lived in London UK for tooooo long now and would love to return to a quieter and greener Scotland

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Beautiful place to write!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks, Patrick. The photos on your site make me think you have a small town of your own?

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes…mine is in Missouri and you are right…everyone recognizes you and is so excited to have an author in town. It feels so special that they feel that way! I think if I were just another person, they would treat me the same way…because of the comradery…that is what is so refreshing! Everyone knows and supports everyone else! We absolutely love it so I know just how you feel! Take care and enjoy your small town!

        Liked by 2 people

  5. dorne whale says:

    Lucky you…it sounds idyllic. I love to read about where fellow bloggers live and write. Thanks for sharing. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

  6. gnovember says:

    So much conveyed about your little town and piece of life in this post!All the best with the writing!

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Kev says:

    Reblogged this on Kev's Great Indie Authors and commented:
    This is how you make the most of living in a small town folks! πŸ˜€

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Reblogged this on Ace Sales & Authors News and commented:
    Lovely post about living in your town love true life tales. 🌷

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Maverick ~ says:

    Oregon’s beautiful, years ago I lived in Port Orford.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. D.G.Kaye says:

    So beautiful. Looks like the perfect haven for a writer. You are blessed. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

  11. I was raised in a small town and can vouch for the fact that people really are supportive of one another. The town I live in now is 104 thousand, but I consider that small as it has really small town values. I enjoy metro areas, but would hate to take that on at this stage in life….Although I would really like to be near my daughter. ..maybe I could have her kidnapped and brought here, ha ha. Small towns are great!

    Liked by 2 people

  12. Jed Jurchenko says:

    Sounds like an incredible place. The photos are gorgeous, and there is a wonderful feeling of community that comes from reading your post. It makes me want to venture away from San Diego for a while πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

  13. wow what a lovely place to live! love the pictures!

    Liked by 2 people

  14. Kev says:

    It’s great that you’re taking full advantage of your small community and what it has to offer, Diana. That first pic reminds me a little bit of Sedona… probably the flag. Lol πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  15. balroop2013 says:

    I love your post and the lovely little town you have described. Little places do have their own charm, you seem to know all the people even if you are an introvert. There are no traffic hassles and owls and coyotes become dear friends! The popularity that a small town gives too is so fascinating.

    I have always longed to be in a small town, away from the din of bustling cities. You are truly blessed dear friend!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you, Balroop. I haven’t been here long enough to know everyone and I do tend to be a bit of a hermit with my writing. But over time I expect I learn more names to go with the faces. Thanks so much for the kind words and thoughts. ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Love your post “D” and so happy you are in your “happy place!” It is wonderful when you find that special place where you can dream and do what you love, and have the love and support of the community around you.

    Liked by 2 people

  17. Sounds like a wonderful place to live. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  18. You sound very happy, and that’s all that matters…:)

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Oh my, you made your small patch of the world sound so inviting that I want to go pack and move right now. I live in a small town for 36 years and whenever I take my rambling walks thank God for it.

    Liked by 2 people

  20. How wonderful that you set up shop at a Farmer’s Market..that says it all. A small town will appreciate and honor your talent in a way that might get lost in urban settings. Congrats on finding your writer’s Utopia, Diana. May we all get there some day. πŸ’•

    Liked by 3 people

  21. Nurse Kelly says:

    It just sounds like you’re living a dream! And you are so blessed to have the means to do so! Seems like the perfect setting to inspire your gentle soul and share your gifts with a wonderful, close community. And your photos are just as beautiful as your prose here. Thank you for sharing this. xo

    Liked by 3 people

    • Thanks, Kelly. A lot of it is perspective and where I choose to put my attention. Nowhere in the world (that I know of) is everything all hunky-dory, but I like to put my energy into the things I love versus complain about the details. Not that I don’t complain my fair share now and then :-). Thanks for stopping by!

      Liked by 2 people

  22. ghostmmnc says:

    I am so envious of where you live! It is beautiful. I would love to live near the woods, and mountains…my dream place! Sounds like your town is very welcoming of newcomers. We have friends who live in Klamath Falls, OR and they love it there. Being from the dry, dusty partial desert of west Tx. anything with trees is refreshing! Thanks for the virtual tour!

    Liked by 2 people

    • My folks currently live in the high desert of Colorado. The landscape is beautiful with the big sky and painted rock, but I do miss the trees after a week or so. Klamath Falls is pretty! You’ll have to make a point to visit πŸ™‚

      Like

  23. Carrie Rubin says:

    I’ve never really desired to live in a small town, but your post makes it tempting! Sounds like your community is a perfect fit for your writing. You’re like the local celebrity. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  24. I live in a small town in Canada and love the benefits of being a writer in a small community. I’ve had wonderful support – the librarian called me too – and everyone seems to be like being part of the writing adventure.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. babbitman says:

    Sounds lovely πŸ™‚
    It’s interesting to try and understand your definition of ‘small town’ though because it’s probably a bit different in the UK. It’s all a lot closer together here for starters…
    I currently live in a village (population about 1100) which has a pub, a butchers, a hair salon, a very small convenience store, a primary school and a village hall (no library or post office). We’re about 6 miles from the centre of the nearest town (population about 30,000) which is where we go for libraries, supermarkets, garages, fuel, cinema and most of our shopping. The nearest city is about 20 miles to the north east (population about 130,000). The next nearest city (where I work) is about 25 miles to the south west and is the main regional city (urban population of about 730,000). This has 2 universities, a pretty good range of stores as well as being a likely city for reasonably big entertainment shows/acts. I grew up in a medium-sized city of about 330,000 people and my folks still live there.
    The UK is full of tiny wee places with bugger all in them because it’s a short drive to small town or city. The problem is that public transport between them tends to be quite poor which means we have to ferry our kids all over the place!

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s very different depending where in the US one lives – there are still places with lots of undeveloped space. I live 10 miles outside of town. My town is about 1200 folks. It’s a 45-minute drive to a city of about 30,000, and 75-minute drive to the big city Portland, pop. about 600,000.

      Thanks for visiting. Someday I’ll get to England! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      • babbitman says:

        If you ever get over here give me a shout & I’ll show you the sights! (I live near what’s left of Sherwood Forest and know lots of castles) πŸ™‚
        I think the terminology of settlements is a key difference:
        1) Hamlet – tiny settlement too small to have a church
        2) Village – between a few hundred to a few thousand inhabitants (we’d class your town as a village, but it sounds like it’s got quite a lot more amenities than most British villages!)
        3) Towns & Cities have odd technical definitions over here that aren’t linked to size but, in general, most towns are between 3000-150,000 people (so we’d class your nearest city as a small town).
        4) There are some tiny places in the UK that are technically cities but most are at least 100,000 people. We have a handful of cities that are above 500,000 while London is a ridiculously out-of-proportion place of 8.5 million.

        Liked by 1 person

        • My small town actually calls itself a “city.” I just can’t do it; that seems so strange to me. When they say they’re going to “town,” they mean they’re going to the city. I get confused a lot. I don’t think we have any rules over here. πŸ˜€ ;-D

          I have a friend who visited your area a few years ago. She said she could feel the history around her. I’ll get there! And definitely give a shout to my blogging buddies πŸ™‚

          Liked by 1 person

  26. Dan Antion says:

    It sounds like you’ve found the perfect place. I don’t know that I could be that far removed from a city (any city) but I don’t want to be too close to chaos either.

    Liked by 3 people

    • I wouldn’t mind being a little closer to the city, Dan, only because granny has to drive there and back twice a week to babysit πŸ™‚ We don’t get a lot of snow, but we get ice and fog, and the roads are twisty-turny. But then I’d have to give up my small town, so I’m staying put for now. πŸ˜€

      Liked by 2 people

  27. Annika Perry says:

    Thank you for introducing your town and its area to us, so beautiful and love the photo of the road through the forest with the dappled shade – very dreamy. Great about the community spirit and what wonderful support and encouragement from the library and everyone. Not a common occurrence I imagine to be contacted by them!

    Liked by 4 people

  28. Sounds wonderful! And I loved the photos πŸ™‚

    Liked by 4 people

  29. Lucky you to live where you do. I have always been a country girl myself, and would hate to live in a city – even though all five of my sons do.

    Liked by 2 people

  30. redosue says:

    You’ve found your place and it sounds perfect for you.

    Liked by 3 people

  31. It’s great that you’ve found a place that appreciates you and your talent. I have a friend who lives in the Smokey Mountains in North Carolina, and she feels the same way about it. I’m a city person myself, but wouldn’t mind living in a small town. I don’t know if I would like living as far out as you do. Each to his own. My dad moved us out to our cottage about 15 mies from the city and I even missed the smell of wet sidewalks and streets and the rumble of a train going by. πŸ˜€

    Liked by 3 people

    • So interesting, Suzanne, that you miss the smells and sounds. I can understand that. Cities are exciting and I do enjoy my weekly visits to my daughter, but the traffic is a bear, and I don’t understand the public transportation systems yet. Ever since moving from the east coast to the west coast my sense of direction is shot – I think it’s because the ocean is on the wrong side now πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  32. What beautiful photos! Your community sounds like it has the best features of small towns of the past–storybook towns. The town treasures you, and the love seems to be mutual πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

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