Monday, May 17, 2010

Location Location Location

So yes, a post with location in mind, as applied to writing. I'm going to attempt to not have this post sound to disjointed. Bits of what I want to say have been floating about today and yesterday. And it doesn't help that the longer my blog sits without an update, the harder it is to relax and write a new post.

Anyways, yesterday I spent my day out and about town. My mother and Aunt came up to attend the Lilac Festival. While the lilacs were mostly past peak after our early warm weather the crafts were wonderful as always. There are a variety of artisans for the arts and crafts show, with jewerly being heavily represented. With the bright sun we had yesterday, it was the perfect day for the jewelers to show off their wares. Everything sparkled in the brilliant sunlight. With the nice weather the festival was packed, and we had to make our way single file through the throngs of people. But I still enjoyed some shopping and walking along the flowers. Even with the lilac blooms past peak, their fragrance still hung in the air.

With the festival being as crowded as it was the three of us decided to eat elsewhere. Which is how I'm leading up to the writing related point that's been dancing in my mind these two days. There is a wonderful coffee shop turned cafe in the village of Fairport, nestled on the Erie canal. As we were strolling along from the parking lot to the cafe the bells of the bridge started clanging, signaling the lifting about to start.

Now I used to live within walking distance of this bridge, I've seen it lift and lower countless times, both as a pedestrian and while in the car. But yesterday there was a woman with her son there as well, both curious about the bridge. While we all waited for the bridge lift-lower cycle, the woman and her son were speaking to the bridge operator. It was neat to hear the operator talk about the history of the bridge. Some of the facts I knew, while others I didn't. I'd already know that the bridge 'corners' are all different elevations, but I hadn't realized that the bridge lacks right angles and that the counterweights weigh differently from each other. As I stood there and listened to the exchange, and watched the boy's curiosity, I could look at this location like it was new to me.

This got me thinking about how in any setting, be it modern or speculative, the difference between locals and someone newer to the area. In more subtle ways then having someone be totally lost. It also got me pondering about how different characters will react to the same setting, even a group of 'locals'. One person might be more interested in all the gears working to raise the bridge, while the next might be put off for the wait. (For the record there are steps so pedestrians can cross while the bridge is up, the only wait is when it is moving). Or maybe someone might feel a historical connection to something in the setting.

Here is a web page with a nice amount of pictures of the bridge. This is a lift bridge, not a draw bridge. The whole bridge lifts up, staying horizontal. It's not like in Blues Brothers where halves of the bridge raise independently.