Wow. I started out life in a town of thirty-five people that, still, no one has ever heard of and ended up wa-ay across the country in Santa Fe, New Mexico, which practically everyone has heard of.
Believe it or not, there are similarities between the two. Homeville, when I was a child, was a southern subculture. White people talked about the past as if it were a glowing time -- when it sounded quite scary. But there is the similarity. The past is quite important to native New Mexicans as well -- and with the rather agressive conduct of the conquistadors against the Native Americans, it can be plenty scary, too.
In Homeville, when you meet a neighbor or nearby resident, it is polite to discuss how you are related or at the very least how someone you know or have met is related. It's the same in Santa Fe, exactly the same. In Santa Fe, people share about how they are likely cousins -- the same in Homeville. It makes me feel at home.
Both places are beautiful in their own way: Homeville because of the pine forests, large oak trees, open fields that are covered by steam rising off the surface on hot summer mornings. Santa Fe -- for mountain vistas and pink and turqoise sunsets.
My writing reflects my experience. I have two mystery series going right now -- one follows detectives Cinnamon and Burro around New Mexico. The other takes place in the 1970's in Homeville. That way I can write about the two places that live inside of me.
The past two years have included great travel: Cuba and Mexico City, Guanajuato and San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. Below are a couple of photos from those glorious vacations. Maybe I'll set a book in Mexico when I'm done with the two I'm writing now (arrgh!).