They say change is good. It wakes up the brain, stimulates the imagination. Forces you to see what your eyes tended to slide over because you’d seen it so many times before.
So here I am, seeing green mountains instead of desert, rivers instead of dry washes, myriad birdsong instead of a single far-up cry of a hawk searching for breakfast down among the cactus. It’s very relaxing after a year of conflict and disruption. Maybe too relaxing.
I don’t know enough about the area to start plotting a murder mystery, although I’ve been told they do happen around here, no matter the seeming tranquility. I’m tempted to write at least one more book about the desert and those wonderful cops who patrol it. But can I remember enough to make it come alive, as I experienced it? I could write of an amateur or even professional detective who has been transplanted, but that seems to have become almost cliché. On the other hand, can I learn enough of the deep-down life here to really understand it? I have no confidence of that, not yet, despite having personal “ins” to the police, fire departments and emergency services, not to mention the families. A little more time, perhaps.
Meanwhile, I will try my hand at creating a plot in an area I am familiar with, enough to bring “real” people into it. Maybe not the desert, but I have lived many other places – the Midwest, the Southwest, Mexico. We shall see!