Do you keep pictures of people, places, or things you use in your book? I do. Sometimes the picture comes first and inspires a part of the story. Sometimes the story comes first, as it did here.
My ever-alert critique partner, knowing the main character in my WIP (suspense novel) rents a tiny cottage, spotted the picture and sent it to me. I tracked down Sandy, who graciously gave me permission to use it. Since it’s January and there’s snow in the picture (although it’s supposed to be in the low 70s here today), I decided to post it today.
This charming cottage belongs to Sandy Foster, who took this photograph. She turned an old fishing cottage into her studio. It’s such an interesting spot that Trevor Tondro did a feature on it for The New York Times. (Follow the links to see more.)
Mine didn’t look quite like this, but the cottage is exactly right. Here’s the bit about the cottage, though it may change before the book is finished.
“Thank you.” Madeleine followed her past the truck and down the drive to the tiny storybook house she’d seen from the road, watching Jean’s long gray braid swing in rhythm with her long strides.
“I told you it was small. But it’s clean and warm. It was my daughters’ playhouse.” She stopped and waited for Madeleine to catch up.
“It is small, but it’s charming. Who painted it?” Madeleine didn’t know if she could fit inside it.
“I did. I’m a potter, but I dab a little paint here and there. It was sittin’ here empty, and I decided it might do for short-term rentals. My husband’s a carpenter. We fixed it up again and touched up the paint I did for when my girls was little. I wouldn’t offer it except to a woman, and a small one at that.” She glanced over at Madeleine, curious.