Saturday, January 12, 2013

Little Cottage in the Woods

The Cottage
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.

13 comments:

Polly Iyer said...

I want it. What a perfect little cabin. Good thing I'm short.

Palmaltas said...

What a lovely story about the cottage and the picture.

Ellis Vidler said...

I love it too. I can imagine shutting myself away there to write, but would I write or dream? Palmatlas, I hope you followed the links to see the other pictures. Neat sleeping loft!

Star said...

Who wouldn't like that. It's adorable.

Ellis Vidler said...

Hi, Star. I just got a cookbook for scones and clotted cream. Now all I need is the cottage. :-) (Although I wouldn't fit in it for long)

Marsha said...

I've seen shows on HGTV about small houses. They are amazingly efficient. The picture makes me want to visit, as do the words in your WIP.

Ellis Vidler said...

I fall for those tiny houses. Wouldn't one make a perfect place to write or paint or whatever you do? I'd love to have one.

laura thomas said...

It's adorable. And so much roomier inside than I expected. Even a kitchen! I could definitely spend time there.
I'm interested to read more of your story:)

Ellis Vidler said...

I've barely started on this story--only about 22,000 words. This is the first draft, and of course, as soon as I posted that excerpt, I spotted some problems. I could point them out, but I think I'll just correct them. :-)

Nancy Lauzon said...

Love the cottage! I post photos of my characters (usually celebrities) to give me a feel for them as I write. Having a visual really helps!

Anonymous said...

just read Haunting Refrain loved it! I found it very interesting we both have a Grandfather Duke from Kentucky.My family was from Laurel Co. I'm learning to trace family and was surprised see a link to both my hobbies.sissos77@yahoo.com

Ellis Vidler said...

My Duke family is from Daviess County, around Paducah and Owensboro. But it's a large family. We could be cousins! :-)

Ellis Vidler said...

I just checked. How funny. The cottage in the story is in Corbin, right next to Laurel County.