The weather in Minnesota is finally above 0 but I’m still a freeze baby living up North. Taking my own advice, I need to return to my working on my novel instead of things like – blogging or tic toking about a writer’s life. Refocusing, I thought I would try another exercise today. I’m going to walk indoors as I follow a video that travels down the Main Street of the town my story is set in.
This is gearing up toward a road trip to compare my imaginary walk to an actual walk down Main Street to see what I’m missing. Like the other exercises I’ve done, having something down in writing or having an idea of what I want to get out of my trip will help me focus on the right details once I’m there.
Here is a raw version of my vlog tours. (Raw)
The Main Street of Ely, Minnesota comes into view as the road begins to dip down a hill and a white water tower with a sky blue tip comes into view. It reminds me a milk lollipop. Don’t blink or the two blocks might be missed. Rush hour lasts 5 minutes.
Cool air drifts through the windows during the early mornings and turns to swamp thick during the summer afternoon. You might get a bug or two inside as the sun begins to set. You can’t escape the sound of traffic in this small town. Tourists from all over come to explore and find nature near the Boundry Water town.
Canoes and fishing poles are on top of every other car and truck as you follow the traffic down Main Street. But don’t worry, rush hour only lasts 5 minutes until the hill even outs on the other of the few blocks.
The bar signs stay lit during the day because no small Midwest town is complete without their local dive bar. Sometimes, you have better luck catching fish at the counter with a glass of cheap beer. I hear the loud rattle and sputter of a large suburban that announces it’s presence to everyone that stopped in for the weekend. A local is stopping by his favorite bar to watch tourists and get the latest gossip.
Wafts of the local menu drifts through screen doors. Scents of pizza dough and fried food mixes with pine needles, spruce, birch and aspen. I make a note to stop in for walleye and wild rice soup later. Fresh paint from one of the wooden storefronts closes my nostrils as I pass the brown, orange, green, and white storefronts. A mix of cement and wood look thrown together on the front of the buildings.
The serious fishers order the walleye when they return empty handed from a day’s fishing and a hot bowl of wild rice soup to warm up as the sun drops past the rows of pine trees. The scent of the pine needles, spruce, birch, and aspen all mix together in the wide, open air. When the breeze blows down the wide street, the painted wood from the brown, orange, and green storefronts lifts into your nose.
A local bluegrass band plays in the background off the front porch of one of the stores at the end of town but I’m on a mission to tour the gallery of National Geographic Photographer, Jim Brandenberg. Then, it’s a quick stop to see the shop of the explorer, Will Steger.
I stop and talk to a few returning tourists and locals. For now, I omit the fact that I’m filling their town with imaginary shifters. Yes, I’m adding the wolf lore that lines the walls of the International Wolf center that may have lead to mass hunting of misunderstood wolves. Good thing my novel isn’t a horror story. The natural behavior of wolves is to avoid humans. Something I need to remember when writing my novel. Exiting one shop my ear picks up a call of a wolf at the International Wolf Center. A few steps later, I hear the sound of a roaring bear at the other end of town. My trip wouldn’t be complete with visiting the tourist centers to help understand these wild animals.
An optional stop on my list is a trip into the woods is to visit to the lone pioneer woman, Dorothy Molter, and her homemade root beer tasting.
My days are going to end with coffee and people watching as I turn locals and tourists into wild creatures. Using real personalities created my children’s books, so real personalities will help develop my personalities. I take note of accents, phrases, signs, and the names on the local menus.
If I have a few more days, then the same walk will repeat and more details will line my notebook. Wish me luck when I take this imaginary journey to a real one once the snow melts.
Follow as I post on my progress throughout the month and share the experience.