Scouting locations for my novel

I’m a Georgia girl, through and through.  And so when I first began thinking of my story, I didn’t even think twice about where it would be set.  Granted, it’s in a smaller town than I grew up in, kind of out in the middle of nowhere, compared to the busy suburb of Atlanta that I live in.  But it was definitely colored by growing up here with the heat, the drawl, and the buzz of cicadas all summer long.

So I started looking.  First, it was just a way to procrastinate.  I knew the basics about my town, but I was curious about where to set it.  I thought it would help me to develop an idea about Vine’s career, and the areas she would be working in.  So I started a search.

And I bought a book.  Haunted Georgia by Alan Brown got me started.  I found out about an ENORMOUS, mostly abandoned sanitarium in Milledgeville, GA.  And when I looked around the area on Google Maps, I found a small dirt road about 1/2 hour away.  The name was just too good to pass up.  And when I saw that there was a creek that ran alongside the road, exactly where I had imagined a creek, and that that creek was also perfectly named, I had to go with it.

And I planned a road trip.  I also stopped at a few other places of interest, including the grave of Flannery O’Connor in a historical Milledgeville cemetery, and the aforementioned sanitarium.

Bear was still living in Maryland, and it drove me nuts to go on a fun road trip without him.  But I kept him in the loop via text and tweets, and sent pics as I went along.

I’ve always wanted to take him back.

And today, I did.  It was beyond exciting for me.  I love sharing everything with him, and I wanted him to see this place that was so important to me.  We also brought J, and it was a huge added bonus to show him as well.  We had a great time.


Glint/Willowisp is set on a small dirt road in the middle of nowhere.  I see it as a place set aside.  It’s a place that you wouldn’t pick out on a map, and that has been protected by magick and by its remoteness from outside influences.


Today, when I went back, we explored the road a little more than I did the first time.  I took some great shots of the road, and hopefully one will work for the cover of my book with some Photoshopping magick.  We also checked out the small country church and tiny cemetery at one end of the road.  In my book, the cemetery is where the town’s residents are all buried, including Vine’s aunt June.  It looks different from what I imagined in my book.

I wanted to make an offering to the land, and I found the area near where Vine’s house would be set.  I also wanted to say thank you for the perfect setting, and ask to be bound to the land.

So I brought a knife and an apple.  I found a nice little patch of ground with some pretty purple flowers, and cut the apple in half across the middle so that the pentagram formed by the 5 seeds was visible.  Then I sliced my arm (just a touch), and smeared a bit of blood on each half of the apple.  I leaned down to place them in front of the flowers, and just as I did, I felt a sharp sting.  I looked down to see that an ant had bitten me just as I placed the offering.

I took this to mean that the Goddess heard me.  I’m also taking it as an acceptance of my desire to be bound by the land, as the poison of the ant is in my body now.  So I feel as if there’s some of the energy of the place inside me too now.  I felt that it meant more than just a rotten accident.

Which is good, because I’m really allergic to ant bites, and my finger swelled up so that I almost couldn’t move it.  (It’s better now.)  I’ll probably write it into my story, as Vine tends to be just as accident prone as me, maybe more so.