Just a quick note from Sunnyside, which I happen to drive past nearly every day and which continues to inspire every story I write. I do believe Washington Irving spoke the truth when he said:
“…However wide awake they may have been before they entered that sleepy region, they are sure, in a little time, to inhale the witching influence of the air, and begin to grow imaginative, to dream dreams, and see apparitions.”
That ‘witching influence’ is very tangible around here, especially when I drive by the Old Dutch church near twilight, or drive past the shadow-dappled bust of Mr. Irving by the entrance of his house. And what rich history! Sunnyside itself is a hodgepodge of architectural styles drawn from Irving’s imagination; part colonial Dutch, part Spanish hacienda, part English country cottage. The wisteria growing by the entranceway was gifted to him from Sir Walter Scott, brought from that eminent author’s estate in England during a visit.
There’s an energy here to be sure, I know because I locked onto it shortly after moving to this area and it manifested itself in an explosion of creative writing that immediately possessed me. My initial idea was simply to take his ‘Sketchbook’ and do a 21st century take on it, but things quickly ran off the rails. These past six years have seen me knock together six novels, three novellas and over two dozen short stories with a ton more underway, and that is just the tip of the iceberg.
A few more shorts have been picked up for anthologies this year and one of the novellas is currently slated for a 2017 release – details to be announced – but I did just want to take a moment to thank Mr. Irving for inspiring me and opening those creative floodgates, along with whatever other forces continue to fire my imagination and keep me spooked…