Monday, May 10, 2010

Monday Misdemeanor

Starting this week, Mondays are going to be dedicated to some of the slightly rebellious escapades that I find have contributed to my stories, characters, and imagination in general.
Today’s Misdemeanor:  Trespassing


The house where I grew up was located on a cul-de-sac with nothing but forests and farmland for about a half mile in all directions. The neighborhood kids and myself used to like to play in the surrounding woods.  We always knew where the properties for the farms began because of the barbed wire-slash-decaying stone wall that marked the boundaries.

The barbed wire wasn’t easy to get over, but eventually we found a way to weigh it down and explore ‘forbidden territory’. 

To this day, I swear that some places exist just to inspire the imagination.  That was the case with what we discovered beyond that wire.  The field stretched out into the distance with a few sparse trees in its midst.

One of the tall trees bordering the field had been outlaid with a tree house platform and barriers à la Punky Brewster.  In retrospect, it probably wasn’t the most stable contraption in the world.  Everything squeaked a bit when the wind blew.  But for me, it was like I had walked onto the set of the film version of how childhood is supposed to be.

The best day was when I wondered into that field one morning to find six or seven horses grazing.  I’m still not sure if they were farm horses or a few specimens from the nearby glue factory but I was SO excited to see them up close.  It was just magical.  The entire place was, really, and I could spend hours up in that old rickety tree house wondering who made it, and for whom.  My mind made up a thousand different versions of who had climbed the nailed-on wooden chunks that passed for a ladder before I had.  And the farm itself was owned by the cast of ‘Charolottes Web’.  Ofcourse.   I never did see the horses again.
So that’s my misdemeanor of the day and what it led me to.  

Has anyone else ever unexpectedly stumbled onto a place that just seemed unreal or inspired their imaginations in some way?


I keep forgetting to post my entry to 'Where in the World is Candyland?' contest.  Here it is Candy!  You're psychadelic dude.



22 comments:

Matthew Rush said...

Ooh what a cool scenario, thanks for sharing CQG. I have always been inspired by nature, especially mountains, so hiking, backpacking and living in the wilderness as I did a few times when I was younger was pretty awesome.

Hmm, maybe I need to do more of that again.

MissV said...

what a cool memory. I'm sure I've stumbled across things like that before, but nothing is coming to me right now. hmmmm

Jen said...

Yes!! I loved your little story though, it's so surreal and spectacular when you come across something like that!

I have this little road where the train tracks are off to the side and a little abandoned house sits there, it really is in an odd spot, however in my story it's in the exact same position, my two characters travel through the little house into an alterante universe, so whenever I'm feeling uninspired I make a little trip over there and suddenly the story all makes sense!

Aubrie said...

You're braver than I am. I don't think ever went where I wasn't supposed to go.

Clara said...

Hummm, not really...But I loved Punky!!

Laura Pauling said...

Never watched Punky. But every child needs a magical place like that! Something about the woods and trees are captivating for kids.

Jaydee Morgan said...

Oh yes, I remember playing down by the river even though we were told not to. I think that was part of it's draw to us - and what allowed our imaginations to run wild.

Slamdunk said...

I think I would want to grow up in the same area you did. We lived in the Plains states and jumping fences meant accidentally meeting a bull or something. We did have fun playing in a little tunnel near a creek behind our neighborhood. We always imagined some giant snake would be in there with us.

Jayne said...

Hello! I do love your profile - still chuckling about the slow transformation into the creepy query girl. Hee!

I also used to do things like this - my explorations were generally inspired by books, like Enid Blyton's Famous Five. At the bottom of the road where my friend lived was a sports club, and we knew a way to sneak over this fence and into the grounds. They had lots of trees to climb and it was like a whole new world!

Ooo - the word verification is 'enids'! This is a creepy comment indeed!

The Alliterative Allomorph said...

Oh I forgot about Punky Brewster! I love that show - I also couldn't get enough of Pippy Longstocking.

I often think of my grandparent's back yard. It was full of crisanthemums, (I think that's what they were) which seemed MASSIVE to me when I was around four. Huge bumble bees would always land on them and I'd pretend I was Alice in Wonderland after she had shrunk. :)

Lydia Kang said...

What a great post! I spent a lot of my childhood roaming around the woods and streams near my house, and I was always finding these magical little places to built forts and stuff. Wow, I'd forgotten all about those places.

Jen said...

Haha commenting back on the comment you left on my blog you are right, that is the shack I was referring to! On Thursday you'll have to check out Justine's blog (I'll have the link ready on Thursday to access) but I talk about the re-use of one object that gives me uber inspiration!!!

I forgot that scene had it in there!!

Mary McDonald said...

That sounds like a place I'd love. Horses and a treehouse. Nothing better than that.

There was a place my friend and I discovered on the edge of our neighborhood. It was like going back in time. Off a dead street was a little dirt road, that curved to reveal these...shacks...for lack of a better word. Also, scattered old cars and parts. It was really creepy, but the shacks were cool to go in. They were tiny, just one room and no glass in the windows, just frames. In my mind, I pictured moonshiners from the 20s using the place to distill their product. Since it's only about 40 miles north of Chicago, and would have been several miles out in the country at that time, who knows? Maybe it was.

Suzanne Casamento said...

Ooo. Great question. Makes me want to steal it! ; )

I don't remember stumbling on to any magical places, but you did remind me of a treehouse I inherited when the neighborhood boys got too cool for it. It was rickity too. But I used to spend hours up there, reading, of course.

Shannon O'Donnell said...

Great story! I think most of my moments like that have come from nature! :-)

Shannon said...

I loved reading this, thanks. And your Candy photo is great!

Talli Roland said...

That's a great story! I remember once after days of rain, going out into the woods behind my parents' house. Everything was covered with a layer of water, at least a foot deep. It was like finding a lake in an unexpected place.

Kelly Dexter said...

Thanks for sharing, this was a good read!

Carolyn V. said...

When I was little, I got to walk to school in the fog. It was like walking through clouds. It was very surreal. =)

Awesome post!

Dawn said...

A very fun read! Thank you. (And a great concept...)

You can laugh at me later but I also have a *scaling the fence* story. Slightly embarrassing, but hey, I was young.

I desperately wanted to meet Sebastian Bach of Skid Row. (Did I mention I was young....?) My friend and I snuck back to where the tour busses were and I scaled the barbed wire fence, slicing my hand open.

The security guard felt sympathy and took me back stage for nursing...but along the way a drunk Sebastian took interest in my blood-gushing hand, said he admired my bravado, and offered to nurse me back to health.

By pouring whiskey over the cut.

Years later, the two-inch scar on my hand is a wonderful reminder of that night - and fodder for one character's unorthodoxed adventures.

Creepy Query Girl said...

Dawn- that's a kick ass story. lol.

India Drummond said...

I find a lot of magic in ordinary places, if I just take the time to be quiet and look for it.

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