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The Romance Reviews

The Romance Reviews

How a writer stays balanced

Today was a good day. You may wonder if writers ever crawl out of there caves to stand in the sun, ...well, we do. I did. Today, I drove to the lovely town of Fredericksburg, Texas. It's an old German town about an hour and a half northwest of San Antonio. It's a pretty drive up into and through the scenic Texas Hill Country.

It was a day with family, a day for lunch in a small cafe that serves both German Bratwurst and burgers. It was hot outside, but not too hot, and thankfully, not humid. There was shopping, (fudge from a little shop that makes everything fresh and local), sightseeing, a little visit out to Wildseed Farm (the largest working wildflower farm around), and of course, the purchase of fresh Hill Country peaches from a local orchard. All in all, a good time had by all.

It's always good to take a mental health day no matter what your occupation, but for a writer, every outing is a new character, location, or plot for the next book. There's a black cat named Spooky that lives on the property of Wildseed Farm (one of many) who slinks through the rows of potted flowers and along the manicured pathways through the butterfly garden that is definitely hiding a secret.

There's also an old cemetery behind a sleepy residential area (Der Stadt Friedhof) that was established in 1846. At night, the spirit of a young woman mistakenly tossed into one of the mass graves for Cholera patients, walks the length and breadth of the burial site unable to find her way home. Suffering a high fever from the flu, her condition was misdiagnosed, and when she passed out from dehydration, an incompetent doctor declared her dead. Her unconscious body was added to the pile where she suffocated beneath the soil and tightly packed corpses of the dead. Unidentified because of the confusion caused by the epidemic, she was never heard from again...except at night when the eerie sobbing of a woman raises the fine hairs on the necks of residents up to five blocks away striking fear in their hearts, and making them check that each window is closed, and every door is locked.

And finally, an old gentleman sitting on one of the many benches situated on the boulevard outside the quaint shops has a story. Together, they visited the small parlor only a few blocks down from the park where the Christmas market is held each December. His wife loved ice cream. She especially loved ice cream in the winter; fudge ripple on a waffle cone. They met in that ice cream parlor fifty-seven years ago, and now, in her memory, he makes the long walk down that boulevard, leaning on his cane, to have a fudge ripple waffle cone. He needs to stop and rest a bit between his car and the ice cream parlor, and from the ice cream parlor back to his car again, but he makes the journey once a week without fail. For her. And he hopes to see her again some day. Hopes that one day soon, they will be reunited where they can once again sit across from each other in that tiny shop decorated with memorabilia from days gone by. Just him and his sweetheart, and two fudge ripple waffle cones.

Yeah, I'm weird that way. This is what I come home with along with a box of peaches, some delicious fudge, and a t-shirt to commemorate the outing.



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