Setting the Scene

Covered bridge - key scene

Setting the scene of my story – as a photographer, this part may just be the most fun.

Scene - red covered bridge in Arlington VT

When I started writing my cozy, Vermont was an obvious choice – cozy, quaint, and quirky – the perfect setting for a murder mystery. All those juicy secrets lurking where you least expect to find them.
And it doesn’t hurt that Vermont is brimming with natural beauty (in my humble opinion).

rustic fence with patchwork barn

A picture is worth a thousand words, or so they say, and my challenge will be to find those thousand words that bring this scenery to life – no small task. I’m lucky, though, to be inspired by my own surroundings. Many writers aren’t, and spend countless hours in research.

rural church with farm community

As you can probably imagine, I’ve been spending far more time behind my laptop than can possibly be healthy.
And so, last week with camera in hand, needing a break from it all, we set out on a mini-day trip. I was (and still am) on a quest for the “perfect” covered bridge –

cow pasture

– which may not exist quite as I imagine it, and that’s okay, too. I am setting my story in a fictional village – if I don’t find it, I make it up 🙂
Besides, we all know the real fun is in the hunt.

village market

Every village needs a true Vermont country store (this one is easily the heart of the town where I live) –
– and lots of rustic barns – oh, and cows, lots and lots of cows.

Scenic barn with patchwork roof

My much-neglected camera and I are spending more time playing together – getting reacquainted. I wish I could say it’s just like riding a bike – but – well, my camera has many more buttons and dials – (so many buttons and dials…). But my stiff-from-sitting-at-the-computer-neck is telling me to schedule more play dates like this one.

How about you? In these early summer months, do you find yourself getting out and exploring?



6 responses to “Setting the Scene”

  1. Sarah Avatar

    I must admit I had to look up the definition of a “cozy” mystery. I had never heard that before. But once I read the definition it made sense and I actually have a favorite cozy mystery series – the Author is Aaron Stander, and the series are almost all written in northern Michigan. He comes out with a new one every couple of years. I even have gotten Mallory hooked on them, although she never liked Nancy Drew, which I also consider a cozy. Can’t wait to read yours.

    1. Karen Avatar

      Cozy mystery is a pretty large genre in itself. Some are funny, some are cute, and some are more serious, crossing into a “traditional” mystery – which is where I think mine will wind up – I’ll know when I get it written (lol)

  2. León Avatar

    I think Vermont would be considered gorgeous in almost anyone’s opinion! And a perfect setting for a cozy — which I am very much looking forward to reading. Beautiful photos! I’m glad you gave yourself a break from the keyboard to pick up your camera.

    1. Karen Avatar

      Thanks, Leon! It feels good to heading out with the camera again!

  3. Barb Avatar

    Dear Karen, You will never find the “perfect” covered bridge because they’re all perfect in their own way. I love the sign on the first. Looks like that one just got a new coat of paint too. I want to taste everything on the general store sign! (I think we might have to have early supper.) Glad you’re getting out and about with your camera. I just can’t make myself lug mine on a hike – sometimes, my shoulders ache by the time I get back just from using my trekking poles. Keep imagining and keep writing…

  4. beatrice p boyd Avatar

    I was happy to see these photos on your walk-around Karen. There is much beauty in local settings just in and around where we live. I really liked all the signs on that VT country store but the curved road from the red barn was my favorite pic. Yes, I have been trying to get out with a camera in hand vs. a cell phone, which is always with me regardless for just in case emergencies. Covered bridges sound like a fun project to pursue and I will be curious to eventually see how they are included in your mystery. One of my camera also has so many buttons, dials, settings, Right now I am trying to re-aquaint myself with the basics of aperature, shutter speed and exposure value.

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