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A Safe Place…

January 25, 2012

We had a snowstorm last week.

Of course, this meant my two young children had to go outside. If you’re a mom, this means simply you will be tortured for the next hour. First, you need to dress them, which takes time because of the many layers of clothes. When I was young, I couldn’t understand why my mother thought a little bit of snow could make me sick. Now, I find myself stuffing them like a sausage in the hopes they won’t get wet and come down with pneumonia. Way to go, mom, for giving me this type of karma.

Anyway, you dress them, shove them out in the snow, and follow them out to build snowmen that never look good, and shovel, and wipe running noses. Then about half an hour goes by at the most (at least with my kids) and they are ready to go in. This involves wet clothes, struggling with stripping them back off, dogs jumping and barking, and then they want to take a hot bath. In the bath, they scream for hot cocoa, and of course you need cookies with that (anyone reminded of the series If You Give A Mouse A Cookie?), and then they want to cuddle in their pj’s with their hot mugs and watch a DVD.

So..I did all this and then exhausted, collapsed and watched them.

My heart swelled to monstrous proportions.

They were so happy. And so was I. They were snuggled up in warm clothes, in a safe place, and had all of their needs met. There was nothing else on their minds except the moment, and being happy.

They were in their safe place. At their age, if I am doing my job right, that is their home.

This brought me to the question of safe places. When I was young, my safe place was also my home. As I grew older though, this changed to reading. I was sucked away from the peer pressure of perfection and coolness and swept into a world of romance and perfection. I read a book a day, and I read anything I could get my hands on. From poetry, to romance, to mysteries, and fantasy. Life cracked open and exposed itself in a fruitful manner, and I loved every moment.

I changed in my teens. My safe place became my writing. When life got stressful, when I was confused, I fell back on my words, my writing voice, my own creation where I was God and everything was mystic yet controlled. I wrote stories of love and romance and healing and I made it a beautiful world. My safe place. In my own mind.

When I got married, writing and reading were key, but my safe place became my family. The comfort and love that surrounded me made me feel complete, in a way I never experienced before. And as I age, I expect my safe place to change yet again.

But writing will always remain, in my heart, a main place to rest my head and my worries. As long as writers never lose that, they will be able to follow the twisting path of this very unique journey. Always come back to the voice and you will never be truly wrong.

I was having some trouble with character development for my feisty heroine, and decided to pose the question to her. What’s her safe place? The answer surprised me…and deepened my heroine for me to catch a secret peek into her soul. This helped fuel the story.

If you’re having trouble with a character, this is an important question to ask. Where is your hero’s safe place? Your heroine’s?

And you, my reader. Where is your safe place? Home, family, church, books, writing, or something else? Something buried deep?

Take a moment to share with me and leave a comment.



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  1. Liz Matis says:

    A lovely post. Reading has always been a safe place to learn about the world and writing to explore it. But yes, nothing compares to the safe haven of my family.
    We are so very lucky.

  2. Hi Liz! You said it perfectly..so glad you enjoyed it!

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