Friday, January 21, 2011

Location, Location

(First, BUSINESS: If you wanted to go HERE, and write-in Paranormalcy as one of your top teen reads of 2010, I wouldn't be sad about that at all.)

Today I want to go to a centuries-old fortified city on a hill.  I want to wander the narrow, winding, cobbled streets between crowded and cheerful homes, and then climb up covered wooden stairs, uneven and graffiti-plagued, my eyes barely adjusting from the brilliant sunshine in time to avoid tripping on slopes and gaps.


I want to come out to find the wall, the same wall that has protected this city for hundreds of years, slowly giving in to time and revealing its crumbling brick-and-mortar soul.


I want to sit on a bench, letting the trees absorb the blinding blue heat, and drink a lemon Fanta while wondering how many generations of men have lived in this funny, slanting tower house next to the cathedral, and just how long it has until it finally slips off the edge of the hill, as it has been slowly, ever so achingly slowly, trying to do for the last few centuries.


I want to sit next to my husband on a bench while he sketches the slowly slipping tower and I scribble notes on stories and ideas and inspiration.  And then I want to walk with him through the centuries of the peaceful dead, entombed forever in the ground and the green.


And where the tombstones have fallen, or the graves have been replaced, the markers are lined up against verdant mounds like a fence of memories, names worn off by time, all that remains of someone's life a stone sentinel, guarding nothing.


People buried under hills and in the sides of them, all things made equal by time and creeping green things.


I want to wander, and then sit and write strange, sad, beautiful tales of things that never were or are no longer but may be yet again.  I want to play with language and create images that are surprising and wonderful.


Or, you know, I'll just go ahead and sit in the corner of this couch and write what I have to.  Because Transylvania is a bit far to commute, and I have a deadline.


But I still want a lemon Fanta.

30 comments:

Deirdre Randall said...

Thanks for some views on Transylvania. Never knew that was what it could look like. I always have this view of dark dreary clouds, tons of rain (actually quite similar to our own BC weather. heh) but darker. Like the antarctica where its night half the year.

I kind of want to go now. Roadtrip?

Tracey Neithercott said...

That was beautiful. I loved it all the more getting to see the photos that inspired you.

I suddenly have a craving for Fanta.

ellen said...

Wow, those pictures are so beautiful! Transylvania is now listed on my list of places I need to visit.

Becky Wallace said...

At least it looks like you have a new couch to sit on! It might not be green, but it looks lush and cozy.

Jessica (Firefly Book Loft) said...

Those were beautiful pictures.
I want to go there now :)

Delia said...

Okay, I'm a little jealous that you have two young kids and there's nothing under that couch. Oh, and the other pictures are gorgeous, of course.

Dara said...

Sigh...I'd love to go there. And I've got a bit of thing with walking through old cemeteries. :) I'm a little weird like that.

Lovely pics!

Whirlochre said...

If not for the hideous wraiths and ghouls lurking behind every tree and gravestone, I might want to visit the place myself.

As for the sofa — too scary. Anything could be hiding behind it.

Suzie F. said...

Lovely.

Debra L. Schubert said...

I find cemeteries to be one part creepy and one part fascinating. When I lived in CT, there was a small cemetery at the end of my long, windy street. Most of the tombstones were from the late 1600's and 1700's. I loved going there and imagining what the lives of the people buried there were like.

Great pics, btw.

lora96 said...

That was just beautiful.

Kiersten White said...

For those wondering, the location was Sigisuara, the birthplace of Vlad Tepes. It was amazing. So was everywhere else we visited. Romania is a ridiculously beautiful country!

Sarah said...

I love this post!

My hubby and I tend to visit a lot of cemeteries when we travel. Something so revealing about how a city choses to honor their dead. Ah, the graveyards and catacombs of Paris...

Deea said...

Wow! Your pictures are sooo pretty!*dreamy sigh* Now everything seems a little different... Darker, as Deidre Randall here says. Because it's cold, cloudy, snowy and foggy... Well duh, it's winter.:)) But it's still peaceful, beautiful, very interesting to see.:D So, if you guys want to come, please let me know - I'd love to join you, since I live only 3 hours away.;)

Bryan Russell (Ink) said...

Couches are underrated.

Kiersten White said...

Deea--Yes, I am definitely remembering June, not January! We also visited your Bucharest--there was a crazy big lightning storm our last night there, which made me very, very happy : ) I love your country!

Shveta Thakrar said...

You could always paint your living room to be that beautiful green. . .;)

LaurenHoya said...

Worst part about leaving Spain? Leaving behind Lemon Fanta. And whenever I see a yellow bottle here, I get all excited and realize it's pina. Lemon Fanta, why are you soooo hard to find?

Kiersten White said...

Lauren--I know, right? And ALL of the Fanta there was good. I kept avoiding the orange flavor, knowing what it tastes like here (acid sugar) but even it was super good there.

Indigo said...

Wonderful descriptions, I actually thought you were there...and I wanted to be. The places we go - writers are a well traveled breed.

Loved the pictures.(Hugs)Indigo

Angel said...

Ohh...that sounds fabulous.

Mama White said...

Beautiful post--writing and pictures. You never cease to amaze.

Jordanne said...

Wow...that TOTALLY doesn't fit the picture of Transylvania in my head...lol...but still very, very beautiful. I went ahead and voted...you definitely deserve it...and Evie does too! :)

Jessie Oliveros said...

What beautiful pictures! But you know...that couch looks pretty comfortable.

Kiersten White said...

I love my couch : )

Jennifer Morian Frye said...

These photos are amazing. I have wanted to go to Eastern Europe, especially Romania for years. Have you been?

Sometimes a cozy couch is the best place to be.

julie said...

Ahhh, you had me! I thought if it was in the US, I'd visit someday too! Transylvania will be a bit more difficult. :) I've only vere had a strawberry Fanta, but if it's anything like bottled Love's flavored soda from Love's Bottling Company...YUM!

Kris said...

I agree. These photos are beautiful, and I love how you told a story with them. I felt like I was exploring the area with your words, and now I really want to go there! :)

(Good luck with the Teen Choice Book awards. I voted for Paranormalcy!)

Ishta Mercurio said...

Oh, man, I was SURE you were talking about somewhere in England or Scotland for a minute. The cemeteries look just like that there. I want to go to Romania!

Thanks for the pics. And, yeah, how come that room with your couch in it is so CLEAN? Are your kids really real? 'Cuz my living room hasn't looked like that since my first son was born.

beth said...

o.O We have almost the EXACT same couch! Mine is brown, though, and also covered in dog hair.