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What's the Point?

Okay, so we know how I’ll benefit from this endeavor. I’ll gain experience in the great outdoors that will help me write a better book set in the Adirondacks. But you, my dear reader, may well be asking, “What’s in all this for me?” Hopefully you’ll gain a little knowledge, have a few laughs, and vicariously enjoy a sense of adventure. Think of it as a modern-day Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom, where you get to sit comfortably at your computer screen – much like Marlin Perkins watching from a safe distance behind some bushes. I, on the other hand, will go out into the wild, ala Jim Fowler, and do all the heavy lifting in an effort to entertain you.

            Well, on second thought…

« Taking the Plunge
Wednesday
Jan122011

Why me?

My name is Betsy Bitner and I’m a writer working on a mystery series set in the Adirondacks. Why the Adirondacks? Because I’ve lived in or near the Adirondack Park for most of my life – so, in theory, I should know a lot about it. And since mystery readers enjoy books with interesting locales, like the Adirondacks, it makes sense that I should be able to fill my book with rich details and experiences to make readers feel like they’re actually in the Adirondacks. There’s just one problem: I don’t know that much about the Adirondacks.

            Oh sure, I know the names of some of the high peaks. I can tell you the size of the park and where some towns and lakes are (roughly) located. I know about mud season, and black flies and 46ers. But anyone with Internet access and a map could tell you the same information. Readers demand more. How can I give it to them?

            There are two types of people in this world: the outdoorsy type and the type who consider roughing it having to stay in a three-star hotel. My family falls into the latter category and, when choosing friends, I’ve tended to stick with my own kind. It’s called comfort level, people. Hiking? Isn’t that walking 18 holes instead of taking a cart? Likewise, hunting involves bargains, ice fishing is what you do when you’re trying to get the last cube at the bottom of your glass, and, well, you get the idea.

            I was fine with all this until I started writing. Why bother setting my book in the Adirondacks if I can’t include some authentic local color? I realized by making only a few minor changes, such as turning “mountains” into “corn fields,” my book could just as easily be set in Lincoln, NE. [1]

            So I’ve decided to do something about my lack of expertise. I’m going to take a step outside my climate-controlled comfort zone and explore the world of the Adirondacks. A world where large areas lack cell phone coverage. A world often without restrooms.[2] A world, I’ve been told, where there are bears. Despite these dangers and inconveniences, I will forge ahead and go to new places and try new things. I hope you’ll follow my adventures as this suburban gal attempts to broaden her horizons – all while trying not to get Lost In The Adirondacks.

 

 


[1] I’ve never been to Lincoln, NE, I’m just assuming there are cornfields or something else that’s flat. Sadly, I’m only slightly more knowledgeable about the Adirondacks.

[2] Yes, I’m familiar with the concept that people in the woods have a vast area in which to, um, relieve themselves. That’s not what I mean.

Reader Comments (3)

Hey Betsy,

Good luck with this undertaking. Hope you can work in the H Man legend.

Rick

January 19, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterRick Grace

I saw your picture, and thought I know her and then read with great pleasure your 3 articles. Can't wait to read your Adirondack Mystery!!! Annie

February 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAnn Clugstone

Hi Betsy, This is great. I've often thought that I'd like to explore the Adirondacks, since they're so close; but was quickly reminded that I'm definitely not the outdoorsy type. I'm more of a relax on the beach, retire to the luxury condo type. So, I look forward to experiencing the great Adirondacks through your writing, and can't wait to read your book.

Melinda

March 28, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMelinda Lang

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