Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Word Count Wednesday: Why Door County?

I have a daughter who lives in Kenosha, Wisconsin. We love to visit her there. We have enjoyed vacationing with Danielle and her little family in Door County. The peninsula juts out into Lake Michigan. The interior of the peninsula reminds me of my early years on a dairy farm, but the communities along the shore of Lake Michigan draw the visitor into a setting that is part resort and part quaint village life.  

Lake Michigan is huge. I grew up in Florida. I am used to looking out over beautiful freshwater lakes,  most of which are puddles compared to the Great Lakes. When I stand on the shores of Lake Michigan I feel almost as though I am standing on the edge of the ocean, except the water isn’t salty and pine trees rather than palm trees line the water’s edge. The air is a bit cooler as well. Door County is beautiful and offers me as a writer a defined area to unwrap my story.

I have a map of Wisconsin and Door County I picked up while on vacation but I can’t trust my memory to describe the lay of the land and the main roads. 

I will still need to do more research since my experiences in the county have been solely as a tourist. To start that I did a computer search. My first search revealed typical Chamber of Commerce type of information. I found more meaningful info when I looked up real estate sites, recent census data, and websites for the local school system. I have also found information about each small community, several local businesses and churches. A weather site shares average temperatures and precipitation. All of this will help as I draft my story.

I thought you might like to catch glimpse of Door County. Here is a paragraph I took from the story. Sonja has decided to invest the money her grandmother left her in a coffee shop she will operate as a seasonal business. Her realtor, Susan Town, picked her up at the airport in Green Bay and is driving her to see the property.

Susan talked about the agent meeting them at the coffee shop. He would have the books for Sonja to inspect and should be able to answer all of her questions Susan told her. She pointed out all of the landmarks and talked about the number of summer vacationers. Sonja listened and uttered an acknowledgement here and there, but mostly she looked out the window taking in all of the sights of Door County. She remembered traveling this highway with her parents. She felt just as she had as a child, wanting to ask. “Are we there yet?” They passed through Sturgeon Bay and headed up the highway past the rolling farms of the peninsula. A few new businesses had been added since Sonja was here last. She counted several vineyards and a few shops in the interior of the peninsula she had not seen before. They drove the western side of the peninsula through Egg Harbor.

Of course there is more, but you get the idea. And this is where it gets fun. I recently overheard my husband tell someone about my latest writing project. “I think we better plan another trip to Door County,” he said. “Becky needs to do more research for her book.”

So where am I now? 17,794 words and counting... See you next week!


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