This week’s Savvy Saturday post is written from the beautiful state of Colorado! I visited Rocky Mountain National Park yesterday, which besides being gorgeous, provided incredible inspiration for my current fantasy writing. I took lots of pictures, which will help me remember what everything looked like, but the mountain smell, the thin air, the crisp breeze, the hail storm (in mid-August!), the peaceful grazing of the bighorn sheep and deer, the curiosity and skittishness of the marmots, those I’ll just have to try to keep in my mind’s eye as I write.
Here’s just one of the pictures I took:
So what did the Rockies inspire me to write, you ask? I’ll tell you.
My current work in progress is a set of five short stories that will introduce my new fantasy world – a wild world named Alepago where the Sun, Moon, and Stars are as sentient as the children of man. Each of the five stories I’m writing will feature a different tribal nation in this world.
The Rocky Mountains, I discovered yesterday, will be the perfect real-life representation for my fictional setting for several of these stories. The forested base of the mountains, the jagged bare rocks that jut out halfway up the peaks like ancient dinosaur spines, the tiny brooks full of trout, and the beautiful meadows of wildflowers and tall grass will all be an ideal setting for a hunting-gathering society.
Moving up in elevation, the tundra on the tops of the high mountains (above the tree-level at 10,000+ feet) will make a striking, beautiful, and appropriate setting for important ceremonies to which the celestial bodies must witness. For the few months of the year when the tundra isn’t covered in snow, it is a unique field of thick grass dotted with tiny gold and purple and red flowers, sprinkled with lichen-covered rocks that form patterns on the earth. Tall rocks shaped by the wind and the freezing and thawing of the earth stand out above the ground – a natural platform at the top of the earth from which a chief or shaman could pronounce words of power with authority.
I don’t want to say too much about my stories or my world yet (I’m still in the preliminary writing stages), but this I can assure you: if you love Rocky Mountain National Park, you’ll feel at home in Alepago.