Summers of the Mouse Motel

Okay, yes, I did say I was working on the historical fiction…set in India, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, no. Actually, I decided to turn to the YA book while I do the research for the other one.

This one is a little  bit fantasy – maybe more than a little, but no more than most mythology is fantastical. I’ve started it off in Nw Hampshire, in an area, roughly, where my family used to spend every other summer. The other summers were spent caravaning to Montana and back, but that’s another post or 20.

We’d go up to a little town on the outskirts of Lake Sunapee, and throw inhibition to the winds while living in a slightly completely run down mobile home that my parents had bought from my dad’s sister. They called it the Mouse Motel, for good reason. Every time we’d arrive, the rodentia would be sent packing in the most inefficient means possible. Usually, it involved everyone yelling, running outside, jumping on chairs…one night, a mouse ran over my parents’ legs as they slept no more. Another moment involved the lighting of the gas oven, whereupon, a family of mice, babies included, stumbled out from the depths, more than a little stunned, and only a tiny bit singed.

After the rest of the year had been spent plopped in the urbs, it was like stepping into a dreamscape to arrive there. We had no neighbors to speak of, no television, nothing but the outdoors and the occasional book. The property was encased by deep woods that seemed primordial and magical to a child like me (heavily endowed with an imagination that normally got me into trouble). Even though I was plagued by nightmares and fears back home, I never remember being afraid of the woods, or anything in them. Even now, when I smell the heady scent of fern glens or pine needles baking in the sun, I am taken back to nothing but happiness. Summer vacations were, for me, a break from reality. An excursion away from the usual. Not going too deeply into it, life was not all that fun at times.

So, that’s why I chose NH, because of the fondness factor, and because it’s a place that is old, feels and exudes old…and I don’t mean the European old. I mean in terms of Earth existing, old. It’s one of those areas where you can get in touch with that.


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