Thank you so much for having me on your blog, Jencey and Tina!
I was stuck on what to write for this blog post for a while, but the answer was all around me, and I figured it out one day while I was on a run. Writing in the South means writing in color, and that color is green. In the spring, we look for the first buds on the trees and shrubs. In the summer, we watch the sky for that certain shade that tells us we should head for the basement or an inside closet. After a light rain, it even smells green outside. And in winter, we still have a lot of color thanks to the abundance of evergreens.
It’s probably not an accident that my favorite place to write is outside. I've heard in various contexts that when you're stuck creatively, looking at something green can help unblock you. Researchers have demonstrated the association between looking at something green and creativity with a series of experiments in Europe.* In one study, participants had to log into a creativity test through either a predominantly green or a white screen, and the ones who logged in on the green one scored 20% higher on the task. That's significant. The results were the same even when compared with other colors like red and blue.
Living in the South gives me plenty of opportunity to create outside, preferably on my back patio or the porch of my parents’ cabin in Blairsville, from as early as the end of February to as late as the occasional warm day in December. I didn’t really appreciate how long our green season is until last year, when I ended up in Boston right around March 1. Our trees were starting to bud, and they still had snow on the ground. While I like to visit New England, I think I would be depressed if I had to live there through the winter.
Sure, living in a humid subtropical climate has its disadvantages like the humidity – especially when you have naturally curly hair like mine – and the bugs, but I do love the plants. I can’t claim that my stories are better than those of my counterparts in other parts of the country, but I do know that my writing flows better when I can write outside amidst all the shades of green. I just watch out for the tornadoes.
As much as I love the greenness of the mountains and forests, my perfect place to visit is the beach. What’s yours? Comment below for a chance to win a $5 Amazon gift card. Please be sure to include your email with your comment so I know how to contact you if you win.