Home ~ A to Z Blogging Challenge



One of the first places I fell in love with in California is a town in Santa Ynez Valley called Solvang. A unique place founded by the Danes in 1910 and very much retaining its Danish identity.

Our friends used to own a small cabin on a huge piece of land there, and every year we drove up to Solvang for a week of relaxation. I have never been in a quieter place, a farm-like location that reminded me of my grandmother’s hundred-year old house, seven thousand miles away.


How This Pertains to the Story

It helps to have a physical place in mind when describing a house, doesn’t it? In Stranger or Friend, Zoe and her mother spend a lot of time in their old Wyoming house. And every time I described the fire crackling, or the family sitting around the dinner table, or the porch, or the chair near the window, I imagined this small house in Solvang.

While I’ve visited Wyoming and that helped envision the setting, no other small house spoke to me as much as this one. Serene, old, on a several-acre piece of land. It gets very dark at night — allowing for a gorgeous tableau of the stars. Dark and cold.

Is there one particular space, outside your home, that left a unique impression on you?


25 responses to “Home ~ A to Z Blogging Challenge

  1. Lovely description Silvia thank you! Driving through the Karoo here in South Africa, wide skies and open landscape always gives me a sense of being ‘home’. My inner dream world also feels like ‘home’.

  2. Hi Silvia .. I’d go to Africa .. (southern Africa) .. where exactly I’m not sure .. or Cornwall … with the thrashing seas and tiny cottages … Love the idea of your farmhouse setting – so simple, quaint and almost archaic .. and then those huge skies .. cheers Hilary

  3. It is interesting which houses have made a strong enough impression to feature in our dreams. Place is also very important in writing. Sue

  4. I have never seen as many stars as I have seen on the tip of Maui at late night near a place called La Perouse Bay. It is indescribable to see so many stars. City life really inhibits seeing the stars. Even there now manmade light is encroaching. This post also reminded me of the Tiny House movement.

  5. This house’s inside, especially the fireplace, is mid century modern, my favorite style. Love it!

  6. Silvia – isn’t solvang the ‘Artichoke Capital?’ I seem to remember that from a trip years ago – my introduction to eating artichokes (love ’em), seeing them grow in tiny shrub-like fields and an unusual aroma to those fields.

    • Sammy, that wasn’t the impression I had, the place being Danish is famous for pastry wine and beer. So, I looked it up and there is a place known for artichokes three hours from there called Castroville. I had no idea. Now I know. Thank you. LOVE artichoke.

  7. The living room/piano room. The setting for my play is not my home, or any relatives. It was a little house we had for a short time that we called the Art Spa. It had the kind of old-fashioned living room with hardwood floors, textured walls, a fireplace, big windows, and we used it as the music room/studio.

  8. lovely to see how memories can impact a story! I included as back story an old wood frame hotel from the early 1900s when people would spend months at the oceanside on vacation It is long gone but there when I was growing up we kids explored it inside.

  9. There’s a Facebook page dedicated to my junior high (what we called middle school back in the day!). They tore it down a decade or so ago. As I was looking through the pictures of the school before it was torn down, I realized I set all my books there. My high school was round and it’s just too difficult to explain why a school in one of my books is round (since that was a trend of the mid-1900s), so I always set my stories in my junior high. It was interesting to realize that…I think we do that sometimes without meaning to.


  10. I grew up in the house formerly owned by my grandparents, so it was built in the early 1900s. I still love that home, to this day. However, a family friend lived in a cabin on Fox Island, outside of Tacoma. The cabin had an oven fueled by wood. The heater was a wood burning stove. The home was quite rustic and it’s yard was a beach on the Puget Sound. To visit felt like home, even though I was quite young then. Wonderful post of visions of home.

  11. Oh yes! I think every house has its own atmosphere – and its own story. Oh, if walls could talk … but that is what the writer is for!

    I’ve heard of Solvang. It would be neat to visit it.

  12. One place that has always stayed with me is a small house our family used to stay in at the beach when I was young. I’m guessing it belonged to family because we stayed there several times. Even though I was little, I can still remember some of it’s layout and decor.

  13. Solvang… I love Solvang.

  14. It’s great how there are some places that you can just close your eyes and picture in full.

    In the stories that I’ve written there are familiar houses and buildings which crop up again and again. The flat I lived in when I was at university has featured in two different stories that I’ve written because I know it so well, it’s really easy to describe. ;-)

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