The Berkshire Trip

The Cold Spring

Since moving to Massachusetts I have deeply enjoyed traveling the length and breadth of New England. Sometimes we slide a little further west or south, but for the most part we stick to New England and all these lovely trips have fed my creative mind.

It’s why Pru in Melody of Bones lives under Mount Auburn Cemetery and takes dives under the Quabbin Reservoir. The Quabbin is fascinating for its history and its underwater ghost towns. And Mount Auburn is too gorgeous to ignore. (That book is still updating on NovelCat, by the way. The whole thing is completed and a chapter a day is revealed from now until October 3rd.)

But Melody of Bones isn’t the only novel to feature New England in it.

Balance Rock

Paw Prints on the Wall is scheduled for release in November – Hurray! Throw virtual confetti! Watch that fun little Countdown Timer on this site to see just when you can get it! – and it too is based in New England.

I loosely reference the Berkshires in this novel, but the shelter and the lake house – even the lake – are all fiction.

I have a special place in my heart for the Berkshires.

Because they tricked me.

They tricked me most foul!

My family and I stumbled onto Kennedy park during our travels and on their map of the park they referenced “standing stones” and I got quite excited. We couldn’t make the hike that day, it was too late in the afternoon, so we went home and started planning for the next weekend.

Delta and the standing stones.

We got a lovely little hotel room for a night, intending to set out early so we could hike the trails and find these standing stones. It was our first official trip with our newly adopted dog Delta. (Who, I might add, also made the cut into the PawPrints novel. She is a central figure, in fact, and has enjoyed having me read aloud passages with her name everywhere for the past couple of years.)

The hike was grueling. Likely because we took a wrong turn somewhere.

And because we were a little out of shape.

Or a lot out of shape, really.

Anyway, we get to the so-called standing stones and while Delta is having a lovely time – c’mon, she just spent several hours hiking through the mountains, chasing salamanders that my son kept picking up – the rest of us were panting and exhausted. And the standing stones?

The Centipede.

Well, you can see by the pictures that they were the foundations of an old house.

We laughed about it all the way back down the mountain to our car. We laugh about it still. But there were some awesome sights on the path that struck my creative mind, so they continue to make their way into my novels. The cold spring well, for instance, made its debut as a portal to Faery in Melody of Bones. And because I loved that location, I went ahead and used it again in the second Nora book.

And there’s Balance Rock, where we met a large centipede.

If you’re ever in the neighborhood of the Berkshires, I recommend taking an afternoon to visit. And if you’re a writer like me, I’m sure you’ll see a bit of Faery there too.

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