Home is Where …?

Happy belated new year, Scribers. Thea Devine today. We had an interesting holiday ourselves. After spending Xmas with our grandson and his parents, we went to visit family in Arizona. Our first trip. A wonderful visit to a place my husband’s family members had wanted to live for years, had dreamt of living there for years.

Which led me to wonder about home, and what makes you feel that this is home: the desert, the painted sky, the dusky colors, the unlimited horizon — as opposed to the unlimited horizon of the ocean, the rocky shore, trees that touch the sky, winter that cradles you in snow and the warmth of the fire. A big Victorian, or a roomy ranch. In the woods back of beyond or in a cluster of houses in a development. A brownstone in the city or colonial in the suburbs. A cabin in the woods or a condo on the edge of a bay.

Do you live now where you grew up or thousands of miles away?
I was amazed, when I attended my fiftieth high school reunion, at where many of my classmates wound up. A fair of them stayed in New Jersey. But others lived as far away as Hawaii, California, Tennessee. What said home to them in those disparate places, I wonder.

Place is so important, especially I think to writers. We once bought a house that after a couple of months, I told my husband I wanted to go back to where we moved from. He did not ask for a divorce.

Of all the houses and places we’ve lived, I love living here in CT the best. I love the town, I love how much there is to do, how many opportunities to volunteer. I love our house which is a typical 1970’s ranch. It’s sited beautifully on a rise so when you look out the door, you feel like you’re living in the trees. The sun is at the back of the house, south. I never feel comfortable when it’s at the front of the house. We keep the front door open most times so it’s like another window to view the landscape. I love winter days when we light the fireplace, play music, low, and curl up with a book. I love watching birds hanging onto icicles pecking away at the feeder. I love warm days when my husband and I just sit on the deck and talk.

So when you create your heroine — where is her home? Is it where you live? Where you wished you lived? Someplace you have lived? An imaginary small town where everybody’s known you since the day you were born?

Is it where you’re comfortable or where your heroine has to find comfort? Does she resist or embrace her home? Do you? Have you lived places that just didn’t Feel Right?

What makes a house feel right to you, the sun pouring in from the south or sunrise to the east. The layout? The fireplace? The kitchen. The property? The look of the house? Being near water? Do you like the snow or the heat? The changing seasons or a constant landscape?

What says home to you? Do you wish you could live someplace else or do you love where you are? Have you put your heroine in places you’ve never been? Or do you keep her close to home? Do you think writers are super sensitive place — or is it just me?

Thea Devine’s books defined erotic romance. She’s written 25 historical and contemporary erotic romances and a dozen novellas. Beyond the Night, the sequel to The Darkest Heart, will be released September 2013 from Pocket Star. She’s currently at work on her next erotic romance. Her 2008 novel, His Little Black Book, was reissued in October.

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5 thoughts on “Home is Where …?”

  1. Lovely post as usual, Thea. I LOVE where I live now. Although I think home is where the heart is more than a locale. I like to think I’d be happy anywhere as long as I was with my honey. Having said that, I have never felt more at home than I do in our 1840’s old farmhouse in the Berkshire hills. I have 6000 acres of woods behind my house and not a neighbor in site for half a mile in any direction. Some might hate the remoteness but for us it is sheer bliss. My character Lily Carmichael lives in such a place. I gave her somewhat of an idyllic setting at the beginning of the story to show how adaptable people are and that the future doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom. I also wanted to give her a place worth defending–a place readers would connect to like home. Setting is so important and it says a lot about our characters.

  2. Your post is so apt. I am a Brooklyn native, but any place else can be home. I couldn’t wait to get out of Brooklyn, but I love that I grew up there. No other place in the world has similarities to Brooklyn. It is an icon of the perfect melting pot. And the folks who come from there are a special crew. So, who besides me comes from Brooklyn? Barbara Streisand, Eddie Fischer, Vic Dimone, author Marian Lanouette of CTRWA, OMG, I have faces in my mind, but I am having a hard time remembering names of all the talents, the comedians, the singers, the actors. And, I spent my youth and professional life in New York City. But, of all the places I have lived, traveled to and vacationed, Connecticut is my favorite with its old homes, rolling hills and rocky walls. Where does my Heroine and Hero come from? NY of course. NY, NY, a wonderful place, country or city, it is a place I am totally comfortable.

    1. And me,Gail. I was born in Brooklyn and lived there for many years off and on. My kids were born there, my youngest calls it “the mother country.” There is definitely something about “being” from Brooklyn. Like your accent which in my case was heavily derided when we moved to New Jersey just when I started high school. My husband taught at Tilden HS for several years, and people used to stop me in the street when I wore my Tilden sweatshirt to ask about the school.
      Old loyalties are comforting. To be from somewhere as exotic as Brooklyn — priceless.

      thea

  3. Thea, my current heroine feels like she has no home, no matter where she is, and I think that’s because she doesn’t feel at home in her own skin. She doesn’t quite know who she is yet. But by the end of the book, she figures it out :).

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