Now, I'm not talking dash around town errands, I'm talking driving. As in three hours or more of straight, curvy, or downright mountainous open road. That kind of driving.
The only problem with it for an author, or any creative type I think, is that it's sometimes hard to stay focused on where you're actually going. The road I drove the other day to go meet friends for a plotting marathon was just so gorgeous. I kept thinking, "Oh, I'd like to take a picture of that!" or "Ooooh, look at the llama!" (yes, I did see a llama.)
What really got me though were the names. How can you not be totally distracted by a town named Fair Chance? Who got a chance? The settlers? And what made it more fair than where they'd been? You see how this goes with me. I wonder these things.
And then there's Cheat Lake. Is it named for the Cheat family, or did someone throw a cheat IN it and from there on, it became that "place they throw cheats into" and from there to Cheat Lake.
And the road names. OMGosh. Squirrel Level Road. Okay the visual images on that one are just hard to beat. Same with Pitch Kettle Road. Now I'm sure that originally this was the road where the locals set up the pitch kettle - which stinks - away from town and all that. However the mental image of people tossing cauldrons just won't leave my mind every time I see it.
Saltwell. Did someone salt the well or was the well already salty? Shade Hollow Road. Did someone see a ghost or is it just really shady and runs through a hollow? Ices Ferry. Did the family Ices run the ferry or did the ferry ice over every winter and get this moniker that way?
Sometimes when we put our reader hats on, or viewing hats for the movies, we shake our heads over the names people use for places. We sometimes shake our heads over the names for the charcters too. "Common Wisdom" says don't name them anything unusual. Okay. So how come one of the characters on CSI Miami is Nathalia Boa Vista? NOT simple.
I've recently decided to ignore common wisdom in naming the town I've created from thin air for a paranormal I'm writing. Oh, and the road names are going to be great. I'm stealing Shade Hollow, for instance. Ha!
What's the weirdest town name or road name you've run across in your travels? Is there a character name or town name you wanted to use that your CPs nixed? Share! :> I want to hear some weird ones....