Choosing a Setting

One of the important aspects of writing would be the setting—the time and place that form the backdrop of the story.

Logic says . . . write about what you know.

But I had a problem with that—the story developing in my mind would not suit a South African setting. I wanted a small town, cattle ranch community and the current political climate does not lend itself to happy ever afters.

I chose Texas.

That already posed a huge problem—I’ve never been to Texas.

Enter Google. I absolutely love Google. I spent hours researching by watching videos, reading articles and looking at maps.

And my fictional setting was born.

Bulwark.

A small town (under 3000 in population) set in the arid plains of the Texas Panhandle, abutting the Caprock Escarpment, surrounded by cattle ranches and cotton fields. Miles upon miles of nothing but red earth, mesquite trees and cedar breaks, arroyos, prickly pear cactus, blue stem grass and clumps of yucca. And coyotes and wild turkey.

Oh, and cattle. Lots, and lots of cattle.

Caprock Escarpment, Texas, USA
Caprock Escarpment, Texas, USA

It’s a rugged environment, filled with interesting, quirky people. People in need of a second chance. People crying out for solace. People who make mistakes—just like you and me.

One day, when I get to visit my family again (most of them live in Cincinnati, Ohio) I’ll fit in a road trip, make my way to down south and experience Texas for myself.

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