Thursday, September 27, 2012

Yacolt, Washington

       Yacolt, Washington! Have you ever heard of it?  I hadn’t.  I’m somewhat familiar with Washington from visits as a child (we have relatives there) and visits there in the last ten years while my daughter and her family lived in the Seattle area. Why am I mentioning Yacolt? Glad you asked.
       In crafting my current novel, Like a Cedar in Lebanon, I needed a small town in the state of Washington of 1500 population or less, and the town needed to be within the proximity of fifty miles of a large city. Ah, the blessed internet! I did a search for that very information and got a list of several small towns, Yacolt being the last on the list. The main character, Lebby, would hail from this tiny community. So I wrote it into my novel after some research to verify it met the criteria I needed.
       However, some things I couldn’t glean from research on the internet such as, could Lebby walk from home to school to the local hangout to the church? From writers’ groups that I belong to I remembered a few authors mentioning how residents were quick to point out wrong information about their hometown that were in novels. Yikes! I decided to make a fictitious name of my small community.
       I have sold on eBay since 2004. It gives me extra income, something I can do from the comfort of my home. Within the week that I changed Yacolt in my novel, I sold a small vintage toy on eBay. Guess where the buyer lives? Now what are the chances it would be a resident of Yacolt? Mere coincidence or a God-thing?
       When I mentioned to the buyer that I had considered using Yacolt in my novel, she was thrilled. She supplied me with all the information that I needed while encouraging me to keep Yacolt in my novel.  So my main characters, Jack and Lebby, meet for the first time in Yacolt, Washington.
       When we pray over our writing career, I believe God orchestrates even small details such as this.

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