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
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.