My parents are both from Texas and I was born in Texas. However, I consider myself from Kansas because that’s where I was mostly raised. After my dad retired, they moved back to a suburb of my mom’s hometown of Fort Worth. (Also a suburb of of Dallas.)
My boss asked me today, “Did you enjoy your stay in Canada?” I forget that some people have issues with geography! Okay, here’s a map of the Dallas/Fort Worth area:
FORTH WORTH lots of little suburbs DALLAS
(Did you like my map?)
So even though my parents don’t live in the true Texas countryside, their home feels sort of rural.
This is NOT my parents’ horse. (My parents don’t own a horse.) Behind and next to their house is a horse boarding place.
I’ve made a new friend!
And so has my son! This is my parents’ cat that was rescued (when he was a kitten) by my niece. (Actually it is my niece’s cat, but lives at my parents’ house. Neither of my parents are cat lovers. I know, right???!!!!??????)
He is a very sweet cat. He’s one of the purr-baby cats (purrs a lot.) He’s still VERY independent though. He stays outside the whole summer. I learned in a past summer not to take him inside because after I did that, he ran away from me every time I approached.
But you can see by his body language that he enjoys attention…on HIS terms!!!!!! LOL
Car illustration from https://www.irasutoya.com/ (free images available but you must give the image’s source)
My current MG manuscript is set in Texas, and I set it in a fictionalized suburb based on my parents’ town. One difference is that my protagonists live in a housing community, and obviously my parents do not. I wanted the houses to be relatively close together in my manuscript and this is a major reason why I did make it a housing community.
When I was in Texas last month, I paid attention to the housing communities—there are MANY of them. (Although also many free standing houses like my parents’.) I saw that each housing community has a fancy name written on the entrance, usually on the wall that surrounds the community. OAK ESTATES, LAKELY FIELDS, CANYON MEADOWS, JUNIPER VILLAGE
So when I returned to Japan, I revised my manuscript and gave their community a name. RIVER VILLAGE
How did I choose “RIVER VILLAGE?” Well, I was thinking and thinking and thinking, trying to hit upon something good….couldn’t really come up with anything.
So I used my husband’s family name, Kawamura which literally means “River Village.”