They recommend (whoever "they" are) that you get 10,000 steps a day. That used to sound like crazy talk. On days I work at home, I'm lucky to get 600 steps and I tend to work at home a lot. My friends and I jumped on the fitness band bandwagon only a couple months before my dreaded day job (a giant corporation) thought it would be fun to do a challenge. Something like 100,000 employees are participating all over the world and now I'm being challenged to make 8-10k steps every day for the next 12 weeks.
Writers are sedentary. Most writing occurs at a desk, or somewhere seated with a laptop. To get 10,000 steps, I've had to actively make a point of going for a walk. I can't walk 10k with my normal routine, this is a change of lifestyle.
So I've tried to think of ways to make it fun. My pre-teen Drama Queen walks with me, we listen to music, we talk, and we people/place watch. Our newest thing is taking pictures of things we see on our walk. For example, a few streets over we discovered goats.
Seriously, who has goats in the city? But this will make for a fun story someday. The answer to that question "Where do you get your ideas?" is "Everywhere around us." But I digress.
My favorite walk so far was visiting the Newark Earthworks. I took DQ and her BFF with me and we walked the entire inside of the Great Circle.
Here's some info from the OhioHistory.com -
- Great Circle Earthworks: Formerly known as Moundbuilders State Memorial, the Great Circle Earthworks is nearly 1,200 feet in diameter and was likely used as a vast ceremonial center by its builders. The 8 feet (2.4 m) high walls surround a 5 feet (1.5 m) deep moat, except at the entrance where the dimensions are even greater and more impressive.
It was much more impressive than I remember as a child. I drive past it every day and from the outside, it looks much smaller. What you don't know until you're inside is that there's a 5' moat directly on the other side of the mound. When we visited, the inside of the mound was overgrown and this photo doesn't give it justice, but if you were to step closer to the edge, you'd see the moat dipping down below.
The circumference of the Circle Mound was shocking. Again, from the outside, it doesn't look dramatic. Inside, it goes on forever. DQ and BFF were on the mounds in the middle and all I saw were specks, like little bugs. Those slight mounds in the photo below are located directly in the middle of the massive Earthworks Circle.
I pulled out my phone and proceeded to make notes about what I saw, what I felt, what I heard. I've known for a long time my characters will need to visit this place, and maybe defend it against the bad guys. My mind churned with ideas and later that night I wrote down my thoughts and even a couple scenes. The Earthworks is mind-blowing and I want to make sure those sensations I felt when I visited make it to the page. I want my characters to feel the power of this ancient place, and I want my readers so immersed they feel it too.
I'm thankful that I live in an area rich in Native American history and that I'm able to visit these places and have these experiences. I hope I can do them justice in my stories.
Stay tuned... the next location we're visiting is the Blackhand Gorge nature preserve!