When Covid closed my gym forever in 2020, the increase in my weight and blood pressure – both of which still prove annoyingly difficult to reduce – necessitated an alternative exercise plan. Luckily, power walks in my hilly neighborhood have provided just that until I find another gym offering the dance classes I love.
Sometimes I walk with friends, sometimes alone. In addition to exercise, the solo strolls offer a chance to mull over story ideas and plot points. That is, when I can focus. Because the evening walks offer something else as well – magnificent sunsets.
I can’t tell you how often I stop to take snapshots like the one above. Or the ones below…
The photos don’t even capture the real beauty of each sunset. But they come close.
I love how this picture feels so very SoCal…
While this one almost looks like a painting…
You can see why I get distracted on these walks. But appreciation of my adopted state’s natural beauty has led to an unexpected development: I plan to set my next mystery series in California.
I’m not setting the series in my neighborhood. It will be located in mountains halfway up the state. But in creating it, I’ll make sure there’s a vantage point to look west, even if means fictionalizing the real location I’m envisioning. I want my characters to experience the same emotions I do when California truly and so very spectacularly lives up to its nickname of the Golden State.
I’m a native New Yorker. It took me years to get used to living in LaLaLand. Honestly, I’m not sure I ever will.
But views like this make every doubt go away, replaced by indisputable fact that I am truly blessed to call “The Golden State” my home.
Readers, what do you love about where you live?