Setting is important in my fiction. An interesting location often inspires me to set a story there--for example, a date farm in Indio, an untraveled alley in Venice, or the wave organ in San Francisco.
Recently, I traveled to Argentina. I visited Buenos Aires, Mendoza, and San Juan. I took notes on many intriguing locations: Recoleta Cemetery, a cattle estancia in a deluge, the empty plains at the feet of the Andes. One of the most interesting locations for me, though, was a park in San Juan on a sunny holiday afternoon, where kids rode their bicycles and a brass band played in the distance. I started imagining the people who lived there, who called their kids off when they tried dangerous climbs on war memorials, who ate helato next to a cement-lined lagoon.
Will I ever publish a story set in any of these places? Who knows? But I definitely have some ideas churning.
Ann Hillesland writes fiction and essays. Her work has appeared in many literary journals, including Fourth Genre, Bayou, The Laurel Review, and Sou’wester.
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