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Monday, October 13, 2008

House Hunting!

My Eldest had the day off from school and DH didn't work so we went on a Family Adventure. Which actually meant that Crazy Mom dragged everyone south to take pictures of the town I'm using as the basis for Irvington, AL, home of the characters in Nearly Normal Nan.

<-- Gorgeous! Couldn't you picture this as a fairy godmothers house? It isn't the one I was hunting, but this is going into the book as Annabelle's house. Mariedees, if you're reading, not the geraniums! This house doesn't look like much, but it's one of my favorites.
I loved it as we walked up because of the green shutters. Not my color, but the character broken shutters and a tree hit by lighting on the side just made me fall in love. I love the character of this house. And even though it isn't what I need for my FMCs I think it would be perfect for the professors house or Amaryllis Rity's house.

This is St. James Episcopal church. It was built in the early 1830's with a dark oak interior and a sandy stucco exterior that really makes it stand out in this little town. I tried to find out more about it but all I could find online was that the pews were restored in 2006 by professional woodworkers.

The fountain is in the church courtyard and framed by vine covered arches that look out to the street. I was terribly upset there weren't some Franciscan monks strolling by singing Gregorian chants. This would be the perfect building for chants! But it's been Episcopal since day one.

Some of the other houses we visited along the way are also going to get worked into the book. Including the Shorter Mansion (which we didn't tour but did look inside) and some fascinating trees, and the house being redone.

The house I want for my MC I've seen, but didn't find during the house hunt. I want something like this or this. I'm obsessed with towers, Victorian shutters, and the whole idea of the widow's peak or the widow's walk, which is what the central tower is called. The image of a young wife, waiting in the widow's walk, not knowing if her beloved would be returning from the war or the river or the day of whatever just chills me. So melancholy, and such a good place to have a character curl up and read a book!


  1. Beautiful! I love driving around and looking at houses.

  2. *envious*

    Australia started out as a penal colony, and has only been federated for a shade over 100 years. We don't have big fancy houses like that around :(

    Well, we do in the older cities, but certainly not closer than a three hour drive minimum from where I live.

    I wants pretty houses and towns to base stories off!! :'(

  3. Come visit me! I'll take you down to tuck around the old town, see the ancient graveyards, and all the little antique stores!

  4. *would love to come visit* You know that :D

    Actually, in all seriousness, I intend to sometime next year. Hoorah for frequent flyer points! :)

  5. So I'm not the only one who obsesses about finding real, physical stuff to give me inspiration? Yay!

    I came up with an opera dress in my novel - and haven't been able to find it yet. Sure hope you find your house...

    *confession* - I look online for photos of actors that fit closely to my characters. Do you do that, too? Or am I just nuts????

  6. I tried it once, but gave up coz I couldn't find anyone who was right. Not to mention it was difficult finding good places to trawl through faces... Are there any sites in particular you use?

  7. I drove through here and the story and town sort of spawned each other.

    But I've never tried to find a person who looks like my characters. The people I write are so ordinary and bland that anyone would look like them, or so terribly freakish that no living creature could possibly resemble them.

    Eventually I will fine a good zombie pic for Gray Morte. 6'7" of rotted flesh, broken armor, and vengeance! Oh, and roses, because hes romantic like that....

    *notices people edging away form her*

    I'll just go back to my corner.

  8. Those are beautiful!
    Once I can buy my own house (and have the money) I am so getting a victorian-style house.