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    • Hilary on April 13, 2015 at 5:47 AM

    Hi J – I’m sure States change to a point as you cross the border .. out counties change to a point too .. according to the geography/topography mainly .. and the names change … certain counties have ‘special’ endings, suffixes or prefixes ..

    Re your keynote speaker question .. an expert in a field I’m interested in .. or that is topical to audience and place …

    Cheers Hilary
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    1. That they do. I can tell when I’m in Pennsylvania compared to when I’m in New Jersey or Delaware. You wouldn’t think it would be obvious, what with how close they are to each other. But sure enough, I can tell!

  1. Have you ever been to Kansas? Not going to say its bad or anything but I will say there’s definitely “no place like” it. 🙂
    Jimmy Carter is speaker I’d love to hear. Nobel Peace Prize Winner, author, ex-pres, humanitarian. It’s on my bucket list.
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    1. It’s amazing how different each of the states are, isn’t it?
      Jimmy Carter is 90 years old- I’d say you’d better actively seek hearing him speak! Time to book a vacation.

  2. There’s not a whole lot in Kansas, so you’re not missing much!

    Missouri isn’t a whole lot better, but I would say that there’s more visually on the Missouri side of Kansas City, and our St. Louis Arch is pretty iconic. Whenever I’m out of town and say St. Louis, people always associate my hometown with the Arch.

    So you’re right on!
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    1. That’s so true. The Arch is the first thing that comes to mind when I think of St. Louis. Most great fantasy fiction is the same way. Name a place in the story, and the reader will recall something iconic about it.

  3. I like to have unique features in a story. They can be “real” or ones the author has imagined, but they have to contribute to the fabric of the story. I liked your examples of the vivid colored door and the gnome-decorated desk.
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    1. So do I. It makes things more memorable and tangible.

  4. Hi J! Thanks for your blog visit, and I rescued your comment from the jaws of the spam filter 😉

    Those tips are really great, especially for planners. I tend to just go with what I see in my head, but it would be interesting to go back and see what unconsciously follows those rules.

    As for my keynote speaker…hmm. That would be tough. I don’t know, it’s a great question, but I’m always reactive rather than proactive with that kind of thing. I see someone is speaking and realize I want to hear them. That happens with Printers Row here in Chicago, which hosts a ton of authors, I don’t realize I want to see an author until I know they’re coming.
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    1. I’m not a die-hard strict planner. For me, the questions sometimes spark the muse.

  5. I drove through Kansas for the first time last year. Pretty much any other place would make you think you’re no longer in Kansas if you live there. 🙂
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    1. LOL! That’s one way to put it.

  6. Setting is something I tend to go back and add later. My first story, I had a beta reader constantly noting that I had to set the setting! LOL

    ~Patricia Lynne aka Patricia Josephine~
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    1. It’s funny like that, isn’t it? Thank goodness for Beta’s!

    • barbara on April 13, 2015 at 5:27 PM

    Hi…Just dropping by from A2Z and also to say thanks for following my blog. I do appreciate it. Your K post is interesting. I’d never thought of that before. We have lived in Kansas a long time ago, and it is an interesting state. Mostly, I remember how much snow there was in the winter, and how hot it was in summer. Thanks again, for the visit to mine. Happy Blogging!
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    1. Yeah, the middle states are like that. It’s amazing. Thanks for stopping in.

    • Li on April 13, 2015 at 7:06 PM

    I navigate by visual landmarks and give directions accordingly. “Turn left at the church with the green sign, pass the house with the mailbox that looks like a big fish and then look for the house with the ridiculously steep driveway on the left.”
    A speaker…hmmmm. I work with autistic children, so I think Temple Grandin: author, speaker, activist, animal science professor, and autistic.
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    1. From what I’ve read, women tend to navigate by landmarks, and men tend to navigate by numbers or road names.
      I loved the Temple Grandin movie, so I agree that would be a great speaker.

    • Aidyl on April 13, 2015 at 7:37 PM

    I would be delighted to hear Bob Goff speak somewhere. 🙂
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  7. It’s one thing to describe where you are–quite another to describe where you’re NOT, as was done in The Wizard of Oz!
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    1. Ah yes, that other side of the coin! Great point.

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