Tuesday, May 3, 2011

They walked these streets; they lived and breathed.

I wrote this 100-words exercise on February 12 as I was thinking about the setting of a story. I grew up in Upper Michigan, and ghosts towns are common in many of the northernmost areas. Even as a child, I was fascinated by these tiny towns that once hummed with life but now were nothing more than the leaning buildings, rusted vehicles, and boarded-up windows I saw from the backseat of my parents' blue Buick. I always had questions: Who had lived here? Why did they leave? Where did they go? And if no one knew the answers, my imagination would step in.
Abandoned places fascinate me. I love exploring ghost towns, imagining the lives that were lived inside the decrepit buildings, the people who once called the town home. The term ghost town intrigues me: do some spirits love a place so much that they stay there for eternity? Does their laughter still echo in the boarded-up movie theater? Do shouting, excited children play an eternal game of catch in the park while proud parents watch nearby? These places speak to the writer in me, the one who imagines and creates and dreams what was and what could be.


  1. Interesting, Dana. We don't have ghost towns around here, but I get a similar feeling when I walk past an old house that's probably seen many families pass through its doors. I love thinking about it.

  2. Monica: I also think about that when I walk past old houses. My sister lived in one that was over 100 years old, and I often thought about the people who had walked those floors before her--who they were, what they were like...