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  • Writer's pictureMicki Bare

West Coast inspiration

Adventures help build creative muscle. I'm convinced writer's block can always be cured by taking a break from the keyboard and trying something new.

While I'm not suffering from writer's block, it was no surprise that when I headed to Oregon to visit my son, a new character for the Zahra of the Uwharries series emerged in the part of my brain that creates characters and stories. Or is it the part of my brain my characters and stories control? Either way, a new character made herself known to me while sightseeing with my son.

As a result, I must now adjust books four and five of the Zahra of the Uwharries series to accommodate this new character West Coast scraebin. That's how fiction writing works—the characters drive the story as they reveal plot points and twists along the way.

To avoid spoilers, I can't tell you anything about the character, how she fits into the story, or which incredibly inspiring venue was the catalyst for her emergence into my psyche. What I can do is show you places we visited and assure you one of these was the inspiration and will make it into the Zahra of the Uwharries series in books four (2025) and five (2026).

Cannon Beach

We headed to the coast to explore the setting of The Goonies. The beautiful, albeit chilly, beach framed by mountains with the iconic Haystack Rock jutting out of the sea was our first adventure. We waded in the surf, collected sand dollars, and took in the incredible scenery.

Cannon Beach, Oregon

International Rose Test Garden, Washington Park, Portland

The roses in the International Rose Garden were not yet blooming, but the gardens were beautiful all the same. That's where we met a very calm squirrel who let us watch him eat what looked like chickweed.

Multnomah Falls, Columbia River Gorge

We also ventured out to the Columbia River Gorge to visit the majestic Multnomah Falls. We climbed as high as the bridge where the spray of the falls sprinkled our faces. It was an exhilarating chill that warmed the soul.

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