Back in the land of wild onions

Back in the land of wild onions

[The name “Chicago” is derived from a Native American word that means “wild onions.”]

[flickr id=”14479612493″ thumbnail=”medium” overlay=”true” size=”original” group=”” align=”none”]

I’m back! You might remember from my last post that I mentioned I was going on a little vacation back to Florida. After being away for two weeks, I arrived back in Chicago on Monday evening. Since I hadn’t been home since last October, it was nice to spend some time with my friends and family back in the swamp.

One of the most interesting (and exciting) things I noticed when I went back to Orlando is the growing arts scene. As long as I had lived there, pockets of art and creativity had existed, but since we left last August, it seems to really be taking off as seen in public art throughout important areas of Orlando, such as the Mills 50 District (though not without controversy) to the popularity of events such as the Thornton Park Art Walk.

[flickr id=”14479617543″ thumbnail=”medium” overlay=”true” size=”original” group=”” align=”none”]

I suppose it’s the contrast between Illinois and Florida, but in the past, I never really thought of Florida as the most exciting places for nature, having spent my formative years in a tourist mecca, home to Mickey Mouse and numerous theme parks. When I thought of Florida I thought of tourists, concrete, being unbearably hot (that part didn’t change). I found myself exploring places that had always been around me, but looking at them with new eyes.

[flickr id=”14272873098″ thumbnail=”medium” overlay=”true” size=”original” group=”” align=”none”]

I’ve written about it many times, but places are important to who we are, how we see and define ourselves. Each place I have lived or visited has left its imprint upon me, whether it is a place where I explored, made great memories with friends, or is a place where I used to write.

[flickr id=”14436372116″ thumbnail=”medium” overlay=”true” size=”original” group=”” align=”none”]

I think most writers have a place where their “writing mojo” is the strongest. I know that there are certain places where I’m “on fire” (so to speak) and other places where I can’t get anything done. I’m the type that often writes in coffee shops while wearing giant headphones. As someone who has moved five times in the past two years, finding that place within my own home can be challenging (perhaps why I often gravitate to public locations?)

While I was home I stayed with my parents and slept in my old bedroom, the place where I first discovered that “writing mojo.” The desk and chair are still there, right next to the window under the big live oak tree. I didn’t get as much writing done as I hoped but it was wonderful being back in that space.

Now that I’m back in Chicago, apartment hunting season has begun! This afternoon I have a showing, and I’m hoping to find an apartment with a space that can be mine solely for working. I currently live in a convertible studio with my fiance, which means a giant living area/bedroom, but no real rooms with doors to speak of to create a space that is mine and mine alone. As Virginia Woolf noted, if a woman is to write, she needs a room of her own. I’ll keep you all posted on what I find!