Into the Unknown

 By Charlotte Bennardo

Even if you're a stay-at-home, curl up on the couch with a good book or movie with the cat and a cup of tea kind of person, you need adventure. Maybe it's trying out a restaurant with a cuisine you've never eaten before. Or it's leaving the family home to go on a vacation with college friends. Adventures come in all sizes and shapes and experiences, and as writers, we can't help but incorporate them into our writing, sometimes knowingly, other times unconsciously. 

During the pandemic, staying at home lost its appeal and became...well, oppressive. I had to get out. My husband and I got on our bikes and put on our (new) hiking shoes, and hit the trails. We've been exploring new places, many surprisingly close to our home, and discovering nature, expanding our physical comfort zones, and improving our physical and mental well-being. 

Photo courtesy of Pexels, Nina Uhlikova

How has this shown up in my work? I describe outdoor scenes with more precision and detail. I'm not a fan of heavy description (a holdover from my days as a journalist- just the facts, ma'am), but now I can't help but make my outdoor scenes more lush, or threatening, or mysterious. I know the rush of adrenaline before the pain sets in when you crash your bike (yeah, ow. Broken bones and staples). There is a heart pounding moment when the forest suddenly goes quiet and you're not sure why: a bear? A coming storm? Or, in my writer's mind, a human predator? Truly it is different to write something with imagination versus real life experience.


Photo courtesy of Pexels, Murillo Molissani

So it's onto the next adventure. What will it be? Whatever it is, it can't help but sneak into my writing, and that's a good thing. 


  1. I love how your external can help explain the internal. And ow is right--broken bones and staples!


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