On Walden Pond... or in the Woods of Ohio. Same Thing, Really

While waiting for the second round of edits to come back on my new book in the End of All Things series, I've been going on frequent hikes in Ohio state parks. Not that I'm any sort of rugged outdoorswoman. I stick to the easier trails. But the thing about Ohio... It's hilly. And you don't think about how hilly it is until you find yourself huffing up some of those trails. But they often lead you to some stunning views.

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I'd forgotten how restoring to the soul the woods can be. Only once I was hearing the soft crunch of leaf litter beneath my shoes and breathing in the green-scented breeze did my mind say, "Ah yes, I remember this!"

A photo posted by Lissa Bryan (@lissabryan) on

When I was a child, I spent many hours alone in the woods. There was a tiny creek I used to dutifully clear its little waterfalls of leaves, convinced I was helping it in some way.

One of my favorite places to go was deep in the woods where a massive oak tree stood. I've seen far bigger trees now as an adult, including California's famous redwoods, but as a kid, it was the most massive tree I'd ever seen, and every time I see a Tree of Life emblem, I think of it, and wonder if it's still there.

I found the woods a comforting place, as I do now.

A photo posted by Lissa Bryan (@lissabryan) on

It's funny. My main character in the next books spends the majority of her time in the woods, but I hadn't really gone back there myself in years. My life is in more urban environs now, and my increasingly reclusive nature keeps me in my "writer cave" more and more. I wrote it all from memory, what the woods of Appalachia are like.

I wish I'd gone back sooner. I needed this, and I didn't even know it.

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