I should have included a map

At least one early reader of The Girl on the Mountain suggested I create a map of the region. I started, but didn’t carry through for several uninteresting reasons.

It’s still a good idea. Maybe I’ll do it for the sequel.Winklr.map

Here you see my hand-drawn concept. The first chapter starts with May Rose in the mountainside cabin, located on the map near the middle of the map. A logging railroad climbs the mountain past the cabin to Camp Six (top) where her husband works through the week.

The map shows two paths down the mountain to the mill town–one rail, and the shorter path through virgin forest.

Winkler, the town built and managed by the Winkler Logging Company for its employees, stretches along the narrow valley below, with the mill taking up all the flat land. In the bottom right, you see a dot for the boardinghouse. The map is sadly out of scale.

I’ve termed The Girl on the Mountain ‘historical fiction,’ but it’s actually ‘period fiction,’ meaning it describes a way of life in a particular period. Winkler is a fictional town, a composite of a number of places, most similar in layout to Thomas, an old town in Tucker County near the Canaan Valley ski resorts.  I also had the vanished town of Spruce in mind, which in logging days had no access except by railroad.

The sequel to this story brings back several characters to the same region, now drastically changed. Proposed titles: (1) The Legacy of Lucie Bosell (2) Wanda’s Revenge (3) Cold Comfort. If one of these sounds intriguing to you, let me know!

9 thoughts on “I should have included a map”

  1. I love the idea of a map! (One of my geeky pastimes as a nearsighted little girl was to take cross-sections of topographical maps and draw elevations from them.) So I hope there will be elevations — nothing fancy, just something that denotes the highs and lows of the setting — and, possibly, those of the previous plotline. That would be a help re exposition, too.

    I’m trying to remember how May Rose crossed the river when she walked to Winkler. Did she tramp across the train trestle?

    My favorite map in fiction is still the one in Winnie the Pooh.

  2. Michele Moore

    Hi Carol
    First of all, let me say how much we’ve all missed your smiling face here in Philippi! I loved your map. So much better than I could have drawn. Thank goodness I’m musically inclined, as I have no other artistic abilities whatsoever!
    As a native mountaineer, I have made numerous trips to Bald Knob via Cass Scenic Railroad. On one of those excursions, I actually hiked up the mountain by following the railroad track and down to the old town of Spruce. While it’s true that the town itself has vanished, there still exist many of the foundations of structures long ago reclaimed by time and weather. While standing there among the ruins of the old town, the steam whistle of one of the old Shays began to blow. For the briefest of moments, I could almost feel the presence of those who lived and died in the harsh, unforgiving settlement. As I left Spruce and began walking down the mountain, as though I had planned it, the old Shay steamed down the mountain at the very moment I began my hike back down the tracks to Cass. I’ll never forget the moment I hopped the train like a hobo and had a most enjoyable ride back down the mountain. They didn’t even charge me for the ride!!
    PS I vote for Cold Comfort, too!

  3. I’m intrigued by the term period fiction, Carol. I’m also writing what I call historical fiction, but others have said if you don’t have a famous historical character playing a major role, then it can’t be that. And I don’t, so … Hmmm.

  4. Yes, a map does sound like a great idea! It was good seeing you both, I guess we plan to come there in August!

    ~Amy Hawkins Chappell

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