Friday, September 19, 2014

Abandonded (for Abandoned)

I love abandoned places. There’s something beautiful and nostalgic in their loneliness. In grad school I had a photographer friend who would sneak into sites after farms had burned down or hospitals had closed. I accompanied him from time to time. We were respectful but also had good, creepy fun, and the adventures inspired a few settings in horror stories I’ve written.

One image that stuck with me was a rocking chair in the middle of a burned barn, with the wooden chair completely untouched. We dared each other to sit on it and rock, but none of us had the courage. There was a vague sense that someone else (something else?) might be sitting there already.

So imagine my delight when I stumbled across Ontario Abandoned Places, which collects photographs of the lost spots all around my province. Now I can browse late at night with the lights off and work on my stories without having to do the dirty work of hopping fences and crawling under fallen beams. I guess this means I’m getting older (wasn’t the dirty work the fun part?) but I prefer to say I’m becoming more efficient in my literary inspirations.

Leanne Olson

(Photo of abandoned house in Tillamook, Oregon by user Adumbvoget, courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.)

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