I live and write in the Victorian village of Ferndale, CA. It’s a small town with an undeniable storybook charm. I would strongly recommend a visit if you have the opportunity. You can click this link to plan your trip.
Imagine a dairy town that could inspire a hundred Norman Rockwell paintings. Imagine a Main Street where the local, white-jacketed pharmacist still makes his way to the pie shop for his morning coffee, dog in tow. Where you regularly bump into the mayor while chatting with the mailman at the post office. Where a mercantile still sells hand-picked candy to children by the bag full. Where artists stand at easels across from the butcher shop and music is heard seeping through the walls of historic churches, their steeples towering above homes.
And this is just a taste.
Now imagine all of this is surrounded by pastures peppered with rugged barns, some red, some weathered and grey. Fern-lined forests cover small mountains that push up against the town and surround the open valley where the farmers work the land. To get to this oasis of Americana you must cross a narrow but strong historic bridge that spans the Eel River. The sun rises but on most days it never quite burns off the fog that dances through the trees. In the winter, rain entices residents with an excuse to stay inside next to their wood-burning stoves, book in hand. Lush green vegetation and the colorful flowers that bloom in front of gingerbread clad victorian homes turn every window into a picture frame of beauty. The sun sets over the Pacific ocean just outside of town, saying goodnight to uncrowded beaches and pristine old growth Redwood trees.
This is where I’m blessed to live. This is where I’m blessed to write.
What I call “the magic of Ferndale” has inspired me to write a lower grades children’s chapter book titled, The World of the Wazzlewoods: A Fern & Dale Fairy Tale. The manuscript is finished. Editing is underway. but what would a children’s chapter book be without illustrations? Thankfully, Edward Riojas has come on board to illustrate it, and trust me, we’re all the better for it. There is not a single artist on the planet I would rather work with. I’ll update this article (and social media) as the project develops.