“Go to your Happy Place!”
How often have we heard that during times of duress? Of course, my Always-Happy Place are the rare times when I’m together with my family. But those times put aside, let’s talk setting, place. Not your Happy Who, but your Happy Where.
Having lived in several states and maturing along the way, I find my Happy Place keeps changing. When I was a child, it was my grandparents’ farm in southern Ohio. Hearing the rooster in the morning. Smelling my grandmother’s cooking from the kitchen. Running and rolling on the tall-grassed hills. Swimming in the cow pond.
Today, my Happy Place is sitting in a warm cottage in the late fall, overlooking a lake through a glass wall in northern Michigan. While we lived in New York, it was either Niagara Falls on the Canadian side if we only had a day, or up to Algonquin Park if we had a week. Hear the swoosh of a kayak pushing through lily pads? In South Dakota, there were hundreds of spots in the Black Hills I could claim as my favorite place to be, most of which I didn’t know the names, so made up my own names for the hills or valleys or rocks. When I worked in Yellowstone, my Happy Place was a sulphur-emitting sink hole. (Alright. I was a teenager.)
My point is… I want you to think about the setting of your own Happy Place. Perhaps you have only one. That makes life simpler.
For this exercise, choose only one. Describe your Happy Place using your five senses.
When you’ve finished describing your own Happy Place, expand it out and think about your MC’s Happy Place. Do the same with his or her five senses.