Saturday, April 25, 2009

Persuing Personal Interests

What do you care about? What interests you? What do you find so intriguing that you want to know more about it?
When I talk to students who are looking for ideas for their writing, I often suggest they ask themselves these questions.

Personally, I have long been fascinated by the story of the logging industry in Algonquin Park. I love to read about the living and working conditions of the early loggers, the method they used to get the logs out of the forest in the wintertime and the larger-than-life lumber barons of the Ottawa Valley. Whenever I visit the park I am more interested in its history than in what it is today--the largest and most accessible park in Ontario.

Some of what I've learned became background for my latest book, Trouble at Turtle Narrows (Napoleon Publishing, 2008). See above photo of the front cover.

The town of Turtle Narrows, the fictional setting for the novel, is located in the Ottawa Valley. I used the same setting for Treasure at Turtle Lake (Napoleon, 2007). Algonquin Park is a good bike ride away for the youngsters living in the town.

My mythical town of Turtle Narrows is rich in history. There was at one time a sawmill at the Narrows, and a wealthy lumber baron built a mansion on the hill overlooking the river. From a belevedere on top of the house, he could watch each spring for the ice to break up and for his logs to float down from the north to the sawmill. In the novel, the main character discovers that the little room up on the rooftop makes an ideal location to keep an eye on any suspicious activity.
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Randy M. - Algonquin Outfitters said...

Peggy I assume if you've done a fair bit of reading about Algonquin Park's history you know about the Turtle Club. As and adventure guide in Algonquin Park I've traveled a lot of the park and have had many chances to explore Algonquin's rich history. I'd love to share experiences with you sometime.

Peggy Dymond Leavey said...

Hey, Randy. Great to hear from you. I do not know about the Turtle Club, but would like to. I first became interested in the Park as a tourist. When I began reading about its rich history I became fascinated. It seemed to be the perfect background for my latest children's novel. Two members of my family work in and around the Park and we visit it whenever we can.