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Ghost Stories and Santa Fe

Have you ever been to Santa Fe, New Mexico? There is so much history, culture, and joie de vivre baked into the adobe. I love all three of those things, so I’m going—thus triggering the overarching debate of taking a trip to Santa Fe: to visit or not to visit Ghost Ranch?


Ghost Ranch is the former home and studio of the late artist, Georgia O’Keeffe. Whether or not to take the time to drive to Ghost Ranch, like all great debates, has no one true answer and people you think you know are often on surprising sides of the argument.


Who knows what I’ll decide to do in the Ghost Ranch debate? But thinking about it makes me think of ghost stories.


Ghost stories are my new mental image when I write.

Telling them, that is. Around a camp fire. When it’s your turn to spin a tale for the group, you can’t falter. You have to make sure to remember all of the important details while thrilling your audience with a tightly woven tale. If you can make them laugh at some point, all the better.


I tend to overthink storytelling, sometimes. My common sense takes a left turn in Albuquerque and forgets to meet me in Santa Fe for the parts of the story worth hearing.


But that’s the thing, as writers, that we must remember: it’s not about us—it’s about the people hearing the story around the campfire—or reading your story in a book.


I don‘t think it’s a bad idea to picture myself telling you a ghost story around a campfire when I write. What do you think?

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