The Beauty and Emptiness of Abandoned Places

I have an obsession with abandoned places.

There is an empty longing to them that resonates with me. They are forgotten, yet beautiful. They are also filled with unused potential, of futures unfulfilled. Mysterious memories haunt every corner and every abandoned item.

In my life, I have moved twenty-two times.  Those are twenty-two homes filled with little ghosts of my past.  Some of them are still standing–filled with new people making new memories.  Others have been torn down and replaced by new homes.  Everything moves on.

When I thought up the Undercity story, Nanowrimo was about to start, and I had no idea what I wanted to write. I was managing an art gallery in a mall at the time, and it was a Wednesday night. How do I know for certain it was a Wednesday night? That’s simple.

About six o’clock on a Wednesday night, the mall empties out and the place becomes a ghost town. The clerks are the ghosts, lingering by the cash desks and aimlessly dusting or tidying in the hopes of making time move faster. It doesn’t.

My boss used to say it was the bowling alley night because you could bowl down the halls and not hit a single person.

Therefore, it was a Wednesday night when the character of Teddy showed up in my imagination and told me his story. Through Teddy, I met Caden, Jolon, Henri, Cate, and many more characters that make up Undercity. It was their emptiness, their desperation amid the remains of a world long-gone that drove the story for me–the longing to live a better life and protect the ones you love.

Abandoned places, abandoned lives, the forgotten–they influence all of my stories.

What do you think?  Does the mystery of the neglected entice you?  Share what inspires you to create.  Thanks for reading. Kris


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