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Beth Hautala is author of Waiting For Unicorns, and The Ostrich And Other Lost Things. She lives with her husband and four children in northern Minnesota where she strives to write stories that tie heart and imagination together. 



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Week Four ARC Giveaway—The importance of Place

As a storyteller, the idea of Place is quite significant to a story's authenticity. In fiction, it has to feel real, even if it isn't. In Nonfiction, is has to be real or the narrative lacks integrity. In the case of WAITING FOR UNICORNS, Place became both a way to ground the story—situate it in the world—and a way to expose some of the main character's internal processing. Her emotions were often reflected in what was happening across the landscape.

Question #4) Is there a Place in your own narrative—in your own life story—that holds significant meaning to you? Did it reflect changes in your life for a season? Did it become a refuge? Is it a place to which, you ever wish to return?

Leave your response in the comments for a chance to win one of three ARCs of WAITING FOR UNICORNS. Winners will be announced Monday Nov 17th. 

Reader Comments (4)

The summers after my Junior year and graduation from college, I worked at camp in Siren WI. I formed lots of relationships there, created lots of memories, spent lots of time strengthening my relationship with Jesus. It offered a transition from school life to life "in the real world."

Sadly the camp was destroyed by a tornado and wasn't rebuilt. Photos, friends, and memories are and will be the only things that remain. The place that started with a physical location found its way into my being, where it continues to exist.

November 10, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterJeremy Doyle

Wow! I love this, Jeremy! Amazing how a physical location can become a mental and emotional one as well. Thanks for sharing!

November 10, 2014 | Registered CommenterBeth Hautala

I know Beth's book is outstanding: I'm not writing to win-- but I find the questions thought-provoking and enjoy doing a little soul searching :)
I had my heart broken and was left not knowing what to do with my life. Not knowing what else to do, I applied for graduate school and left my state for a couple of years. I bike commuted, taught, got a degree, and refreshed my faith. My confidence had been so deeply shaken it took 2 years of breaking free from doubt and rejection to re-discover the joy and excitement of living again. In retrospect, the chance to break free and have the opportunity to re-invent myself as the person I wanted to become, and do so in a place and in a way where my decisions couldn't be influenced by anyone else-- absolutely changed how I thought about myself, life, and the direction my life was taking. I am so deeply grateful for that little Univeristy town in the middle of another state. Interestingly, there isn't anyone there anymore that I know, and the buildings of the school I went to were under construction almost the whole time I was there. I think of the place as a motivational place- not a cozy place of refuge, but an empowering place of opportunity and growth. It absolutely reflected a change in my life for a season- and it was so important that it be a place of relative solitude where I could think, pray, and just BE.
For me, that is a chilly rented room with brown carpet and a white desk built into what used to be the closet, on the 3rd floor of a house in a small college town.

November 12, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

My very recent history, which I can not put out there to the world just yet.
My life was changed 358 degrees over the course of a few hours.
A friend betrayed me and caused great emotional damage to myself and my family.
But I am determined that I will not let her damage who I am inside.

November 17, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLaura

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