Wednesday Wander – Space Needle, Seattle

This week I’m wandering to the Pacific Northwest, and one of the most recognisable landmarks in that area. This is the Seattle Space Needle.

Built for the 1962 World’s Fair in Seattle, the Needle was designed to withstand strong earthquakes and winds of up to 200mph, though I wouldn’t like to be up there during either of those events! The ‘saucer’ portion of the tower is home to an observation deck and the Skycity restaurant, accessed by an elevator, or, if you’re feeling particularly energetic, a staircase with 848 steps. The Needle boasts panoramic views of the beautiful coastline and mountains, as well as being next to the excellent EMP (which I wandered to in another post) – however, I didn’t ascend the Needle when I was there. I’m not a huge fan of heights and have been up the similar CN Tower in Toronto several times. Instead, I was content to admire it from below.

The Seattle Space Needle has of course been featured in many films and TV series, including Frasier, where it was even part of the opening credits, and of course Sleepless in Seattle. It’s also appeared in Grey’s Anatomy, The Simpsons, and the Twilight films, just to name a few – small wonder it was designated an historic landmark in 1999.

I think what I like about the Needle is that it, and the nearby monorail, were built at a time when this sort of architecture was a vision for the future. Space travel was in its infancy, the world still recovering from the horrors of war just a decade or so earlier. This new style represented a shining future, a new way of thinking. And the design still holds up, still looks modern, even next to the extraordinary undulating curves of the nearby EMP.

Thanks for coming on another Wednesday Wander with me – see you next time!

f you enjoyed this post and would like to read more, you can find me on Twitter @AuthorHelenJFacebook, Instagram and Pinterest. Plus my latest book release, A Thousand Rooms, is now available on Amazon. Visit my Amazon Author Page to see more.

Telling Tales

It came to me a while ago that perhaps we, as humans, are built to be storytellers. That it’s in our DNA, some vital part of us that cannot be denied.

From the dawn of humanity when people gathered around campfires or in sacred spaces, taking their turns to add their voice to a tale, we have always shared stories. Before written word it was how we kept records of our ancestors, of our people, of the things that happened, weaving them into songs or epic poems or tales for the dark nights as winter drew in. We painted pictures on cavern walls, blew bright ochre onto rock faces, describing happenings and visitors and successful hunts, religion and family and daily life. Paintings became carvings, pictures became writing and we kept telling stories, about commerce and battles and dark fantasies from the past, using words to frighten people into submission or to uplift them to their best selves. Bards became a class of their own, keepers of the stories, each one adding their own pieces to the puzzle, carrying our ancestors’ deeds forward in time.

And now, in this modern age, it seems we still have stories to tell. Agents are inundated daily with manuscripts, writing clubs and online communities abound, and competition to be published is fiercer than ever. I cannot count the number of people who, when I tell them I’m a writer, say, ‘I’d like to write a book as well.’ Apparently in Iceland one in ten people will publish a book and most people will write one – an entire country of people with stories to tell.

So what is it that has caused this apparent upsurge in writers appearing, a generation of storytellers born anew? I wonder if social media has something to do with it, giving us all a voice, a chance to share our life with the world whenever we choose to do so. Every person has a story – now with Facebook and Instagram and Twitter and blogging all you need is a phone to share it with the whole world. We are encouraged to write every day, to post new statuses, update our stories as they happen, 140 characters to tell of each unfolding event. Small wonder then that this daily writing exercise may have inspired us to do more, awakening the urge to weave a bigger, better, more exciting tale and get it down on paper (so to speak).

For much of what we write these days is digital and it makes me wonder whether our words will be around to be deciphered a millennia from now, or if the ephemeral nature of electronic files means they will simply fade away, a forgotten crackle of energy. Personally, I still enjoy holding a real book in my hand and have published both my books in paperback as well as Kindle versions. And perhaps some scholar, centuries from now, will hold a copy of it in white gloved hands (or maybe it will hover, unsupported, above a pristine surface) to be read, my words analysed for whatever secrets of this present time they may hold.

Interesting to consider, isn’t it?

This post appeared in its original form back in November 2014, when I was participating in my first NaNoWriMo, and far fewer people came to visit my blog. Oh, and that NaNo book? I did finish it, though it took me almost two more years to do so – it became A Thousand Rooms.

If you enjoyed this post and would like to read more, you can find me on Twitter @AuthorHelenJFacebook, Instagram and Pinterest. Plus my latest book release, A Thousand Rooms, is now available on Amazon. Visit my Amazon Author Page to see more.