Friday, January 8, 2016

Harlan Kentucky Inspires Writers (A Writers Vacation)

Vela's Villa
Some great TV shows, movies and reality TV Shows are based in Harlan, Kentucky.  From Harlan County Wars to Justified to Walking Dead Harlan Kentucky has inspired many great stories.  This leads me to believe that any writer looking for inspiration should visit Harlan, Kentucky.  Harlan, Kentucky is a holler in the Appalachian Mountains.  That’s right coal country.  Go 20 min down one road and you are in Virginia.  You could also end up in West Virginia and of course Tennessee. I personally have spent quality time crossing all those state boarders in one day and going back home to Harlan.  Yes, I said home.  My mama owns Vela's Villa which is right in the heart of town in Harlan.  I can tell you one thing, in Harlan you will always come up with a great story.

Harlan Kentucky is a secret blessing to writers.  The town, its people, the surroundings, the past, present and future are all characters.  Harlan is the birthplace of stories and that well will never run dry.  Harlan is known for its grit, moonshine, ginseng, coal and law enforcement but there is so much more.  Harlan has a fairytale magic and old-fashioned horror story with in her.  Harlan is Mayberry one day and Carnivale that night.  In Harlan, especially at my mom’s place, Vela’s Villa, you can keep to yourself.  It is nice and quite there and you can make your own food.  Great for a writer who is really banging their story out and just needs to get away from all distractions.  But let’s say you need the energy and the mystic of the Appalachian Mountains and her people, you don’t need to go far.  Just walk right outside your door and you are in the heart of Harlan’s “downtown” while staring up at a peak of a mountain.  In other words you can mingle with the locals without driving your car and let me tell you they have stories.  Of course, you will have to sit a spell to get through one of those stories but all good stories take time.  Like I said before, Kentucky, Tennessee, West Virginia and Virginia are all touching each other.  If you do need to venture out and explore this is the place to start.  The mountains are beautiful but if you need to get to a city like Knoxville you are only an hour and a half away. 

Vela's Villa

Harlan is a culture unto itself.  There is folklore and curses and God.  There is genius and ignorance and sometimes all in the same person, lol.  It seems to me that Harlan is the place of ideas and creativity.  In fact that is all Harlan is mining these days.  The original owner of Vela’s Villa was a writer, owner of the bank and coal man.  Vela was his wife and my mother’s best friend/2nd mom.  My husband was also a writer and when he passed he was in the middle of collaborating on a film script based in Harlan.  Vela's Villa loves writers for writers mine the mind.  If you need solitude come on over to our holler.  My mama will take care of you.  If need surroundings that inspire, come on over, my mama will take care of you.  There is nothing like the Appalachian Mountains in the world, for the Appalachian Mountains connects us all to the old world, in this country we call the New World.  If you are a writer you should come and stay with us at Vela's Villa.  We promise you will see the world with new eyes. Vela's Villa

Below is my husbands last poetry reading.  Like I said Vela's Villa is for writers.

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