Writers and artists have somehow always known cemeteries are a place of inspiration. Seattle-based writer Stacy Carlson, author of Among The Wonderful, shares her particular credo about Mount Pleasant.
There’s a blue-green house shaped like a barn on West Bothwell Street that’s half a block from a T-intersection.
It’s a T because instead of another block of tidy houses, the Mount Pleasant Cemetery breaks the grid with its amoeba-shaped expanse. I don’t know exactly how big, or how old the cemetery is. I don’t know anybody buried there. But if it weren’t for Mount Pleasant, half a block from the house where I grew up, I never would have started writing fiction.
My friend Shannon and I roller-skated all over our neighborhood. We started out in the alley behind Shannon’s house. We didn’t try to learn how to skate backwards or do any fancy twirls. We went for speed.
Starting at one end of the alley, we simply raced each other to the other end and most of the time, Shannon won. But the pavement in that alley was a rough grade, and we dodged jagged potholes, giant cracks and more than once ripped up our knees, elbows, and faces. After a while we moved to a patch of smooth cement on a quiet street a couple of blocks from my house.
It was a short-lived victory: one night coming home from work my dad spotted us skittering out of the way of his car. We were banished from the streets. Continue reading