Writers often have two types of homes: The first is the place where we live, and the second is our writer's home. The writer's "home" is the place where we find inspiration, characters, setting--and especially, theme. Often it's based on the place we grew up, or a time that was especially formative for us. Our writer's home is the place we never leave behind in our imaginations.
I was thinking about the writer's home as my mother and I have been on the road this week. We're driving from Washington, D.C. to Los Angeles, stopping at various relative's houses and historical spots. My mother is the family genealogist, so she insisted we stop in Monroeville, Alabama, where her side of the family has strong roots. I'd never been to Monroeville before, but I was thrilled to discover that this charming southern town is the place where Harper Lee, Truman Capote, and other notable writers grew up. It's easy to see how the town inspired scenes in Lee's wonderful novel, To Kill A Mockingbird. The original court house is still there where Atticus Finch--a character based on her own father, who was a lawyer and newspaper editor--thundered in defense of justice.
I can't claim Monroeville as my writer's home because I didn't grow up there, but I'm happy that my kinfolk did. It gives me a sense of literary pride by proxy.
What about you? Do you have a spiritual writer's home, a place that serves as a creative well for your fiction? Do you actively incorporate your "home" into your writing?