My favourite photos of the week: Leave the bathers at home: the abandoned waterparks where the fun has dried up.
I never thought I’d be linking to The Daily Mail within the context of urban exploration — I rely on that website for, like, weird gossip items about obscure and overly tanned British celebutantes. HOWEVER. I found this while Google-searching Vineland Station, Ontario, for some writing-related inspiration. You will notice that the article features several abandoned waterparks in Russia and other parts of Europe, then BAM! at the end is a photo of a place I have visited many times both as a child (when the park is operational) and as an adult (after it was closed down). I have some really cool (in my opinion) photos of the Wet n’ Wild Waterpark taken in 2003, after it had already sat empty for several years. As far as I know, it’s been torn down and paved over, but still remains one of my favourite places in the world.
Lately I’ve been having writerly feelings, so I actually set aside a legit amount of time (and turned down actual social invitations) in order to make words happen. I did quite well, actually. I have what I believe is a solid 2000 words towards a decent first chapter. No editing involved — it all came out smoothly, all in one go. I’m really happy! This story has been brewing for years and years and I’ve only just now made an iota of progress toward it.
I’m experimenting with different writing mediums in the hopes of jump-starting some “inspiration” — ie. paper/notebooks vs. blog vs. Word doc sitting on my desktop to mock me every time I turn the computer on. I think so far the least psychologically defeating of the three is the blog option, specifically Livejournal. It allows me to write a thing with as few bells and whistles as I want without necessarily having to look at what I wrote yesterday. I can tag each entry for easier reference later, I can easily sort and view entries by date or subject matter or what have you, and title them, or not. I can access the site from anywhere as long as I have internet, which is a reality for me since I moved back to civilization. I also find Livejournal much easier to access and navigate than WordPress, thus less frustrating to access if I’m suddenly “in the mood” to write.
After writing those 2000 words, I also decided that I’d make a second post of just images, kind of like a virtual mini mood board of images that either inspired me to write today, or will keep the momentum going for tomorrow. (I had intended to do that kind of thing with this blog here, but again, I find WordPress kind of convoluted and frustrating to navigate (sorry, WordPress… I must concede, this platform is much prettier and more professional looking).) So I started googling images from places where I grew up, because today I spontaneously set the beginning of the story in the town where I grew up, and I gave the protagonist a name that is almost identical to my first name. I will probably change it later, but for now it’s working really well — it’s like a lubricant for my psyche. Possibly because the subject matter is so personal or possibly because I’ve been doing stupid blog entries for like 14 years and have no idea how to write straight-up made up shit anymore.
Some of my past relationships with utter fucktards have inspired a few of my characters. So maybe that’s why it seems right to have the setting be in a place that’s so familiar — the places I lived, worked and played in before age 21, when I was having all of these relationships that have shaped me into who I am today.
Whenever I start up with this kind of thing, I get sad and start missing Ontario. Just now I was imagining cruising old Highway 8 from St. Catharines all the way through Stoney Creek. Now is the time. The leaves are changing and it’s probably spectacular there. That is the feeling I’m trying to evoke in myself. The feeling of being young and impressionable in a lush and wonderful place, setting out to explore the world, and inadvertently exploring the deranged psyches of massive fucktards instead.
Speaking of exploring, I’ve finally convinced my husband to do some exploring with me up here in Northern BC. He refuses to do anything that will have him arrested, so I found another place — yet another abandoned waterpark, except this one is actually attached to a functioning hotel and bar, so we could conceivably get in there without breaking any laws or pissing anyone off.
This waterpark holds the same nostalgia value for him as Wet n’ Wild does for me. I guess he used to go on all the slides as a kid, and as an adult he brought dates to the bar there. Apparently it used to be quite the thriving establishment until, in his words, “Someone saw a live goat in the kitchen, and decided enough was enough.” I’m basically hoping the goat is still there, but I’m thrilled for the waterpark too!