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I spent the past week vacationing in Rockport, a seaside town on the north shore of Massachusetts. It’s a delightfully quaint and historic little town, its streets lined with tiny shops, each filled with tons of character and individuality. As we explored the town, dining in the restaurants and stopping in many of the shops, I came to realize that this was exactly the kind of town where I could one day set a story.

My newest novel takes place in the fictional town of Killingworth, Vermont and the protagonist of the story is a man named Wyatt. As my week in Rockport proceeded and I began to get to know the town better, I began thinking about the possibility of transplanting some of these tiny little shops and restaurants into my fictional Vermont town.

They were simply too good to pass up.

With this thought running through my mind, I entered a knickknack shop on our last day in town, planning to purchase a Christmas tree ornament as a souvenir. My wife and I pick up an ornament during each of our vacations as a means of reminiscing about our travels as we decorate our tree each December. The shop immediately appealed to me, with its eclectic collection of ornaments, trinkets, signage, and other odds and ends. An ancient, gold-plated cash register sat atop a high counter, and manning it was an equally ancient gentleman who was teaching a small boy to play dominos. It was just the kind of scene that would fit perfectly into my novel.

After choosing an ornament, I brought it to the counter in order to pay, anxious to see the mechanical cash register at work.

“Hello, sir,” the elderly man said, dropping his dominos in order to ring up my sale. “I was just teaching Wyatt here how to play dominos. A dying art, if you ask me.”

“Did you say Wyatt?” I asked.

“Yes, I did. This is Wyatt. My grandson.”

Wyatt?

Coincidence? Fate? Serendipity?

Weird if nothing else.

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