A Visit To Arleta

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Recently, I was struck by a new story idea which takes place in Southern California. I’m not exactly sure if this idea will go anywhere, but writing it has given me a thrill that only comes about when I have delved into something fresh and waiting to be explored.

The story takes place in a small town called Arleta, CA. I chose this place because it is in the San Fernando Valley, near the hills, and happened to be the only town in the Valley that had a name that seemed to fit. I was visiting California over Thanksgiving and decided to take a short road trip down to where the story takes place. What followed were hours of me driving in circles, creeping houses with my camera, being followed by unsavory-looking characters, losing said characters near some train tracks, discovering that Arleta has an airport (something I hadn’t known in my mental image of the place) and ignoring the endless scolding from my GPS system. It is a rare thing for a writer to visit the town where an idea is set, and then to find that it is almost exactly as I imagined it.

I took an endless folder of photos but these seem to tell the story of Arleta from the outside — quiet, unimposing, ready to hold some secrets behind its name. After visiting, I took a short trip down to Los Angeles and the beach in Santa Monica, as this is in the story also. Then, I ventured up a dangerously winding road to the top of the canyon so I could get a glimpse of what my character sees from there. It’s odd, but a part of me could almost feel the characters there, as I wandered this place amongst a story that as of now, only I know.

Kaleb Nation
Kaleb Nation is an author, TV commentator, and entrepreneur. With over a decade of experience in viral media production and content marketing – including over 600 videos and 50,000,000 views – he is a nationally recognized expert on digital culture and social media issues. Kaleb has been featured on CNN, HLN, NPR, ABC, MTV, Mashable, Entertainment Weekly, Good Morning America, and more. Read Kaleb's Story

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