Five years ago, when I wrote the Salvation of Mary Lola Barnes, I made up a name that probably existed somewhere in the world, but I’d never heard of it in Nova Scotia. After all, green and vale were two popular parts of many place names. In Nova Scotia, we have Greenfield and Greenwood. We also have Elmsvale, Irishvale and Hillsvale.
For all the purposes other writers choose to create a fictional place within a real place, I stuck with Greenvale up until the editing process in September. Curious to see if Greenvale existed in the Maritimes, I plugged it into Google. Imagine my surprise when a place name showed up not only in Nova Scotia, but in the general area I wanted it to be. Eek!
Checking out the place on Google Map, I found it was pretty much forested area. There were no houses there or surrounding it from what I could see. There were, however, what appeared to be a maze of logging roads that connected to the 347 (Sherbrooke Road). This was far from the image of Greenvale in the story I had written.
For obvious reasons, I had to choose another name. If I had stuck with it, connections I didn’t want to make might have been made by locals.
After scribbling down several possibilities, I chose Pleasantry. Before I okayed it, I did a Google search. While there are many Pleasant places, such as Pleasant Valley, in Nova Scotia there was no Pleasantry. This little fictional town is somewhere off the104 Highway somewhere between Antigonish and New Glasgow. It has a second hand store, a supermarket and the Iron Forge Tavern.
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