If you’ve read our Ascending Mage series, you’ll know that it’s set in the Magic City (Minot), North Dakota.
What you might not realize is that these are real places, even if we fictionalize the heck out of them.
Today, we bring you a quick tour of a few landmarks you’ll find in our stories.
Transcript for FraeLea TV Episode #20 – Field Trip to the Magic City
F: We’ll see if we can do this whole video without having a cat show up in it.
R: No promises.
F: We might get interrupted but that’s alright. That’s part of the charm, isn’t it?
F: Hi, welcome to FraeLea TV. Today we’re going to be talking about a mini-road trip we did at Thanksgiving.
R: That we are. To Minot.
F: We went to Minot to visit her family. That’s where she harkens from. We went there for Thanksgiving and on Thanksgiving morning we had enough time to go downtown and it was cold as hell.
R: Isn’t that an oxymoron?
F: Cold as hell? I don’t know, it probably depends on your definition of hell. I think for some people, ‘hell’ is cold.
R: Okay, that’ll work.
F: That’ll be like February in North Dakota.
R: No, it’s been November through February.
F: Exactly. We might get a little bit off topic here. Let’s right this ship.
R: So, road tripping.
F: Yeah, so we went to, we were tripping to Minot, is what you’re trying to say, which happens a lot. We visited a couple of the sights that appear in our series, the Ascending Mage series. Including St. Leo’s church, which we did, I think in this last book, Ascending Mage 6. I forgot the name of the book that’s coming out. Ascending Mage 6, Hold the Line.
R: Hold the Line.
F: It’s not like we’ve been living and breathing it for every waking minute for the last two weeks. We did that one. And this is obviously after the events of the story which in real life, when the story was taking place it was the 125th anniversary of St. Leo’s church being constructed. They were doing massive remodeling and restorations. They were putting everything back to original. Anyway, that, if you read Ascending Mage 6, you’ll see some little hints of that. And, beautiful, beautiful church though. It’s amazing.
R: Yes, it is. I think the biggest building was The Parker.
F: Yes, it’s the biggest building in our book, too.
F: Unless we do the Capitol, someday. We have mentioned it, we just haven’t had the story take place there. But, The Parker Building, which is probably on your screen right now. Or, soon after. That one was kind of fun because again, it was very cold out. I was on the corner of 1st and 1st filming this and there was no traffic because it was Thanksgiving morning, so it was perfect time to do that. And, some guy came driving up and actually stopped and waited until I was done filming before he proceeded. Which was kind of cool. That only happens in Small Town North Dakota. I waved at him, he waved back. It was nice of them not to get into my shot there that I was filming. We might be getting our interruption here depending on how much he decides to join us.
R: Well, and I confess to be waiting inside the warmth of the pickup.
F: You kind of allowed me to do the videography and not go out in the cold.
R: I did.
F: That was nice of you.
R: I just stayed out of your way.
F: This is Euler. Just passing through. Don’t mind him. He’s just got to get his butt in the shot here. Just passing through. Don’t mind him. And then the third building we went to, actually, we went to four places. But, the third one that we filmed we went to the Old Moline Plow Factory that was the, where the apartment building and the Sweet and Flour, which, was a real-life establishment back at the time of the story. And, the apartment that Ember lived in that building. That’s a really neat, old building turn of the century type building. There are beautiful structures in Downtown Minot. I’d love to do a walking tour sometime and we’ll have to make sure we do that next summer. And, if we do, we’ll film it for you. And the last place, which is actually the first place we visited, was…
R: Off The Vine!
F: And, that’s a place that she actually liked going to when she lived in Minot.
R: Yes, yes!
F: We didn’t do any film there because it was open for business and there were customers there. But we did snap a few photos. I guess if I show them, I’ll have to blur out some faces or something, so people don’t end up like, ‘hey, what, what am I don’t in this?’. Or, like the people who are watching this, ‘hey, what am I watching?’. That’s what they say every time they watch one of our …
R: These are professionals!
F: That’s why they’re watching this. Like, click off this really quickly. Anyway, you’ve seen those, and we’ve seen them and we’re going to do more of that. Probably in the summer so we can take the time to crawl around the sites and really show them off. We’re proud of our state and it’s kind of fun to show off that these are real buildings and we didn’t make up the location.
R: This is the first of the road trips that we’ve had on our list.
F: We’ve got a lot more to go. Thanks for joining us. We’ll be sure to let you know when we go on another one.
Thank you guys. Enjoyed the old photos so much. I remember them too.
We’re definitely going to make more field trips–but probably when it’s warmer! 😉
Glad you enjoyed this one. Thanks for commenting!
I live and was born in Fargo, ND but my mom is from western ND and my grandparents lived in Garrison, ND up until about 15 years ago. So I use to visit Garrison a number of times every summer. I never made it to Minot more then maybe 5 times in my life but my grandparents are now buried in a cemetery just outside of Minot along with my great grandparents and some of my great aunts and uncles.
And I’m the opposite; I’ve only made it to Fargo maybe five times in my life (so far). We’re kind of all “one big small town” in our state, aren’t we? Everyone’s connected somehow. Which is exactly how I like it. 🙂
We have a few scenes in our books that take place in cemeteries in and around Minot. The most recurring such is at the cemetery in Surrey (just outside of Minot). I wouldn’t be surprised if RaeLea or I had relatives buried in a few of those, too!
This was really cool. I enjoyed your tour very much.
Thanks so much! We’re planning on doing more of them next year…when it’s warmer, preferably. 🙂