It's a simple assignment.
"What is your favorite place in South Carolina, and why?"
It's Frank's Outback restaurant in Pawleys Island, where I've known people to order the 14-layer caramel cake for appetizer, entree and dessert.
It's the front porch at Poe's Tavern on Sullivan's Island, where I like to honor the edgy life of Edgar Allan Poe and his traipse through the Lowcountry by eating a loaded hamburger called the Black Cat.
It's 82 Queen in Charleston's French Quarter because of its She Crab Soup with fresh rolls.
It's Dolphin Head on Hilton Head Island, where eagles glide like 747s above we lesser specimens.
It's an hour or two on any sandbar that has been reached on purpose in the waters of Beaufort or Jasper counties.
It's Harbour Town on Saturday night when the PGA Tour is in town.
It's fried pork chops night at Harold's Country Club in Yemassee.
It's the smoky pit on Friday night at Sweatman's BBQ near Eutawville.
It's the S.C. Artisans Center in an old house with camellias in the yard in Walterboro.
It's Edisto Island in October.
It's the Beaufort National Cemetery on Memorial Day.
It's tee time at the Dunes Golf and Beach Club in Myrtle Beach, because of its style, grace and family memories covering three generations.
It's the Water Hole, a cinderblock gas station in the suburban sprawl of Hodges, where a pinball machine, juke box and wooden checker board carved full of initials lured Erskine College students into lifelong friendships and actual love.
It's the Lone Star Barbecue & Mercantile in Santee on Saturday night because the bluegrass musicians keep toes tapping in a place where time stood still.
It's standing at the foot of The Hill with camera in hand on a Saturday afternoon at Death Valley in Clemson, when it gets so loud you can't even hear "The Band That Shakes the Southland."
It's a hot Saturday night at Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia, where they said "if it ain't swaying, we ain't playing" until adults intervened with a "risk management plan" to control student behavior.
It's the crusty banks of the May River when the sun sets over the annual Bluffton Rotary Club oyster roast.
It's the Healing Springs near Blackville, with waters so mystical some mortal deeded the land to God for public use.
Maybe this assignment isn't so simple after all.
I'll be whittling my favorite places down to one for an essay in the forthcoming third edition of the book "State of the Heart: South Carolina Writers on the Places They Love" published by the University of South Carolina Press.
In the first edition, Steve Hoffius wrote about our own Sheldon Ruins -- "Where God is Courteous." And Kendall Bell wrote a "Reflection in the Water" at The Sands in Port Royal after working a typical night of "controlled chaos" at The Beaufort Gazette.
What is your favorite place in South Carolina, and why?
Follow columnist David Lauderdale at twitter.com/ThatsLauderdale.