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So, what else do you do?

Writers can get a bit obsessed. At least, that's what I've heard. Okay, okay...I'm guilty too. I'm so off balance sometimes, I need to do housework to get back to the real world!

Living in our heads is fun, but so is getting out and doing something else. It's summer! Time to play hooky. My husband is on vacation this week and I have to justify getting away from my work in progress. Yup. That's what this column is all about. One big rationalization.

Let's see...what else can I do besides write when it's nice outside? I can rent a boat. There's nothing quite so relaxing as a quiet boat ride, gliding along a lake. Gone are the days of parasols and someone else doing the rowing, so it's good exercise too. In fact, it can be as relaxing or as exciting as you like.

Or if that's too much trouble, there's always walking. Again, it can be a stroll or a challenging hike.

We did a lot of hiking in our younger days. But not today. Today, we went to Porstmouth. A cute little historic city right on the NH seacoast. I'll share a few pics of our day trip with you...and then I'll admit it was for research. Yup. Even though I was goofing off, I was still in my head, thinking, "Ah, this could be her bakery." or "That could be the hotel where they met." I'm probably not the only writer who brings fictional characters with her wherever she goes. Fortunately, my husband is okay with the whole group of us going places together.

Tug and pilot boats

One of the homes in historic Strawberry Bank

The Portsmouth Navel Shipyard and Maine across the river

My wonderful, supportive, husband always ready for adventure

Prescott Park home of the arts festival
How many of these items will end up in my series? I'm not sure. Regardless, it's good to soak up the atmosphere of a place and jot down a few notes. Pictures are helpful, but I like to have been there, so I can close my eyes and 'feel' the place as I 'see' my characters act out their stories in my imagination.
Is anyone else going on a research trip soon? 



  1. Mr. Amazing indeed!
    I'm going on a trip road trip to Savannah this year and although it isn't specifically research I know it will make it into my writing in one form or another.

  2. That's awesome, Venus! I've always wanted to go to Savannah.

    You might like to try a book by Patricia Mason. A Girl, a Guy and a Ghost. If you like my books, you'll love it. Lots of zany fun with a healthy dose of paranormal goodness.

  3. Glad to know I'm not the only one who researches everywhere she goes.
    Looks like you had a fun day.

  4. Thanks, Victoria! You never know when a small detail will make your book come alive for a reader.

    I'm not usually big on description since it can slow the pace, but I get ideas just the same. One of my characters is a tug boat captain!

  5. Research trips are wonderful. The pics are gorgeous.*wolf whistle* Mr. Amazing is awesome. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Ashlyn, I love going places and seeing new things. I never thought I'd write about a Highland wolf being in Grand Cayman Island doing all the things I had done while I was there...but it made for the most perfect story. The same with visiting one of the Scottish castles on the North Sea. It was desolate, beautiful, stormy, and I loved it. I felt at home there, and it became the heroine's ruins. So I love going places. You never know when something might end up really touching you and you have to incorporate it in a story...

  7. LOL, Wild! Thanks for the compliment. I'll pass it on to Mr. Amazing and see if i can make him blush.

  8. You know what I'm talking about, Terry. How cool that you managed to combine Highlander and Grand Cayman Island!

    I went to Grand Cayman too. I had my hero and heroine go there during a Hurricane in Heaving Bosoms. LOL. Oh, the things we do to our poor characters.

  9. That sounds so much fun! You know, everyone says you have to fill the well if you want to keep writing.

  10. So true, Shana. When writers write about writers, I begin to suspect an empty well.


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