Monday, August 24, 2009

Back (for a few days)

Apologies for the somewhat curtailed blogging last week. My uncle passed away, so I headed over to East Texas for the funeral and related family events, then stayed away longer than I planned because while I really wanted to be home, I didn't necessarily want to go through what it took to go home. I've also been thoroughly fed because those Southern church ladies really know how to put together a post-funeral meal. Then once we were back at my parents' place, we just had to go the next day to breakfast in one of the new local hot spots, a barbecue place for lunch and dinner, but a classic small-town cafe for breakfast. You know it's good when you see the number of fire engines and police cars in the parking lot. This will be another short week, since I'm off to New York on Thursday. I suspect there will be some serious cultural whiplash, going from small-town East Texas to New York. I'm still thoroughly in Southern Belle mode, my accent is heavier than ever, and New York won't know what hit it.

This is a research trip so I can get the setting for the book I'm about to write clear in my head. It will be a different "universe" from the Enchanted, Inc. books and will be in a different part of the city. While I'm reading some travel books about New York to get ideas of places I need to go or things I need to do, I do get a few pangs about "my" part of town where the Katie books are set. I wonder if I'll start to feel the same way about this other part of town once I write (and hopefully sell) this book. The one thing that's a challenge for me in doing research is creating a representative apartment. In this part of the world, we have complexes, so you can go online and see floor plans, and most of the entrances are exterior, so you don't have to go inside to see how the apartments are laid out within a building. But since New York has so many older buildings that don't have any kind of "standard" layout and because apartments aren't found quite the way they are here, there doesn't seem to be anything standard to show floor plans and interiors. Plus, the apartments open onto interior corridors, so it's hard to tell how the apartments are laid out within a building. I can only glean so much info from walking by at dusk and glancing into windows of apartments with their lights on and curtains open. I'm not sure a Realtor would appreciate me making an appointment to view an apartment just to get inside a building.

Meanwhile, I have some other research I need to do before I leave town, plus all the usual errands to run before a trip, so it's going to be a busy week!

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