Sunday, July 12, 2015

The Three Rs



Everyone occasionally needs some R&R but we writers sometimes need the three Rs: rest, relaxation and research. I love to travel so, for me, a change of scenery is the ticket. It gets my imagination going full speed, sparks my creativity and it helps me to recharge my batteries so that I’m ready to take on my next writing project.

Bridge linking Mt. Pleasant and Charleston, SC

View of Charleston Harbor from the pier in Mt. Pleasant

The pool where I spent every afternoon

As you may have figured out by now, I just got back from a vacation to Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina and, although I love my hometown, Cincinnati, it felt good to get a break from my everyday life. Freedom from responsibilities and routine. I had so much fun and I enjoyed seeing new sights, going to the beach to gaze out at the ocean and I met some very nice people on my trip. It was restful and relaxing.

Sullivan's Island lighthouse

Folly Beach

The Morris Island lighthouse

But, a writer is always writing in one form or another so, while I was there, I took a lot of pictures, bought more than my share of postcards and picked up literature about the area wherever I could find it. Not to mention initiating conversations with the locals whenever the opportunity presented itself. Why? Because my fifth Malone Mystery will take place there and it was the perfect opportunity for the third “R,” research. 

A view from a horse drawn carriage ride in Charleston

Bubba Gump's restaurant in Charleston

I especially love this stage of writing, when the ideas swirl around in my head and I scurry to find paper and a pen to jot them down. Plotting a novel reminds me of putting together a jig saw puzzle. So many pieces, many of them colorful and interesting but, until each one is put in its proper place, we don’t see the whole picture. So, over the next several months, I’ll be fitting together the pieces from my research and my imagination until they all come together to form my next book.



16 comments:

  1. Super post, Patricia. Gorgeous pics. Makes me want to hit the road...and research...of course!

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    1. Of course, Anne. Research. LOL
      Isn't being a writer a wonderful thing?

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  2. What fun. So happy you had a great inspiring vacation. It's always challenging thinking about the 'next great novel.' Best wishes always.

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    1. Thanks for stopping by, Elaine. It was a fun and fulfilling vacation. Although I'd been to Mt. Pleasant once before and to Charleston twice, it felt good to get a better "feel" for the area before starting my next book.

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  3. Love the pictures and, yes, research can be a lot of fun when done right. I'm glad you had a great vacation! I'm almost done with your latest book, Mistaken Identity, and I've really enjoyed it. Can't wait to see how it ends!
    Marja McGraw

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    1. Marja,
      I'm not so sure I'd enjoy doing research in a cold climate because, as you know, I'm a Summer girl. But we had gorgeous weather and I love South Carolina!

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  4. Your blog brings back a lot of memories as I lived and worked in South Carolina for a year and loved going to Charleston for some R and R. I ended my year there with a vacation on Folly Beach with some friends. I too love the research part of writing and have done some fun things such as an airboat ride or time in microbreweries to make my work more authentic, but your research sounds more relaxing and inspiring than mine.

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    1. Lesley,
      We went to three beaches while we were there. Sullivan's is gorgeous but lacks even the basic amenities and Isle of Palms had all the amenities but was a bit too touristy for me. My favorite, by far, was Folly Beach.

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  5. I'm glad you had such a great vacation, Pat. The reserach was a definite plus.

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    1. Yes it was, Jean. After spending time in the area, I'm even more excited about starting work on my next book.

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  6. Great pictures. Glad you had a fun time. And the best part is that if it truly was research for your next novel, you can take the entire cost of the trip off on your income tax.:)

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    1. Thanks, Evelyn. I'll be looking into that at tax time. Every little bit helps. :)

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  7. Research--one of the most fun aspects of the writing life. Especially when you can do it at the beach. Good post, Pat.

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    1. Thanks, John. Seriously, who could ask for more?

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  8. Looks like your research was soooo hard! (smile) Love the picture in front of Bubba Gumps restaurant--and love the lighthouse. Wonderful post to start my day off with--even though I'm a day late.

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    1. That's right, Madeline, it was difficult. If only all of life was that hard. LOL

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