Somehow many of my manuscripts are set in California. I grew up there, and when my mom was alive, I visited frequently. Little details that come from actually being in a place are gifts for a writer. How else would I know sound of the morning sprinklers or the colors of the hills as the sun set?
For the past few years, I’ve done little traveling and had to rely on webcams and internet photos, but 2011 seems to be the year of the suitcase. So far, we’ve been invited to four weddings on one coast or the other. (It won’t be possible to attend all of them.) I’ll be going to an SCBWI-MO writing retreat in March, and in September, I may go to Italy.
I plan to bring a camera and a notepad to record as much of these places as possible.