Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Travel, Writing, and Research

During the past ten days we have been traveling the East Coast from New York to Boston and a little of Connecticut; returning today. Obviously the goal was to relax – that’s why we picked New York City, the most relaxing and layback town in America. Ah, for the tranquility and quiet of California. The visit was also an opportunity to touch bases with some critical scenes from my new novel Wars Amongst Lovers.

Grand Central Station, the piers from 89 to 100 on the Hudson River, Mulberry Street and Little Italy, the Statue of Liberty and the Brooklyn Bridge all play minor sets in the New York chapters. Even though almost 75 years have passed since the story, much has not changed. The bridge and statue are almost unaltered (other than famous facelifts), Mulberry and Little Italy are well, smaller, as the time and the emigrants have moved on (the food is still as delicioso).

I am not going to write a travel log (later – you are warned), this is more of an attempt to offer help to authors as they travel. Here is a bullet list of ideas to consider while writing and traveling:

  • Write whenever you can, even if for thirty minutes – it will keep your head in the game.
  • Keep your original and working copies on a memory stick, save often, and carry it with you as you walk about.
  • Email a copy of the work to yourself – often. Things happen but then you can access an email anywhere.
  • I work on a small laptop – it has served me well (though a touch on heavy side). I lust for an AirBook. Remember to take a mouse with a cord – I had an attendant tell me I would crash the plane if I continued to use a wireless mouse (or is it a tailless mouse?).
  • I tried emailing a copy of the manuscript to my iPad to allow me to work in Pages. Came through nicely, but Pages is tough to use even with a wireless keyboard (see above and plane crashing sounds). Hard to do the screen and finger thing and typing.
  • Keep copies on your computer as well as your stick.
  • Remember to bring a few extra batteries for the mouse (tailless version).
  • Layout all you various cords, adapters, battery rechargers, and memory stick docks and double check. I keep them all in one of those clear zippered cosmetic cases. You will forget one at some time and buying one on the road is a pain.
  • BTW – make sure you have all of them when you move on; discovering that you left the converter plugged into hotel room wall is not a good thing (I have done it!).
  • And above all have a great time – you can write anywhere, but you have to walk the streets of New York and Boston personally. And if your partner says to put the damn thing away, pay attention. It could be a long and uncomfortable trip home if you don’t.

More later . . .

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