Sunday, July 5, 2009


I think I've mentioned before how much easier it is for me to describe people and settings when I have pictures in front of me. I'm a pretty visual person. I like pulling articles out of the newspaper, magazines, and from the internet and keeping them near my manuscript. My Myrtle Clover series is set in a small town that's very similar to the town I grew up in (Anderson, South Carolina.) Our family traveled to Anderson for the 4th of July weekend to visit my parents, and I brought my camera. I drove around Anderson, parking the car and walking frequently, and took pictures of the places I lived or where I spent a lot of time when I was growing up. It's funny how often these locations creep into my settings. There was a teensy bit of trespassing involved, but I zoomed in on my camera to get the pictures I wanted without really getting close to these homes. And no one called the police as I walked through their yard. A red-letter day! :) I'd also dragged my children with me ("I'm sure y'all want to see the house I grew up in. And my friends' houses from elementary school. And the park where I fed the ducks. And...") and so I looked especially innocuous. I also keep a disposable camera in my car's glove compartment now. There were a few times when I kicked myself for not having a camera nearby. Sometimes I'll drive through some beautiful small towns on the way to other places. I've used my cell phone's camera in a pinch, but it blurs everything (or maybe I just don't understand how to use it.) So now I have a disposable camera in the car for those times when I see something I think would be helpful later on. And now, the photo developers will give you a CD of your pictures, even from a disposable, so I can keep them in a file labeled with my WIP's name on my computer.