It’s Not a Vacation

Northwest falls
Photo by Lee Edwin Coursey. Used under Creative Commons License.

I’m off to the Pacific Northwest to research my next book, and packing is a challenge. My LA-based wardrobe isn’t suitable for weather of any kind, neither rain nor sleet nor snow nor wind. Probably not even a light breeze. For one thing, I own no galoshes and nothing with a hood. I’m pretty sure I have an umbrella from that one time I went to Scotland in the fall. (That sounds like a joke, but it’s absolutely true. FYI, the price of umbrellas in Edinburgh doubles during a downpour.)

It’s going to be very cold and very wet. And it’s supposed to be. I can’t complain. It matches the weather in the book, so bring it on. Soak me. Freeze me. This is, after all, not a vacation. I’m going to drive around residential neighborhoods, studying the layout of the streets and houses. I’ll be hanging out on boating docks and taking pictures of the bathroom facilities on ferries. I’ll be wandering around the woods and wading into the freezing Pacific up to my knees. I’ll study historic weather data and tide charts. I’ll spend a lot of time taking notes and plundering university libraries.

No fruity cocktails here, but I will leave knowing EXACTLY how to describe the smell of wet moss. That’s the challenge really. Opening up all of your senses all the time for days and days, trying to notice everything all at once.

Wish me luck.

And if you’re not doing it already, you can check in with me much more frequently on Twitter and Facebook.

Let the adventure begin.