The Best Days so Far: Riding, Research and Writing

Saturday was my day to write and I did just that. I went up in the trails around Shavano and I rode the four-wheeler as high as I could, until the snow banks blocked my path completely. Then I just absorbed the surroundings a bit. Once saturated, I started back down the path I’d traveled.

Every time I saw an inspiring spot, I’d stop and pull out my pencil and notebook and write until the words quit coming. Then, I’d hop back on the 4 wheeler and descend a bit more until I saw my next inspiring spot…

Doing this over the course of ten hours resulted in a tremendous amount of back story, history, theme and plot progression for my current story. I also managed to make it back down to the foot of the mountain, just over 7 miles below where the snow stopped me. I was thrilled with the progress and the working environment. Then, on Sunday, I spent much of the day at the computer looking up historically accurate names, events, and the interplay of local happenings during the “backstory” period of my novel. And today (Monday) I visited one of the actual “ghost towns” that I hope to bring to life and got up high enough in the mountains nearby to actually take a few shots of some old mines.

It’s been a tremendously effective use of my time. Tomorrow, however, is a “traditional” work day, so all my notes and the two books I bought about the history of the ghost town and the surrounding township, will have to stay “on hold” while I earn a living. You know, right now, I think I could easily take a year off work and just stay right HERE and get the tangles in the story, the meat of the plotline and the honing of the history complete and created. If I could just stay here and not feel the urge to work on “income producing” work like I do at home… I’d probably get a book finished in a year. And, chances are it would be a well-researched and possibly even an interesting book.

But, I purchased my ticket home this morning. My wonderful hubby has been more than patient while I came out to write, research and find my professional direction. He’s taken care of two children, managed the house, paid the bills, worked a full time job and never ONCE complained to me about leaving him with all that to do.

Yes, I’ve worked hard while I was out here. I’ve also discovered this part of the country in little known and “nuance” ways that I’d never get with simply photos and online research. It’s been time well spent. I hope to spend a day in the Salida library before I go and want to plan a trip to Leadville to tour the Mining history museum. I also need to learn a bit more about the railroad history for this area to make sure that my novel is historically accurate.

I’m having a blast! I’m really enjoying this process. Writing this go-round has been more challenging than most previous stints — but I love the challenge and the results.

Our neighbor showed Pops and me the way to the ghost town and to the nearby cemetery. It was just the type of stuff I was seeking. I’ll upload the photos when I have more time and more energy. I have quite a few to share. But, for now, it’s time to catch some zzzzzz’s before my first client appointment tomorrow a.m.

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