Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Journey coming up

I'm about to take my first long vacation in a long time, and my first really long road trip in over 30 years. On Thursday morning I'll be packing up a rental car and heading over the Sierras on my way to Salt Lake City. And from there I'll go anyplace this side of the Mississippi where there's snow. In fact I'll even go as far as Indiana, since it's flat and it still counts as the Midwest.

For ten days I'll be driving around the Plains and the Midwest to find falling snow. Ideally a snow storm or a blizzard. the idea is to research a section of the novel I'm working on, Knock Yourself Out. In part of the book, the main character gets stranded at the O'Hare Hilton by a blizzard and winds up trying to drive across the country back to California. On the way he gets slammed by yet another blizzard.

Since I have precious little experience driving in snow, and no experience driving in the Midwest in the winter, I'll set out to learn. the idea is not to cover the entire Midwest, but pretty much anyplace reasonably flat that's getting slammed by snow. I have only one person I want to visit on the trip, my heretofore online-only friend Alexis, conveniently located at one corner of the area I'll be covering, in Minneapolis. So it won't be a very social trip. But I do hope to find out a lot about snow and the middle part of the country and what it's like out there.

Previous research trip: to Bangalore in 2007 for my novel Mango Rain.

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