Aphelion Issue 234, Volume 22
November 2018
 
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"Another Day, Another Ray Of Hope..." :)

At the time of this little missive, Lyn and I are getting ready to fly off to New Mexico to see Anthony graduate from college and then visit with Judith and her husband Sam. Another flight out from Atlanta, and into the wilds... Well, at least the layover in Denver will be somethinf new. Too bad we won't have time to see anything of Denver besides the inside of their airport. LOL!

Although I have been to New Mexico once before, I had things to do at the time that didn't allow me much of a chance to explore. I did get to walk around Soccorro while I was there. Wonderful little town. I enjoyed being there. It isn't a tourist trap, just a great little town that felt like home. This time We have less of a tight schedule and more of a chance to look around. We'll be taking the rental car all over the state visiting friends and family. I might even get the chance to stop in the world famous Roswell UFO Museum. But even if I don't, the trip will be well worth it.

Now you know me. You are aware that not a single incident on this trip is going to escape being used somewhere in a story. Even if it's just the sight of a tumbleweed rolling across a street. Or the smell of clean, cold air during a sunrise. Or even the amazing quiet of being out hundreds of miles from the nearest big city. We writers have a way of turning every experience in our lives into grist for our story-writing mill. We can't help it. Nor should we want to. Everything is fair play, even though it might get a little too personal to read it in a story. Everything we do, everywhere we go, everyone we meet runs the risk of winding up sparking off some gem of a story idea or plot point, oor even just a little set dressing.

So next time you go on vacation, no matter where you go, look around with your writer's eyes as well as your tourist eyes. Listen to the voices of the people around you. Notice their accents, their clothing styles, the surroundings as each of you interact. In order to make full use of your imagination while you are writing, you first have to be willing to people-watch as well as explore new places, and familiar ones too. There is something to be found everywhere. Not only do you have to look, but you need to notice.

Everything is research. "No matter where you go, there you are..." Might as well put it to work for yourself. Whatever "it" turns out to be.

And have fun! That's the part we usually miss when we're so hard at work all the time.

Now that's quite enough blather from me. It's time I let you get to the reading. There is a lot in this issue. Go start reading it, and have fun!

Dan