Sunday, May 31, 2009

New Research Books

The books ordered from Writers' Digest arrived yesterday. Also, the book that I ordered from, Historic Ranches of Texas, arrived. Published by the University of Texas Press, it contains a wealth of text on a dozen ranches as well as gorgeous paintings of places on these ranches as they used to be. I opted for the soft-cover edition for $9. (Hard-covers ran over $50!) Though it is stamped "damaged book", it appears brand-new.

The Writer's Guide to Places is an encyclopedic listing covering all 50 states plus some Canadian cities and provinces. Turning to the entry for Arkansas, I find a map showing major highways and cities, followed by basic geographical facts. Further sub-headings include
  • Significant Events Your Character Has Probably Thought About
  • Arkansas Facts and Peculiarities Your Character Might Know
  • Your Character's Food and Drink
  • Things Your Character Likes to Remember
  • Things Your Characters Would Like to Forget
  • Myths and Misperceptions about Arkansas
  • Interesting Places to Set a Scene
and a listing of books and websites for further research.

The Texas entry is similar, BUT there are separate additional entries for Texas cities like Austin, the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, Houston, and San Antonio!

What a terrific resource! I like the "blurb" on the back cover which says, A WRITER'S MAGIC CARPET RIDE-Carry your readers from coast to coast without leaving home!

With all these terrific resources, I have absolutely NO excuse not to write -- and to write realistically!


nlindabrit said...

The Guide to Places in particular sounds like a fantastic resource.

A lady called Judy in the Valley Dwellers group works for a company called Wyoming Press and she makes the so-called damaged books available to us at minimal prices. I have often struggled to discern the slightest signs of damage on the books I have had from her.

K9friend said...

What cool books! But I'm afraid that I'd be so busy reading them, it would be another excuse for me NOT to write!