Sunday, June 13, 2010
Resources for Writers #21: Those Far-Away Places...
Those far away places with the strange sounding names
I remember hearing that song on the radio when I was growing up, and even then, wanderlust stirred in my soul. Over the years, I've been lucky enough to travel some in Europe and in most of the southern U.S.--but back then, my mind wasn't honing in on/filing away plots/settings/characters for future stories and novels. Now I wish I could go back. Maybe someday.
Meanwhile, here is a new resource I happened on in the dentist's waiting room the other day. It impressed me so much that I hurried over to Books-a-Million and purchased the latest issue, then came home and subscribed for a year at about $1.20/issue!
It's called Arthur Frommer's Budget Travel: Vacations for Real People. Authors are real people writing about real people (mostly), so hey--give it a whirl! The June 2010 issue is 'the food issue', so it's chok full of information thatt will make your stories sound like you've 'been there done that'. How about, "The World's Best Street Food"? Who wouldn't like to know where their characters might stop for a bite in Ensenada, Mexico, Rio de Janeiro, Brussels, Istanbul, Vienna, Marrakech, Tel Aviv, Bangkok, Singapore, and Hanoi?
And take a look at "Eat Like a Local in Rome". By the time I finished 'visiting' the Taverna Romana, Armando an Pantheon, Osteria Qui Se Magna, Da Lucia, and Da Tonino al Governo Vecchio, I was drooling--not only for the food but for the atmosphere as well!
Here are setting ideas, pictures to jump-start descriptive passages, and authentic information all rolled together into one handy magazine. You can search the internet and come up with some great (hopefully up-to-date) information--or you can take an armchair vacation with this magazine, frantically scribbling notes and ideas for your next blockbuster novel or prize-winning short story.
There's even an online site for more ideas and information. And here's the link to the magazine itself.
Disclaimer: I share this information strictly writer-to-writer and have received no request/remuneration for same!