Thursday, April 16, 2015

Research is Fun! #writinglife #research

Train depot at Umatilla Historical Museum
I spent the first of the week researching for the current work in progress, the third book of the Halsey Homecoming series. The plan was to re-visit the underground tunnels in Pendleton, Oregon. The tours were closed on Tuesday, the day I was in town.

That didn't bother me too much. I had been on the tour before. But I still had questions that needed answered about the town in 1900.  I went to the Umatilla Historical Museum which was open and found out a bit more about the town and picked up a book on Pendleton.

Cabin at Umatilla Historical Museum
I also visited the local book store looking for research material and just happened to stumble into a store that had old-fashioned candy, antiques, and books. Walking in the gentleman clerk was talking with a customer. They were talking history of the town and the man said he knew so much because his grandmothers always talked about the history and dragged him to see this and that. The customer left and he asked if he could help me with anything.

Part of the Tour.
 This was my opening. "Yes, I heard you know the history around here." He pointed to the book in my hand that I'd purchased at the museum. "I wrote that book," he said.

I started asking my questions. He answered and showed me maps in the book and described some great scenarios that while they happened a few years before my story, I'm going to take creative license and use them in my story.  He answered most of my questions and helped me get a better feel for the time period and the actions and reactions of the people in 1900 in Pendleton.

This is what I always love when doing research. Books are good, museums are good, but when you can get a person who knows the history of an area to visit with you, they always have some little tidbit that makes a light bulb go off in my head and inspires great scenes.

1 comment:

Carmen Peone said...

Paty, I agree. Research is fun and enlightening. I'm so happy to have met you and gave you the Nespelem tour! Thank your for sharing the Pendleton history.