A Trip Means Research or Research Means a Trip???

wild horse (2) (640x510) cow on top of mesa (640x427) sheep and dog (2) (640x427) angora goat looking at me (640x299) lizard (640x427) jack rabbit (640x427)

I used to take trips without thought to using the locations for a story, but when I became published, that all changed. I kept thinking about places I’d been–ski vacations in Colorado and Vermont and Pennsylvania, trips to the Caiman Islands, Hawaii, and the Virgin Islands and I’ve used several places in my stories. Greece? Possibly. Scotland was another story. It was my first time out of country where I actually went to do research–to visit 7 castles and get a feel of the landscape, whether there were enough trees for cover for my wolves, and the temperatures and the feel of the land.

So when I went to New Mexico, it was to see the wolves. But while there, we actually saw Mexican Gray Wolves also at another sanctuary, volcanoes, an ice cave, and a couple of reservations, and the ancient Anasazi ruins at Chaco.

I also considered the landscape for a story. Would it work for wolves? Or cougars? Or some other story? Here, you see trees, and there were trees in some areas, like at the volcano and ice cave we visited. But there were vast areas where very little was growing. I wondered how anything could survive out there as little water as they have.

When I returned to Central Texas, I felt relief to see GREENERY, trees, water!

I’ve been to many of the places I write about and it really does give a a feel for the area–more so than just reading about it and perusing pictures. It gives you a real sense of being there, because you have been there.

For one thing, it’s a lot drier. And we were on dirt roads a lot, so dusty. I kept looking for signs of life and saw none. And yet, I know it exists. When we were at the ancient Chaco ruins, I saw several lizards and a jack rabbit close up. On the way on and off the reservation–we took pictures of angora goats, wild horses, and sheep with their shepherding dog, cattle, and elk, none of them fenced in, all just roaming free.
I thoroughly enjoyed visiting New Mexico and the wilderness out there–no cell reception, therefore, no GPS, no internet, obviously, we used an outhouse most of the time to conserve water, and the solar powered electricity afforded us one little tiny light for about an hour, and that was it–with my friends and am ready for the next road trip!

So will I set a story in New Mexico? Most probably! Even if I use it for a romantic suspense.

Speaking of stories, I’m still working on She-Wolf Leader of the Pack proofing before I turn it in, so have a lovely Saturday! I’m off to work!


“Giving new meaning to the term alpha male where fantasy is reality.”

Connect with Terry Spear: Website: http://www.terryspear.com

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2 thoughts on “A Trip Means Research or Research Means a Trip???

  1. I lived a while in El Paso TX which shares the same desert like climate as where you went. Since I sometimes struggle with the cloudy days here in central TX, I enjoyed all the sunshine. But I never got used to the almost zero humidity or the dust storms. It seemed impossible to stay hydrated, and there was the ever present dry skin problem. After about a month I could have used a case of lotion. But I liked it there for a lot of reasons. Since it finally began raining here in central TX again, I am enjoying all the green, and hearing the thunderstorms. It looks and sounds like home again. I know you brought back some good ideas for stories and I can’t wait to read them. Cheers

  2. Thanks so much, Tom! I went to El Paso for ROTC training, so know what you’re talking about. And I lived in Amarillo/Canyon, Texas, too. The sandstorms like a snowy blizzard were awful. But I did enjoy the time I spent there. Much different than here. 🙂 When my daughter and SIL visited, they thought it was so dry here. But they’re living near Houston. LOL

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