Six LDS Writers and A Frog

Monday, September 17, 2007

Machine Guns, Bad Areas of Town, and River Taxis

So my journey across the United States continues. Two weeks ago I traveled to Washington and took my first ferry ride in about twenty years (hold the cracks, Rob.) to Bainbrdge Island. It was beautiful. Who knew though that gun ships with machine guns ride shotgun? Or was that just because the President was in town?

Then on to L.A. where I had had breakfast beneath a giant doughnut. Note: if you ask your travel agent for a hotel near the airport and he puts you in Inglewood, get a new travel agent. Let me just say that when the local Jack in the Box keeps its employees behind bullet-proof glass, it’s a sign you are not in a good part of town.

Last week, I went to Atlanta, GA—or to be more accurate, Norcross, GA. Where everybody is friendly and there is a Waffle House on every corner, but none of them take credit cards. (It would be nice if they told you that before you finished your breakfast. Good thing there was an ATM within jogging distance.)
After Atlanta I went to Las Vegas. For some reason driving down the Vegas strip, I always find myself looking for an iron rod going down the middle of the street leading to a tree covered with white fruit, because the great and spacious buildings are definitely in place. Didn’t gamble, but probably gained five pounds at the buffet. The free pirate show in front of Treasure Island is way cool.

That's me on the right.

This week I am in San Antonio, which is worlds cooler than Vegas in my opinion. Went to the Alamo (do not even try to wear a hat inside the chapel or the Texas Rangers will shoot you where you stand) Also the river walk is awesome! How did something like this come to be in Texas? It’s like a much longer version of the Jungle Boat ride at Disneyland, but without the jokes. Ran all around it this morning and took a river taxi this afternoon. These are the wavingest people you ever saw though. When you are in the boat everybody waves to you—everybody, not just the hot babes trying to lure you into their restaurants and bars. Maybe they just realized I was a famous author? Nah, don’t think so.

Thursday I fly to New Orleans for another trade show. I am definitely missing my family. I will have been home for roughly 24 hours over two weeks (Thanks, Candace, for teaching my creative writing class on Saturday. Tell everybody I said hi, Jon and tell them to check out the Frog blog.

One cool thing though is that my second Farworld book will partially take place in the Bayou, and Friday I have an entire day to go explore. Today I met a customer who is from Louisiana and got a ton of information about the Cajuns, the Mississippi, the bayou, and Louisiana in general. (Including which areas of New Orleans to avoid if I don’t want to end up dead. Good to know. Where was he in Inglewood?) I’ve got the name of a great Cajun restaurant in Lafayette, and several key places to stop)

I really like seeing new places and learning new things as part of my writing research. A few weeks ago, my agent did a blog asking interesting facts authors had learned while doing book research.
I’d thought I’d try the same thing. Tell me what cool tidbits you've picked up in researching your books, and I’ll give you an update complete with pictures of what I learn in Louisiana next week. (I need to get a frog so I can take him/her? on these trips. And if you see me on the River taxi in San Antonio wave, but don’t wear your hat into the Alamo. )


At 9/18/2007 12:10 PM, Blogger James Dashner said...

You should've had an entire blog just about Waffle House. Best place on Earth. I grew up attending the Norcross Ward!!!!

At 9/18/2007 1:10 PM, Blogger Tamra Norton said...

Hope you're loving Texas, Jeff! Have you tried Whataburger yet? Swing by Houston and I'll treat you to one (of course, we'll have to concoct our own fry sauce).

BTW, lookin' good in the pirate outfit! :) Nothing like Las Vegas for some good, wholesome family entertainment. How did you talk James into wearing fishnets?

Have fun in the bayous...and watch out for gators.

At 9/18/2007 1:18 PM, Blogger Tristi Pinkston said...

I got to go to the Alamo, and I also drove down Bourbon Street once (that was interesting) We were driving cross country from Virginia.

Now, what's this about you want to get "a" frog? There is only one frog, right, not copies all over, like shopping mall Santas? Are you trying to shatter my illusions?

At 9/18/2007 4:37 PM, Anonymous marlene said...

Jeff, now there's a topic for a contest: The coolest tib-bids an author has picked up while researching for a book. I like it especially because this one I KNOW I would win. When I moved to Cambridge, Massachusetts to research a book I picked up a husband! I didn't write that book, and the research has taken me 30 years, but if you knew my husband, you'd know for sure that was the best tib-bit anyone could pick up.

At 9/18/2007 6:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Isn't it tid-bit? (not tib-bit?)

At 9/18/2007 7:11 PM, Anonymous marlene said...

Blame the spelling on Jeff. I just trustingly copied his tid-bits or tib-bit or whatever. Sadly, it appeats I just lost another role model!


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