Monday, March 22, 2010

Naked People Doing Nothing

Coincidently, I am in a Zen state as described by Donis on Saturday. A cup is more than a cup.

I am home from my research trip to New York City and raring to get back to work on the new book. As I was running through the streets, taking pictures and jotting down notes, my mind was racing with ideas. Not plot ideas, but I was translating the things I was seeing and experiencing into words - how my characters will see and experience these things. The protagonist has never been to New York City before either, so she will approach the city with the same fresh eyes as I did.

You can do so much these days on the Internet in terms of research that sometimes it doesn’t seem worthwhile to travel, and spend all the time and money involved, just to check out some locations. But the Internet misses so much: for example I found Manhattan to be so incredibly crowded. I know it’s crowded – it’s a big city – but this weekend past was the first nice warm sunny Saturday and EVERYONE was out enjoying it.

I’ve seen pictures of the crowded streets, but in person found it to be quite intimidating. And I wasn’t in a hurry. I can’t imagine fighting those crowds when you’re in a rush to get somewhere. (Or pursuing the bad guys).

I have a scene where the protagonist meets her police contact at Starbucks for breakfast. I wasn’t going to bother going to the exact Starbucks, heck I know what Starbucks looks like. But then I saw a couple in Manhattan that don’t have any seats – it’s just a takeout place. So I rushed over to the location of ‘my’ Starbucks to make sure it had tables and chairs.

The trip wasn’t all work. We had great meals, went to the Frick, which I just loved, and to the MOMA where I saw the exhibit Marina Abramović: The Artist Is Present. The one with the artist staring at people who are staring back and naked people doing nothing.

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