Tuesday, July 23, 2013

The Proposal Free Days/Research Field trip

It's free download days again; this time, my short story "The Proposal" is available.  It will be free through Thursday midnight PST.  I'd forgotten to post this yesterday but I have a reason.

Yesterday, my friend Anita and I took a field trip to Iva (the town setting for my Kelly Watson stories) and explored.  We parked on the square and kind of walked around checking out the store fronts or buildings there and turned the corner to find the Iva Museum.  It was closed as they are only open Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays.  The person who operates the museum was there checking on the air conditioner as he had been on vacation last week and he wanted to make sure that the folks had returned it to its normal settings.  He was coming out of the museum as we were kind of looking in the windows, stating we needed to make another trip when the museum was opened.  Anita asked him about the museum and we explained what I was doing, so he was kind enough to let us in and showed us around and allowed us to take some pictures of some of  their pictures.  We gained a lot of information from that short visit.  Thank you, Mr. David Newby, for spending some time with us and giving us some background history of the town.  He also told us about the "Antique Body Shop" just around the corner, so we naturally had to stop in there.  No, it's not an antique car shop but a senior citizens gym.  We spoke with two folks there and Anita bought herself a T-shirt. 

From there, we made our way to the town hall which houses the police department, municipal court and the place to pay water bills (I've forgotten what it was called).  We talked to the one lady who was standing behind the police department window, who happened to be the victim's advocate.  We asked for some information and she told us that the guy across from them would be able to help us but he had just stepped out of the office, but would return shortly (I missed when he did return or we would have engaged in a conversation with him).  The Chief of Police had to deal with a situation but when he finished with that business, he was very nice to sit with us and give us all kinds of other information.  He even printed out a map and marked places we wanted to explore for us.  That map may show up in the front of The Tie of Time (A Kelly Watson paranormal mystery).

When we left town hall, it was lunch time so we stopped by the cafe we had originally parked in front of and had lunch - buffet style - fried chicken, sweet potato casserole, green beans, beets (which I didn't get any of but I do love beets if they are fixed right), rice and white gravy, some greens (I think they were collard greens), country fired steak, and desserts and a few other veggies.  The buffet table isn't very large so they can only  put up a few items each day.  The waitress was very friendly.

After leaving the cafe, we drove around looking for the different items marked on the map for us including the supposed ghost house (which we didn't really find  but no worries) and the oldest house in Iva which was old but didn't really give me the impression of being the oldest house around, the old drug store (vital to The Ties of Time as this is where the whole mystery will occur), the nursing home, the old high school which is now the Civic Center and houses an indoor basketball court and is used for all kinds of activities.  There is also a very nice park in front of the Civic Center and the only remaining building of the old school which was the cafeteria. 

We got a tour of the nursing home and were invited back during the activities time to observe what one of the worker's daughter does to help out (bless her little heart, she is only 6 years old and was trying her best to do the craft of the day, which was building little bird houses or bird feeders).  Thank you to Diane, Melissa and Tina for helping us give a reason for Kelly and Emma to be in the nursing home.

From the center of town, it is about 1 mile to the outskirts in any direction, so it is not a very large area, so I'm having to change what I started out with for the girls to get around since State Law says that no one can operate a moped or golf cart without a driver's license.  So now my girls will be riding bicycles around town.  I just need to make sure they have somewhere to put their picnic basket and other stuff.  Do they still make front handlebar baskets for bicycles? 

Overall, I think we had a very productive and interesting day of discovery.  We will probably make several more trips to Iva over the ensuing months.  Everyone we spoke to seemed genuinely excited about the fact that I was an author and had set my story in their small town.  I look forward to visiting the town of Iva again and hopefully meeting more people.  I also am excited to really get to writing The Ties of Times and hopefully can get it done fairly quickly.  I will post pictures later as it is now time to get to work as there is a team conference call this afternoon and one of my co-workers is out this week.  See you all in the postings - E :)

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