I’m back from my vacation in Georgia where I had my fill of Waffle House and Chick-Fil-A. (But I don’t think I can ever truly get my fill of the vanilla dream ice cream cones at Chick-Fil-A. I miss 'em already!)
I also managed to accomplish the three things I needed to do in order to complete the research for my middle grade novel set in Atlanta.
First, I checked out some architecture…
Note: The house I grew up in looked exactly like this one, except that my house was small and wasn’t white and didn’t have columns and didn’t look like this house at all.
Then, I rode the MARTA subway train downtown. Here’s a picture of me and my brother standing in front of the High Museum of Art...
Note: My brother is the one standing with his arm around me, not the guy in the Skipper hat…in case you were wondering. (You probably weren’t wondering.)
And finally…I took a tour of the Centers for Disease Control!!!
My mother and I were escorted through the visitor center with our own personal tour guide. It was fascinating and I came away with a few great nuggets of detail that will fit perfectly into my story.
The CDC is very secure and we had to go through a couple of security checkpoints. Our car even had to go through security, with two armed guards thoroughly searching every part. Even the engine! They only allow you to take pictures inside the visitor center. You are not allowed to take pictures outside. (But I did anyway. Don’t they understand I have a blog!?)
Note: That’s me in the CDC parking lot. I swear!
When we landed back in Los Angeles, we did what all sane people do at the end of a long, exhausting trip. We went to see Donna Summer at the Hollywood Bowl! She brought down the house with “Last Dance.” The queen rocked it!
So now I’m energized to finish these last rounds of revisions and get this book into the hands of my agent. Hopefully she won’t mind the pages that come with smudges of vanilla dream ice cream. Mmmm…Chick-Fil-A. I think I’m ready for another trip back to Atlanta…