I’ve just returned from a five day family trip to Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. This was one of the best vacations I’ve taken in a while. Very relaxing – except for the sightseeing boat tour on a choppy Lake Superior. The crew spent much of their time handing out bright pink barf bags to passengers who asked for them and carrying around rolls of paper towels to clean up after the passengers who should have asked for them. I’m happy to say that my whole family survived the tour unscathed, but it was pretty grim there for awhile.
I hadn’t known the Upper Peninsula was that beautiful. The waterfalls, forests, and beaches were wonderful, with plenty of colored rocks to carry back home. (We must have brought back fifty pounds of beach rocks). It’s a great place to visit, although I couldn’t imagine staying up there during the winter. Sorry to all those who disagree, but I already find the winters down south in the Detroit suburbs too cold and too long for my tastes.
Amazingly, I didn’t work on my Hogwart’s book at all. Not a single word was written during the entire trip. (My wife's idea)
That doesn’t mean I didn’t think about writing. I spent plenty of time observing the scenery and thinking about the words I might use to describe it. One of the hardest things for me to do is to describe a setting in clear, concise sentences so this turned out to be good practice. And not just practice either. The Forbidden Forest is not only a setting in several of JK Rowling’s books, but it's also in a few of my chapters. So it was fruitful to think about how best to describe it while I was surrounded by deep woods.
Now that I’m back home, I’ll have to jump right to those chapters which occur in the Forbidden Forest and start putting in some of these descriptive ideas before I forget them.