Monday, August 12, 2013

Jellyfish and other revelations....

We’ve been traveling a lot this, but it’s also a wonderful opportunity for researching unfamiliar locales.  Some places are such a surprise, revealing unexpected aspects that I'd never imagined.  And everywhere, I see opportunities for adding rich details to story settings that I might want to use someday.   

When you travel, do you begin to imagine plot twists and sneaky characters at every turn?

We just returned from a week at a lovely resort on Chesapeake Bay, not far from Cambridge, Maryland.  My husband’s company held its annual meeting there, but while the employees were busy in meetings all day I spent some time exploring the small town and the surrounding area.  

My biggest surprise—jellyfish!  Unbelievable numbers of them—floating like wispy, gelatinous little clouds at the surface of the water every evening and very visible along the long pier leading out into the water in front of the resort.  They brought back some very unpleasant memories of jellyfish encounters in the ocean in Mexico, believe me…but also, got me thinking.  Being a Midwestern gal, I’d never dreamed that there could be jellyfish that far north…and not that far from Washington DC.  What a twist that could be in a romantic suspense plot, if someone planned an escape across those waters!

The language, vernacular, and local culture of an area always fascinate me wherever we go.  Today, with the world at our fingertips via the Internet, we can research facts in seconds. But there’s nothing quite like being there—talking to the locals, seeing how friendly a community is, picking up literature on their regional festivities and other events.  The vegetation, the hidden creatures, the different sounds of the bullfrogs and the birds, all can add such verisimilitude to the small details that make a story seem real.

I would love to hear about where you live!  Can you imagine a great mystery or suspense novel unfolding in your community? What are some of the unique and interesting details about life where you are?

Blessings to you all!
Roxanne Rustand


  1. Auburn, Indiana
    Classic Car Capital
    Home of the Auburn, Cord, Duesenberg Festival on Labor Day weekend.
    Also home of two automotive museums and a WWII museum.
    What do you think??

    Pen M

    1. Auburn sounds like a fascinating place. My hubby would love to see that WWII museum and the auto museums!!

  2. I recall seeing jellyfish when I was a child and they had washed up on the shore when I lived in California. Other than that, they are usually in aquariums (my last siting was in Monterey on my second honeymoon). I have lived in many places. I miss them all in certain ways. Right now I live in Prescott, Arizona. One of the mysterious features for me is the tunnel rumors. I have heard that there are tunnels under areas in town that the Chinese workers had to use. There are lots of thoughts on that. Some say they existed, and others who have seen where these tunnels are say they are just basements whose windows were covered when sidewalks were put in. Still kind of cool.

  3. Years ago I was in Prescott. Beautiful area! I worked for a horse trainer, Monte Foreman, who put of training clinics around the country, and we were in Prescott for maybe five days.

    Fascinating about the tunnels--I can just imagine some wonderful ways to use them in a romantic suspense novel!

    Sorry to hear about the jellyfish sting--ouch! I though about adding a photo of my own stings from a couple years ago, and decided they looked tooo awful. :)