Travel Writing Strategies: Part One – The Farmer’s Market

You know how much I love travel writing, and lately I’ve been working on two essays from my time in Portugal last January. One is polished and ready to go. Yay! Because I’m on a roll, and taking a mental break from all the debauchery in my novel, I thought I’d spend some time talking about travel writing strategies, and how we don’t have to travel to the end of the world in order to write a great travel essay. Between May and October, my little town hosts a Farmer’s Market every Wednesday, and guess who’s going today. Moi. These pics are from last year. Shhh!

The Mums and The Rooster are headed to my casa for lunch and a little time on a local trail. Afterward, we’ll storm the market. I know, I know, they get a lot of crap as the trendy thing to do, and have been earmarked as Yuppie fun. Forget all that nonsense.

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I’m Going to Lisbon for Travel Writing Fun

lisbontramToday, when I told my friends my travel plans, the majority asked me why I chose Portugal. For starters, I’ve never been there. I have a friend from Porto and she has told me for years how amazing it is. I went on a Google image bender and confirmed everything she has told me about the amazing beaches, amazing castles, and amazing architecture. These are her English-as-a-second-language adjectives so don’t get all cranky with the writer. If I could embed a clip of her saying “amazing” in her totally cool Portuguese accent, you would want me to write it a thousand times so you could hear her voice in your head. It’s…. amazing. Just one of the reasons why I’ve got to go to Portugal.

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Tea Time with The Duke of Reichstadt

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dofr2There are so many benefits to having tea with dead guys. The first being, they are amazing listeners. The second, they don’t mind if you drink all the tea. The third, they give you an intimate peek into your novel, and more particularly, the role they play in your novel. Plus, in my mind, the Duke of Reichstadt is much like Harry from The Picture of Dorian Gray which equals a lot of witty, sarcastic angst.

None of my research confirms his Oscar Wilde-like tendencies, but none refute it either. This is why I love the fiction element of historical fiction. I need a character who can provide comic relief and a bit of palace perspective. Enter The Duke of Reichstadt.

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