Today I thought I’d talk about how location plays a huge (and memorable) role for me in the writing process.

For instance, Dallas is a city I loved to hate (it’s an Oklahoma thing…you have to live here to understand it).  Until I actually visited it.  While I certainly don’t want to live there (waaaaaay too many people for my happy self), I was intrigued when I visited there for the Romance Writer’s Convention in 2004.   We were in the Adam’s Mark hotel (and that’s a whole ‘nother funny story for a different posting) in the smack-dab-middle of the “Arts District”…which pretty much means you don’t have squat for quickie entertainment (i.e., a mall or Starbucks).  My friends Jennifer Skully and Leigh Wyndfield and I ended up walking all of the cool parts before our actual classes at the convention started, so we had a decent “foot” perspective of the area.

When the conference was almost over, my DH joined me on his way down to San Antonio (he was in route to Air Force training).  The rest of the romance chickies bailed at the end of the conference, and we were left to our own devices…this is a very dangerous prospect to two people who have explored Venice, Rome and Sao Mateus (the Azores) *g*. 

Sooo, for starters, we hit Dealy Plaza.  Getting there is an adventure in itself, because it’s really hard to find…it’s too damned obvious!  Keep in mind that it’s on the edge of a semi-busy commerce district.  Basically, if you drive through that area and end up beneath the overpass, you’ve gone too far.  Hell and damnation!  We circled the block like five times before figuring out we needed to yank into the very last parking lot before the freeway overpass (and yes, I have seen the JFK assassination site at least ten times on TV…finding it in reality is NOT that easy!).  So we parked and paid our moola to walk through the museum, which was really cool, in a morbid sort of way (kinda like the OKC Memorial, which I’ll blog about at some future date).  We finished our tour of the Book Depository (and the tableau where Lee Harvey Oswald stood is TRULY freaky), and headed out to the actual site (which is actually on the grounds….it’s all so close together it’s eerie). 

We stood behind the fence on the grassy knoll, walked the perimiter, etc, and I’m sorry, there’s no way Oswald did it alone, not with the weaponry he had at the time.  Just my opinion…well, also August’s, who’s a scary-assed miliary historian and knows beaucoup stuff about the weapons of *any* time.  Then we met a really cool vendor (who’s hired by the actual museum, and not on his own, so not trying to shill you *g*), bought some books for my Mom (who’s a JFK FREAK!!) and headed home. 

I tell you, until you’ve actually been there, you have NO idea of how close everything is, and how *magic* that bullet HAD to have been.

So, we retired to our air-conditioned room (did I mention this is DALLAS…AKA HELL in July?) for awhile, then got all gussied up and asked the bellman where we should go.

A hint here (like you don’t already know this)…cozy up with doormen/bellmen.  They’re normal folks like us and *always* have the bestest tips on the “real” places to go.

So our guy recommends Deep Ellum, which I, as a blues affionado had never heard of.  *gasp*.  Anyway, Deep Ellum isn’t so much a blues gig now, but it was seriously at one point, back when shit was segregated.  Can you tell my opinion on this *g*?

Our bellman suggested “Trees”…a truly FAB restaurant…with the pricetag to match (I’m just warning you ahead of time).  This is a “continental” dining experience.  What does that really mean?  It means you spend at least two hours on dinner, folks.  You get an appetizer to share, at least two bottles of wine, and a truly incredible dining experience.  We had steamed mussels (semi-blech for me, but it’s a treat for the man) and freakin’ awesome steaks.  Then we retired to the rooftop patio (all by our lonesome) and enjoyed an after-dinner drink while we watched the festivites on the street below.

It was an anniversary-worthy experience (too bad ours is in Jan…the hubby could have cashed in *g*).

So why do I recap all of this stuff, besides to edify you?  Because I’m featuring Deep Ellum in my next book, VIEW TO A KILL.  Yes, I fell in love with it that much, and am *definitely* going to make it a point to head there at least one night this July when RWA is back in Dallas for it’s convention!