Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Snapping like crazy

...writers are weird (or so Cowboy tells me). I dropped my car off after two hours of google maps and muttering. My daughter didn't want to come with me, maybe she knew I'd stop every few miles to take pictures. I won't be back. Not anytime soon, and I want to take pictures. Fatal Impact takes place in Richmond, and I saw Fallon out in the bushes like I was hallucinating or something.

The trees change, from lowland scrub and cypress to oak. The undergrowth clears out. Almost like a park, everything is evenly spaced out and leaf-padded. Gullies and sharp toothed ravines, and standing water out in the middle of nowhere, like dark mirrors.

I'd pull off on the side of the highway--jump out and snap like crazy while the big rigs tried to blow my car away. Cowboy ('cause he's a nice person, even if I did forget to give him his ice cream) picked me up after I found the car shipper.

"Yeah--after the big stretch of nothing, and double wide trailer showroom. It's on the right."

I got to see a tool company. It took me a little while to realize just what kind of tools these people sold behind their blackened windows. Not too many wrenches with names like BlackHawk and Heckler & Koch. Oh, I said. That kind of tool.

Cowboy took the wrong turn getting back on the interstate and starting saying things like, "I don't want to drive through the 'hood." While I said things like, "You said there weren't any 'hoods in Richmond."

I was so thrilled. I got pictures of all kinds of things, "That's Keegan's house!" "LOOK!!! Cowboy!! That's Corlis's school. Stop, you're going to miss the exit." He didn't stop.

"Jodi, if we stop there, they won't miss us."

I got a shot, but it wasn't good.

Maybe next week.


Jeanna said...

Is it as bleak as it looks?

jodi said...

uhm, yes--it really is. The road to Richmond is miles and miles of nothing, just trees and hardly any undergrowth. Lots of standing water, and peat bogs. Oak.

Richmond is an old city. It smells like gunsmoke (for some reason) and the housing (projects) are all old brick buildings that sprawl out on bare dirt. I guess it is that bleak. I'm going back up to take more pictures this weekend.

Parts of it are very rundown. Most of the inner city avoided damage in the seige of Richmond during the civil war. It was only the outer ring that burned.

Jeanna said...

But hooray for the beat bogs. I never pictured any part of VA like that. Sounds like a great setting for a book or a movie.

Unhinged said...

Hee, hee, hee. This is the BEST kind of research, especially if you have a bud or two along that will in turns egg you on and then mumble about how weird you are. It's exciting and I can FEEEEL your excitement.

I did this about five years ago. A bunch of us went to Chicago. I actually drove and I drive like a maniac. One of the girls had to pee (like, really bad, she was thisclose to peeing on a new leather seat), and then our exit popped up! Suddenly! So I did one of those wheel-jerk moves to the right (only across two lanes) and everyone's head in the car went to the left and everybody screamed. I still laugh until it hurts when I think about that.

But a day of that trip consisted of me dragging everyone along in the Lake Shore Drive district (ritzy) and seeing Belmont Harbor (where one of my characters live) and hanging out in Lincoln Park (where my MC jogs).

Oh, it was fun.

Jeanna said...

If you drive like a maniac, Chicago is the place for you. They actually respect that. I saw a cop hit about a dozen cars down a side street once on the north side not too far from Wrigley.

jodi said...

lol, Unhingey--your characters are like mine. They live somewhere other than your imagination. I can see you leaning out the window. It really is cool--and probably why people think writers are crazy. :)

Jeanna--I will get some in-depth pictures of peat bogs for you (or try...)and maybe some of the even-more-bleak areas.

Miss Mae said...

Those are some really nice pictures, Jodi. I wish you'd come to my house and take some of my dog. I keep meaning to get some of her, but where does the time go?

I used to live around Savannah. Lovely for the historic part, and I'll never forget the fishy, marshy smell. And Washington and Victory Avenue is something out of Gone With the Wind. Spacious mansion, and towering, gnarled live oak trees with flowing strings of Spanish moss. Then there's the tropical setting with sidewalks lined with palm trees. However, I won't mention the palmetto bugs, Jarassic Park mosquitoes, sand fleas, etc...LOL..


Alice Audrey said...

Unhinged, you make me think of a road trip I once took that involved driving through construciton in Chicago at midnight at 90mps with a simi litterally six feet from my bumper. My chest hurts just thinking about it.

HipFunkyJive said...

You know, I never thought Richmond looked that bad till I came back as an adult and realised where I grew up looks like so run down. But oddly it still feels like home everytime I go back and its the only place I feel that way.