I’ve always been curious about the world. Part of the reason I read so much as a child was because I wanted to experience far away places and understand our history. As a writer, I spend a good amount of time doing research. I like to learn as much as possible about whatever subject I’m writing about. Recently, though, reading doesn’t feel like enough. I want to experience things. I want to know what it feels like to fly in a T-38 with someone who has trained as a test pilot and aspires to be an astronaut. I want to spend a day with a forest ranger, explore nature with a fresh pair of eyes. My mind races with all of the things I want to experience.
In September I was talking with my mom and the idea of a writer’s internship came to me. My dream would be to take a few days each month to shadow workers in various fields, to acquire first hand knowledge of the sights, smells, and emotions of each job. I haven’t figure out how I’m going to manage that yet, so, for now, I’m working on experiencing something new at least once a month. As luck would have it, my first experience happened the same weekend in September.
I was in North Carolina and the Oconaluftee Great Smoky Mountains Welcome Center outside Cherokee was having a Pioneer Days exhibition. There were volunteers demonstrating how to make lye soap, sorghum molasses, apple cider, corn husk brooms, woven-bottom chairs, and even musicians playing old country songs. It was enlightening to see how innovative the pioneers were. In many respects they were better at recycling than we are today. I made sure to take pictures and videos of everything in case I ever decide to write a book set in the early days of the United States.
Back in Florida, I spent a beautiful October Saturday exploring Cocoa Village. Well, to be honest I didn’t explore the shops as much as I wanted because there was a HUGE craft
fair taking place. I did enjoy wandering among the booths, checking out the offerings. There are some truly talented folks out there. One of the lady exhibitors makes planters/bird feeders out of tea cups. I wanted to buy all of them! They were adorable.
I don’t know what my adventures will be for November or December. There’s been some discussion of spending a weekend down toward the Everglades with a friend. Not sure if that will pan out or not, but I’m sure I’ll find something new to experience.