I love to travel, and part of the fun for me is visiting libraries, old historic homes and sites, and museums. I always research museums before I leave, even looking at exhibits on-line, signing up for special tours and timing the visit.
One of my favorite museums ever was in Bath, England. When my friend Saralynn, (Sheryl) Hoyt offered me a free companion fare to Europe, I promised to take her to Bath. I confess, she's a bigger Jane Austen fan than I am. I've seen the movies and read "Pride and Prejudice and Zombies" -- but otherwise, the books don't do it for me.
But, a deal is a deal. I bought the train tickets and said there was only one rule. I wanted to visit the Fashion Museum.
Now, you have to understand that Sheryl is not only my best friend, but she's my critique partner. So, she took the "architectural" tour of London and Paris, and I took the "fashion" tour. She loves historic sites just as much as I do, but the photos of the trip prove our diverse interests. Hers are of buildings and mine are of shoes and dresses.
I think that's what makes us such good critique partners. My weakness tends to be her strength. She loves introspection, my fingers fly through pages of dialogue and description. She understands emotion and I have to be reminded, "what is she/he feeling?"
But the important thing about our friendship is how we understand each other. When I beg to take a photo of boots on the Champs Elysee, she just laughs and helps me convince the saleswoman I'm not totally crazy. When she says we're going to the Tower of London for the "Ceremony of the Keys", I say "that sounds awesome!"
And we both agree that seeing "A Christmas Carol" in London just 12 days before Christmas is something we'll never forget.
Museums, houses, libraries and good friends. All the main ingredients for an incredible research trip.
Sibelle Stone (Deborah Schneider) is the author of historical romance and paranormal romance books.