Friday, February 19, 2010

Just A Peek

Spent this week in Miami - only 52 to go. The place is one giant tropical traffic jam. Gonna miss the haunted seaside town of St Augustine. The plan is to go home on weekends - 600 miles round trip. What's so bad about 30,000+ miles of driving?

We're trying to find a suitable place to live down there, but our definition of suitable seems to be creating some problems. Givin' up lotsa space, our beach & the quiet of our hometown. We ain't sardines & we'll never sacrifice fresh & clean. (Deb is freakin' out too!)

These are pictures of some of the things we'll be leavin' behind .....

The City Gates. See the ramparts in the background below that tie into the old fort? There's even a moat!  

The Castillo de San Marcos - built from coquina. It's where Jack meets Talia in BAD LATITUDE.

This is Treasury Street. One of the shorter ghost stories in BAD LATITUDE is told from here.

St George Street. Lots of art galleries & shops. My book can be found in the 'finer' stores. Hah! 

Matanzas Bay - (Translated means slaughter). The view from downtown through the inlet into the ocean. Calico Jack Rackham's ship appears in these waters in the middle of the night

Crescent Beach - Where Nan & Pop Rackham live. Oddly enough, it's where me n' Deb live too! See how crazy crowded the beach is? Nothing like Miami. Can't even drive on the beach down there. Sheesh.

This aerial view was NOT taken by Deb. If I can figure out a way to fly from Miami to the (tiny) St Augustine airport without spending a fortune, maybe she can get this shot in the future. Where we live is to the far right - just out of view - in the area where the intercoastal & ocean almost converge. Pop's massive boat dock is on the intercoastal. Nan calls it 'The Rackham Navy Base' now that they've added an 82 foot schooner, named RECKLESS ENDEAVOR to the collection. Rattlesnake Island is also just out of the picture - again to the right (south).


There's a coupla chapters in RECKLESS where this OLD JAIL provides the scene. It's a bummer when you're dead & still can't get outta the clink. A primary character for this part of the adventure is based on a friend from Indianapolis. She & her husband are real ghost hunters. Alas, poor Mary is a ghost (in the book).


The Bridge of Lions, taken from our boat. This bridge was taken apart piece by piece & refurbished to its original condition - including the polished marble lions & is being reassembled. A temporary draw-bridge was built before it was dismantled. The work will be finished this year & the temporary multi-million dollar bridge will be removed. I used this bridge as a focal point in a couple of chapters in both books.


Ah... The lighthouse. One shot from our boat Laffin' Gaff, & the one below from the grounds at dusk. The place is seriously haunted, just ask Jack & Kai. I spent hours editing at a table in the shadow of this place. It's also the backdrop for a couple of chapters in BAD LATITUDE.

This was also the location for my 1st book signing. Sold a few books as I recall.

Deb set this up. I was pretty well rattled at the start. Won't be any signings in 2010.   

No more fishin' 'til next year. I'm lousy at it anyway, just like 'Pop'. The fish laugh at me.  

So there's a peek into what kinda stuff goes into my tall tales, as well as a look at what I'll be leaving behind for the better part of a year (sniff!). Fortunately, inspiration is everywhere. RECKLESS is being tweaked (not sure when it'll come out now - under the circumstances) & the 3rd (& maybe last) book is underway. A portion of (untitled) takes place in The Everglades, 40 minutes from our temporary "home". Deb has graciously agreed to explore & take pictures from an airboat. She'll do whatever it takes to help Jack Rackham & 'Pop'. Did I mention that sometimes I pull up Deb's pictures on the computer screen & stare at them while creating a scene? Hopefully there will be plenty to pull up from our adventures in south Florida. The book thing, with us anyway, really is a collaborative effort. I mean, the poor girl has to read & listen to my drivel - even in draft stage. I feel bad 'bout that.  


Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for sharing these wonderful photos, Dave. Deb is indeed talented. Great idea showing us where some of the scenes from your book takes place. I'll have to agree that your home town seems brimming with inspiration. A year will go more quickly than you think.

I agree with you about bringing up photos to look at while creating. I find it does help. My next WIP is on a subject that I'm not overly familiar with and I think this will really help me with some of the descriptions.

Joylene said...

Awesome photos, Dave. The aerial one didn't show up on my computer. I have no idea why. But the rest of them are stunning. And I am so jealous. We're fogged in so thick I can't see the other side of the lake. Oh, and it's 24F this morning. Brrr. You're on an adventure. That is too kewl.

JaxPop said...

Laura - Deb has finally taken the plunge. She's having some of her pictures done on canvas. We picked one of them up last week. I'm going to do a post about them soon. The one thing about BAD LATITUDE is that it all takes place in real places here in St Augustine. Local school kids have mentioned that they have followed 'the trail' & thought it was cool to read about their own area. Looking at photos stirs the creativity for me - sometimes the 'mind's eye' needs to be prodded.

Joylene - I'm in a fog myself these days. Have been watching the Olympics wondering how or if it affects you & Carol much. Not sure how close you are to Vancouver. Not sure why the aerial photo didn't show up - nothin' special about it anyway but it's a view of our "neighborhood". The 'adventure' - so far - isn't going very well. Hoping things turn around soon. Maybe I need to learn patience.

christine husom said...

Your books sound very intriguing. A great website with beautiful pictures!

Rebecca Ramsey said...

I love the photos--they brought back memories of your book, which I really enjoyed!

JaxPop said...

Christine - Thanks for visiting & for the kind words.

Becky - Nice to see you. Hope you, Todd & the kids are well. Your posts have looked very fattening lately.

Carol J. Garvin said...

What a beautiful place! Looking at those gorgeous photos I can understand why the area makes such a perfect setting for your stories. Hopefully Deb will find lots of equally inspiring photos to bring back home at the end of your year.

I've used familiar settings for two of my novels... Vancouver area and the Cariboo (central BC) area. I like being able to "see" my characters functioning in locales that I know well. Both places have distinctive but very different kinds of beauty.

(I'm in "metro Vancouver"... close enough to attend the Olympics if I wanted to battle the traffic and crowds but just far enough into the suburbs not to be affected by them. Joylene is about a ten-hour drive north of Vancouver.)

Ronnie said...

I love St. Augustine too. Tough to tear oneself away from that beautiful place. Deb will find PLENTY of inspiration in Miami. I can't wait to see the result.
Enjoyed the reflections on the book. It was a good read and made me want to get back to St. Augustine soon.
You are quite the ambassador.
Take it easy!

Sean B. and Mary B. said...

Can't wait to see what kind of a ghost I'll turn out to be. I've been getting plenty of practice talking to them lately and getting lots of them talking back. ;) We can't wait to get back to St. Augustine in May for some R & R and a lot of beach time. Deb's pictures are making me home away from homesick. I'm willing to bet that stint in Miami will give you a whole new inspiration for the next storyline!

Barbara Ann Wright said...

My husband and I visited the Everglades once so I could do some gator research. I still consult the pics from time to time.

JaxPop said...

Late replying - sorry - totally buried right now.

Carol - Looks like your recent travels took you to some really inspiring places as well.

Ronnie - Lots to do in St A - Deb will come up with some great pics down here - but we'd rather be HOME.

Mary - We're going to make every effort to be home for a visit when you & Sean are in town.

Barbara - Haven't been in the glades since I was a kid. Hoping to 'explore' in the next few weeks. Lotsa hayooge snakes down here! (2 legged ones too!)