Doing research for novel: One Light Year Road Trip Novel

One of my characters in the novel, One Light Year Road Trip has musical ability.  Lordy, this author just doesn’t have that kind of musical ability.  My characters made me stretch, go and reach out.

Out doing research in the field

I met a street player while I was taking a trip to the grocery store.  The man was playing his instrument, right outside the entrance.  After he stopped playing, I asked him a few of questions about his music.  He said that he was born into a musical family.  He always played music in good times and bad times.

We were talking about his instrument, which looked like flute but it wasn’t a flute.  It was called a recorder.  He played beautifully.  People stopped to admire his music and to tip him.

It was cool to know that the flute goes back thousands of years.  While I was doing research for the book I learned that there are different types of flutes. The made materials used for the flute varied; thus each flute produced a distinct sound.

The Native American Flute sounds different from the East Indian Flute, which sounds totally different from the German Flutes also known as Western Concert Flute.

When played well, I think they all sound beautiful.

Doing primary research

My close friend is also a musician.  He had been giving me some lessons on how to strum the guitar.  There is so much to know, how to hold the guitar, where to put your feet when you are playing, frets on the guitar, tuning the guitar, pitch, notes.  Those are just basics.

One instrument alone can be further broken down to even more specific categories.  Take guitar for example, there is the Spanish guitar, the electric guitar, and the steel guitar.  They all have different sounds.

Learning music is like learning another language. You have to have good ear.  And yes, the ear can be trained.


One light-year road trip novel, talking about settings

What to do in Houston if you had couple of days to spend?

A scene I am writing from One Light Year (OLY) Road Trip Novel takes place in Houston, Texas.  Let me give you some no nonsense, don’t waste my time recommendations.

You would need 45 minutes to an hour going from one end of Houston to the other end. Depending on where you are staying, you might have to factor in two hours of going there and getting back, considering traffic is light.


If space interests you, then  the Johnson Space Center is a good stop for both the young and old. You would need at least good half day.

If you are a science and a nature junkie, try the Houston Museum of Natural Science.


Find a good Tex-Mex restaurant.   Enjoy the warm chips and salsa.  Enjoy fajitas, enchilladas, burritos.  Cheers if you are having Dos Equis.  If you are not into that, try some good gulf shrimp, or some good Creole cuisine.


For history buffs, visit San Jacinto Battle Ground.


The train ride in Herman Park is a nice escape.  Good for kids, and adults too. Come on, adults like it too, if not for anything at least for the cool breeze.


If you really, really enjoying shopping, the Galleria is a nice place to stop to shop, to eat, to get a hair cut, and to even ice skate.


Enjoy your stay.


Writing a roadtrip novel: One Light Year Road Trip

Road trips can be fun.  Some people take road trips on the whim, the sponateous kind.   Others must plan every details.  Some are in between.  Come to think of it, I like to travel and all three suits me just fine.

Where to go road tripping in Washington?

There are plenty of places in Washington that you could go on a roadtrip.  You can do weekend roadtrips or long road trips.    You can climb Mt. Rainer, attend a concert at the Gorge, you can dip in hot springs, or go fishing in a creek or the lake.

Mt. Rainier facing us on the road

Mt. Rainier facing us on the road

The landscape of Washington state is so diverse it comes down to what do you want to do or see once you arrive at your destination?  If you want to just rest and relax, there are hundreds of spas in the city and the mountains.  For those who love to eat, Seattle and outskirts of Seattle caters to your tongue. If you want to just drive there are great scenic byways that runs through here.

When to go road tripping?

Most people say the best time to take a road trip here is the summer.  I do agree; however, in the summer it can get pretty crowded.  National parks in Washington can get full  even with advanced reservations.

The other good times are are autumn and spring. Winter is iffy, spring and fall can be iffy, too due to windstorms and other weather conditions.  Last year in autumn, we had heavy wind storms where branches on the trees fell, blocking the road.

Right now ,I am writing a novel as I do road trips.  The setting of the novel: long road trip.  I will start posting updates about the novel, One Light Year Road Trip.  Going back to the type of road trippers, which ever kind you are, bring water because you never know where you may end up sometimes.

If you are excited about going on a road trip and now figuring out what to pack for the road.  Here are some ideas.