Wow, I get sidetracked easily. I finish a manuscript and totally forget where I was going with the posts of excerpts from the books -- you'd think finishing a ms was a big deal. Well, it IS a big deal, very BIG.
You know what it is like to finish reading a book? Finishing writing one is a million times MORE. More what? More everything.
Back on track: I like to use places I've been as settings. Thanks to my mom's Gypsy spirit, I've been lots of places.
For example, how about a bit of wheat harvest?
The following day Mr. Goldstein returns for what is to become our daily ritual: a walk on the beach. Since California is the only place Mr. Goldstein has lived in the U.S., he asks questions about life on the prairie.
I tell of the combines cutting wide swaths around the wheat field until it circles down to the final pass of the equipment. “There is haze in the air from the machines churning out the chaff to remove the grain from the heads of the plants.”
Only the most essential activities occur during harvest. It was always a race with the weather and crop prices. Nothing else mattered until the wheat was in, until harvest was finished.
Twelve-year-old children, women, and old men drove two-ton grain trucks. Some trucks were so old they looked like a parade of vintage vehicles creeping down Main Street. Some farmers had several matching new grain trucks that were bought on the gamble it would be a good crop this year.
There are long lines of trucks at the elevator waiting to weigh and dump their load of grain. The drivers got out of their trucks to stand under shade trees along the road, waiting their turn at the elevator and worrying about their grain’s moisture content. Sometimes two or three drivers would gather near the lead truck, visiting with each other while watching the activities across the yard at the double circle CO-OP® elevator for their turn on the scales.
From Kathryn's Beach: http://nadinelamanbooks.com/books.html