As some few may remember, I took a 10-day Baltic Sea cruise a few years ago. With a two year-old might I add, who oddly enough remembers details about the cruise that I don't remember. It's crazy, the memory that kid has. Or maybe it's crazy the memory I don't have.
But I digress.
My book is based on that Baltic Sea cruise. Liza visits all the same countries I did. When I drafted, I went mostly off memory and did a little Internet searching for details I had trouble remembering (really, I'm sure there is some correlation between having children and losing brain cells-especially the memory ones).
However, as I edit now, I've focused more on setting and fleshing out those details. Details like...the eastern view through the Amalienborg Palace in Copenhagen. I didn't pay attention to that then, but it became important to my story. Now, I've been familiar with Google Earth for awhile, which is amazing. Usually, when I've used Google Earth, I've zoomed in far enough so that the well-known landmarks become computer generated, but all the other details are flat. Well, there is also a function where you can zoom into a street view, and basically take a "3D" walk through Cophenhagen. (Maybe this is news to no one but me, but I was excited.)
Then there are details that I just never learned while visiting there because, to be honest, our off-the-boat country jaunts were kind of random and unplanned. I've found things through Internet searching (travel blogs are great) to fill in those gaps. It makes me wish I had paid more attention while I was there, but I had that two-year old who was only interested in slides and throwing rocks.
Traveling gave me a good foundation for how the story unfolds in those countries, but my story wouldn't be the same without the Internet. And the Internet is cheaper than a plane ticket. And I don't have to move off this couch. Which reminds me...about 5 weeks until baby. Which is forever in end-of-pregnancy time.