Links and Things and Adventures in New Orleans

I am on an amazing research trip this week that has me away from the homestead and blog. I’ve stepped out to soak up the setting for my YA novel Nowhere Nara in the Baton Rouge region. But hey, I’m checking in and sharing a bit of the fun with you! I’m now in New Orleans with writer and gal pal, Tameri Etherton, and we’re moving like women under a wicked spell—nonstop. So, without further pain of word, here’s a little peek at what we’ve been up to.

Blog MyrtlesAfter a night of little sleep, a long flight, and an ordeal with a navigation system determined to lead us to our death into the swamplands, slap happy Debra and Tameri checked into their haunted destination—The Myrtles Plantation.

More about our stay at The Myrtles Plantation? That’s best saved for a later post.

Our busy little butts kept moving. We hopped from plantation to plantation because we could.

Blog GreenwoodWe decided “What the hell” and stopped in at a plantation near the Myrtles. Hidden back along winding roads among marsh lands and thick trees we were certain our navigation system, ‘Jack’, was once again taking us out somewhere remote to kill us. We did find this big beastie at the end of the trail. The family still lives in it today. The top floor is their apartment while tours are given of the bottom two.

Blog Oak AlleyBecause using our thumbs to measure distance works so well, driving to Oak Alley took a lot longer than we thought it would. But it paid off. We got this amazing picture. No people in front of the big house. Inconceivable!

Blog Oak Alley 2They were here and not forgotten. A final role call of the slaves names etched into the wall can be found in one of the slaves cabins. Standing before it is an emotional moment.

After leaving the Myrtles Plantation and while making our way south to the Madewood House Plantation, we stopped in Baton Rouge for a little novel research. I went back to high school for Nowhere Nara!

Blog MadewoodWe checked into the Madewood House on Wednesday. You can bet there will be a post coming about this grand adventure. We had the whole thing to ourselves! Even the staff left at night.

Blog LauraThe Laura Plantation. We almost didn’t see this and I’m so glad we did. Amazing house with an eye opening story. If ever you get a chance to take a plantation tour, this one is well worth your time. It’s not so much about the house and the treasures inside, but the people who lived there and their story. Laura, the last creole member of the family to own the home wrote her story down to share with her. Blog New OrleansFriday we arrived in New Orleans. Perfect dingy, little shop down a side street. Fell in love.

Blog New Orleans 2First full day in town, had to fast-flap our wings over to Cafe Du Monde. Met up with writer pals Melinda Vanlone and Tracy Livesy.

Blog New Orleans 3Even Thor and Lady Dazzleton got in on the yummy action. Thor dove in face first!

Blog New Orleans 4We plunged into the French Market and found ourselves something scrumptious. Yum!

Look like a lot? We’re just getting started. We have till Friday to stir the caldron and not get arrested. Can we do it? You betcha! Yesterday (Sunday) we explored one of Louisiana’s famous ‘Cities of the Dead’, jumped along the outskirts of a Second line parade, and learned the difference between hoodoo, voodoo, and witchcraft.  

Red brick dust is used in my novel, Nowhere Nara. The dust is used in a form of hoodoo, considered by some to be a blending of voodoo, the Catholic religion, and witchcraft. An evolution of the belief system due to practitioners exposure to multiple influences.

For more updates as we go, follow me and/or Tameri Etherton on facebook and instagram!

 Added bonus: lots of links that caught my eye over the past few weeks or more:

Writing and creativity:

Standford study finds walking improves creativity

Sleep and Creativity

Timely or Trendy? Better to Follow Your Heart


How to Network if You’re an Introvert

8 Steps to clean up your online reputation

For the writer:

8 Tips from the Madison Writers Institute

A Crash Course in Fantasy Sub-Genres

A Crash Course in Sci-Fiction Sub-Genres

The Moral Villain

Does Genre Still Matter in 21st Century Fiction

 Personal health:

Changing Your Self-Esteem Filters

Advice From the Ocean


TV Show Finales – the good, the bad, and the what the hell were the writers thinking

Giving Voice to Ancient Trees

 The reason I find myself over 1900 miles from home…

Nowhere Nara

Being dead sucks. Being dead with no memory of how you got that way sucks worse than being trapped ten feet under in a filthy coffin.

Nara’s father told her to kiss a lot of boys and marry the absolute best. She remembers an amazing kiss, although that really doesn’t matter much now. There will be no marriage, no tomorrow. Not for Nara. The world continues to move but Nara remains trapped in her home unseen.

Maybe this is Hell – watching your family fall apart and your once-best friend live the life you should have had…with your boyfriend. Life is so unfair. But there may be hope. Nara sometimes thinks her little sister can see her.

Still, there is a scratching, a scrapping at the inner walls of Nara’s memory, a clawing to get out. Things are wrong―terribly, horribly wrong. And she needs to pull the pieces together so she can save her soul and move on, before someone else gets hurt… or worse.

Thanks for stopping by! I truly appreciate your support.

Until next time, immortally yours.

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19 thoughts on “Links and Things and Adventures in New Orleans”

  1. Tameri EthertonTameri Etherton

    Oh, man! Even though I’m living the dream with you, it was so much fun to re-live each stop on our wild and zany tour. More today? Bring it on!

  2. August McLaughlinAugust McLaughlin

    So glad you ladies had a blast! I loved living vicariously through your posts and photos–and am seriously craving bread pudding. 😉

  3. Emma MeadeEmma Meade

    You’ve written a great blurb, makes me want to hurry to Amazon & download it to my Kindle.

    You girls seem to be having a wonderful time in Louisiana. Can only hope to visit New Orleans someday.

  4. Kristy K. JamesKristy K. James

    Totally jealous here. The worst thing is, I lived 2 hours and 45 minutes away from New Orleans for a few months in 1997. It would have been a great weekend trip. Of course, I was also close to the Gulf of Mexico and never drove there either.

    Glad you and Tameri are having such a good time, and I look forward to hearing more about your adventures. Safe travels. 🙂

  5. Jess WitkinsJess Witkins

    Thanks for the link love!

    And enjoy New Orleans! Such a cool and inspiring city. Take a ghost tour for me! I love those.

  6. PatriciaPatricia

    Oh man, I wish I could be with you guys. I took a trip very similar to your many, many years ago. It was amazing. My mom and I took a drive along “The River Road,” and we stopped at a lot of those plantation houses. We toured a few, had lunch at one, really soaked up the history and culture. My mom wouldn’t do the voodoo tour with me, but we did enjoy a couple of street “parades,” (one was for a funeral) and we ate so much awesome food.

    One of these days I’m taking my husband back with me because I know he’ll love it.

    Have fun, stay safe, and keep blogging with pictures.

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt
    Patricia recently posted…Defining Rude and Other Redneck BehaviorMy Profile

  7. Marcy KennedyMarcy Kennedy

    It sounds like you had an absolute blast. I’m a bit jealous 🙂 My husband and I joke about going to Scotland for “research” purposes, but I don’t think it’s a possibility for us right now!

    Thanks for linking to my posts 🙂

  8. Tracey LivesayTracey Livesay

    We had a great time that day! Shopping and donuts with my friends; what more could I ask for? Maybe less heat and not to be wearing black pants. Oh well, can’t have everything. 🙂

  1. Research for the Right | Debra Kristi

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