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From time to time I travel to interesting places while attending writers’ conferences (in Atlanta, New York City, New Orleans, and other fascinating cities) or researching settings for novels. I will share some of these trips with you, along with photos, if you visit my Facebook page (Kathryn Kimball Johnson). You’ll need to register for Facebook, if you haven’t already, but it’s a great way to meet other writers and learn from them, as well as sharing your own adventures.

My first real adventures began years ago, as a young military wife. My then-spouse was in the U.S. Air Force and stationed in a remote part of southern Italy.  While there we lived in a village called Carovigno, just north of Brindisi, on the Adriatic coast. My daughter was only 5 weeks old when I arrived there. Around us spread olive groves and vineyards and the ancient Trulli huts, some as old as the 13th century. I doubt much has changed since I was there decades ago. If you plan a trip to Italy, you might want to venture further south than the typical Rome-Venice-Florence tour. You’ll find amazing ruins and the friendliest of people.

Twice I’ve lived in Texas—in San Angelo, then in Houston. While there I journeyed into the desert to the west, and into the pine forested hill country outside of Houston. I took no notes and very few pictures. I hadn’t seriously considered becoming a writer at that point. I really wish I’d known how valuable those experiences would have been to me later, while searching for interesting places to set my stories.

My home is now in the Washington, D.C. area, and I love the proximity of this thriving city. We reserve cheap seats at the Kennedy Center for concerts by the National Symphony Orchestra and sit up near the famous crystal chandeliers in the rafters. The sound is amazing, and the view of the performers perfect. We’ve heard some of the finest solo violinists and pianists in the world for not much more than the price of a movie. I love to take the Metro into the city for an afternoon research trip to the Folger Shakespeare Library. There I can read documents hundreds of years old and even view an original folio of William Shakespeare’s plays. As writers we learn so much from each other. Wouldn’t I love to have a conversation about plot and developing characters with Will!

I just returned from a trip to Egypt. Yes, I've collected vivid details for a new novel.  I’ll be posting pictures soon.. Meanwhile, travel happy (if only in your imagination) and keep on writing!  KJ