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One of the great things about being a writer is what you get to do in the name of research. Today, as promised, some of the Northern California Sisters in Crime and I headed to Saratoga to learn critical survival skills for ourselves and for our characters.

We had an amazing and patient survival leader in the form of Dan Baird of the California Survival School, and we had gorgeous groves of redwoods in which to practice. We built shelters, learned how to locate water and clean it, and how to make fire. We got dirty and laughed and concocted murder plots. We learned things that will certainly make our heroes and villains more adept, and might save our own lives one day.

I’m now home. I’m bathed, fed, and confirmed tick-free. To insure that everything I learned really sinks in, I’m going to settle in on the couch with a kitty or two and type up my notes.