The details, modifiable to fit various climates and cultures, I picked out will add so much depth and realism to my stories, especially because they are based on my own observations and are astoundingly diverse in oddball ways. I would never have dreamed of half the stuff I saw, though most are commonsense when one really sits down and thinks of the workings of commerce and civilization. For instance, on one of the crowded market streets, I saw a fellow with a tray strapped to his torso, and on the tray were dozens and dozens of grimy old mousetraps. Rodent catchers! Perfect for just about any setting. Ingenious!
As we set off down the Tsiribihina River, the towering reeds swaying over the murky waters stirred in me the desire to get back to work on To Be Undone, the heroine starting her adventures and sorrows in a like landscape. In fact, the hike through the savanna to reach the Tsingy National Park and the peaks and crevices themselves also put me in mind of that ms.
The mica-rich water of the Tsiribihina made me think of all the mineral wealth in Witherwilds. It was enchanting to glide down a river of golden-sparkling water, and again, my imagination went wild.
The misery and begging and grimy-tattered state of the homeless in Tana and Antsirabe put me in mind of Tatterdemalion in The Bitter River, as did my selected book for the trip (a collection of articles and dissertations on the epistolary form, which I'm using to tell the majority of the tale in TBR).
All in all, a trip where I thought a lot about writing but did very little. And now that I'm back home with a computer at my disposal, still thinking and not writing. The words will get their day soon, though, right?