January 27, 2023 – Day 26 of #ADayInMyLife @PTLPerrin 30-Day #Blogging Challenge 2023 @RRBC_org @RRBC_RWISA @Tweets4RWISA #RRBC #RWISA

1-27-23, Day 26 In PTL Perrin’s Life

Welcome to day twenty-six of A Day In My Life! Happy Friday!

Have you ever written something and THEN taken time to do your research on that topic? I did, and here’s what I found.

My first book in the Tetrasphere series is set in a fictitious Cherokee reservation called Blue Mountain in North Carolina. The setting is loosely based on the existing reservation in Cherokee, NC. My four main characters live in Blue Mountain, and they meet for the first time at the high school there, except for the twins who grew up together.

Some of the landmarks I used were NOT fictitious, including Clingman’s Dome. At 6,643 feet, Clingmans Dome has the highest point in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. I added an observatory, which only exists in the story.

I had never been to Cherokee or Clingman’s Dome, but I’d been to the Smokies and loved the woods, streams, and mountain views. After I published the book, I became curious. Was the reservation anything like I described it? Does the terrain resemble what I wrote? There was only one way to find out.

My daughter and I decided we were overdue for a Mother/Daughter trip together. Wouldn’t it be fun to research my already-published book?

I planned the trip during hurricane season (June1 – November 30), which is when we normally traveled. It just so happened that a hurricane was churning in the Atlantic when I drove up from Florida to visit some of our family and friends. Bill stayed home to take care of his elderly mom. A few days after I left, Hurricane Matthew grew into a Category 5 storm and appeared to have made our county its target. Bill and our son secured our homes from the expected onslaught. At the last minute, the storm turned northward and skirted the length of Florida’s coast, causing no significant damage.

D and I set out from her place in Raleigh the day Hurricane Matthew hit North Carolina along the coast. We headed west into the mountains, expecting that Raleigh was far enough from the sea to avoid damage. The photo below shows the only indication we had that a major storm was pummeling the rest of the state. Rolling clouds threatened to spill over the mountaintops and pour into the valleys below.

Cherokee was everything I’d imagined it to be. D and I visited a replica of an early village, where people made beautiful bead-work crafts, tested weapons for hunting, and told stories complete with dances at the fake sacred stomping grounds. The location the real grounds is kept secret.

I carried an open golf umbrella to protect us, not from wet weather, since it didn’t rain at all, but from a rain of nuts shooting out of the surrounding trees. It sounded like gunfire! Felt like hail. Other tourists joined us under our mobile shelter and we moved like a multi-legged amoeba.

After we left the village, we drove through the mountains. D and I found places where some of the actions in the book might have happened. My daughter had a great camera and took a lot of pictures. These are not those.

The next day, we headed up to Clingman’s Dome. It grew colder and mistier the higher we drove. The two lane road was wide enough for two cars to comfortably pass going in opposite directions, but with steep slopes on one side and a narrow railing to protect against a plunge down a cliff on the other, it was slow and careful going.

I watched in amazement as car-sized puffs of mist exploded from the trees around us. One such mini-cloud formed a hand that reached out to grab our car! We drove through it. It was only mist. I don’t care what scientists say. Clouds come from trees. I saw it with my own, wide, frightened eyes.

We didn’t make it all the way to the top of Clingman’s Dome, but we did make it all the way into the roiling clouds, where we decided it was a good idea to turn back. The drive down was much less dramatic.

When we got home, Raleigh had survived the edge of the storm, but much of eastern North Carolina was flooded. I-95 had been washed out in places, so I took a lot of really cool back roads westward before I could turn south on the turnpike. My drive back home to Florida took several detours and an extra day, but the trip was worth every inconvenience.

The verdict of our post-publication research? I nailed it!

Here’s my to-do list for today:

  1. Write my daily blog. (Check!)
  2. Read the blogs of everyone participating in this challenge and comment. (daily)
  3. Read and critique my writer’s group’s chapters.
  4. Take a nap. (Check! 15 minute Power Nap done)
  5. Spend a few hours editing my friend’s book. (Check!)
  6. Relax with dinner and a movie and Bill.

Thank you for reading my blog today, and please visit my friends and fellow RRBC Bloggers at  https://ravereviewsbookclub.wordpress.com/rrbc-member-chat/


Patty Perrin (writing as P.T.L. Perrin)


13 thoughts on “January 27, 2023 – Day 26 of #ADayInMyLife @PTLPerrin 30-Day #Blogging Challenge 2023 @RRBC_org @RRBC_RWISA @Tweets4RWISA #RRBC #RWISA

  1. Nice. My Blue Harbor Series has a fictitious Penobscot Indian curse created by a sect of rogue Indians. My second book goes deeper into the Penobscot culture. I researched Maine and the Penobscot Indians, but I’d love to visit Maine and the Penobscot reservation. There are limited pictures online, and I read all the available articles.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, Susanne! I hope you get to visit Maine and places that will take you deeper into the Penobscot culture. It’s eye-opening, as I found out in Cherokee. It’s also fun to do!



  2. Patty, what a great trip, and mist from those crazy trees to boot! My husband and I went several times to the Blue Ridge Mountains but didn’t make it farther south into the Smokies. I wish we had. The pictures are wonderful. Glad you and your daughter stayed safe from the hurricane.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hi, Maura Beth! Bill and I have driven the Blue Ridge Parkway a few times. It’s so beautiful in the mountains! D and I didn’t give the hurricane a thought, especially after I knew my Florida family was safe. It took a strange trajectory, so a lot of people must have been praying. It was like it hit a wall just off Florida’s southern Atlantic coast and veered sharply north. Maybe, since I WAS heading north, it simply followed me and couldn’t get far enough inland to catch me. There goes my crazy imagination. The trees making clouds were NOT imaginary! LOL



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