By Marie F Martin
Last month I blogged about how research is a must tool in a writer’s bag. For my new story, I discover I need a couple of my plus-seventy ladies to go to a shooting range. The plot has one of the widows keeping her husband’s gun collection, hidden in a garment bag.
That is the short explanation to set up my trip with faithful canine friend, Katy Lou. The rifle range is north of town, out in the boonies. Katy and I drive into the bowl of our valley on a country road named Farm to Market. Ahead are alpine mountains cut with ski runs. To the west are the lower mountains covered with the Flathead National Forest and to the east are the snowy peaks of Glacier Park touching the clear sky in a reverent way. We can’t see to the south, but on such a bright sunny day the waters of Flathead Lake must be crystal blue.
I turned right onto Church Drive and follow it to Prairie View Road and turn north on the dirt road, working up into a forested foot hill. My dog and I keep an eye out for signs directing the way to what I consider a newfangled shooting range. The narrow road widens at the top of a hill. A sign reads Clay target and 4-H shooting range. I turn onto the muddy roadway leading down to the building and park in a wide spot where the gravel looks thicker. I set and ponder the plot of my story. I do not need to investigate the range closer. I have now unlocked a new twist to my plot. Research is the key.