When I was in college I took a class called England in Myth and Stone where we spent three weeks traveling through the southern parts of the UK tracing how mythology, folklore, history, and conquest all blended together. There were many highlights of that trip, one being that our teacher was able to get us special access to Stonehenge. This meant we could actually walk around IN the henge, not just get tourist close. I have stood next to those stones and touched them.
It was a key moment for me as a writer because it made me realize that, though I had been looking at pictures of Stonehenge for most of my life, seen documentaries, etc., it wasn’t until I was standing in that space that I grokked just how massive the stones are or the magnitude of the accomplishment of the people who created the henge.
Today we have so many tools at our disposal to help put us in places virtually. Google Earth is a treasure, Flickr and Facebook and the millions of photos you can find there from every angle are priceless, 3D modeling and 360 degree photography are everything. Still, I know myself, and I know that it’s hard to really capture what it’s like to be somewhere unless I’ve been there or been in a similar space. And there aren’t many places on Earth similar to the Great Pyramid in Giza.
I’ve wanted to go to Egypt on a research trip for many years, but events have made be wary to go until now. Yes, there’s still instability and unrest, but I think the time is finally right for me. So, I’m trying to gather funds for a trip.
The main way I’m doing this is through my Patreon. In case you did not clock it in my April summary, my goals are now to save the money I get to pay for research trips. The first goal is to get enough to send a month in San Jose, CA. The second is to get to $1,000 a month so I can go to Egypt in 2018. When that happens, exactly, will depend on whether I reach this goal.
I have some potential tours picked out that will allow me to visit the sites in Egypt most relevant to my books, and I am also querying about custom tours. Any advice in this regard is welcome! I estimate that I’ll need $5,000 – $6,000 at least.
If you are inclined to help me get to this goal, consider becoming my patron. There’s a $1 month level and everything. If you’re already a patron, or just do not have the wiggle room in your budget, would you tell your friends about my Patreon? All boosting of signal is helpful.
I’m also applying for grants and fellowships (SLF, Tiptree, etc.) to help fund this. If you know of any that I should be aware of, please do let me know.
I know I’m taking a big leap here, especially as I am not a proven novelist. I want very much to get this right, especially in later books in the series where a sense of place is key to the structure and worldbuilding. No matter what happens with these trips, I’ll keep writing and using the tools I do have to get this novel on paper and out in the world.