Today, we drove up north to Oquawka, where the story begins. I took about 130 photos and found several instances where the novel, which has already reached first draft, would have to have some corrections. At one point, I panicked when I thought the old Methodist church was missing it's bell. But after talking to a few locals, I came to realize it was still there. I just hadn't seen it correctly. That bell plays an important part of several scenes in the story, and if it had vanished, I would have some serious re-plotting to do.
Yes, the story is fiction, but at least in this series I'm calling "Small Towns, Big Ideas", I do everything I can to keep the location and settings accurate.
I found a few jewels, like the vintage photos that were used as decorations in the sandwich shop where we stopped for supper. Since this is a time-travel novel, they were just what I needed, and totally unexpected. Plus, the local girl who made the sandwiches was nearly a dead ringer for the protagonist.
For a hurried tour through town, trying to nail down details, it was surprisingly productive.