Today I went to California. Bob and I drove to Silverdale, WA and back, but the beautiful sky, the comfortable air and breeze blowing with just a hint of a nip, all of that opened memories of my younger days growing up in southern California. My guess it was from the 1960s and the air in Inglewood wasn't so polluted. We could still breathe clean and fresh. It felt like a California winter, you know the kind when you go to the beach the day after Christmas.
In my mind we were either driving to Disneyland or San Diego. I closed my eyes and I was there, in the memory. I felt a comfort and an excitement of good things to come. It stayed with me the whole day.
Being able to reach a memory that evokes emotions is an important skill for writers. How can a writer describe what is going on inside of a character in a fit of ecstasy or of anger or of boredom, if the writer hasn't felt the same thing? A writer has to become one with the characters, be empathetic.
In my book Princess to the Rescue, I was inside the mind of Princess Claire as she looked down from her window and saw a boy waiting to see her father the King. Boys never came alone. They were always with their fathers. Why was he there? Wouldn't you be curious if you were Claire? Wouldn't you want to rush down and ask him, "What are you doing here?" Curiosity is the start of many adventures.