One nice thing about being a writer is learning about new things. Usually, when I want to research something for a novel, I turn to Google or YouTube to learn what I need to know. But last week, I had the opportunity to get some hands-on experience that I can apply to my novel-in-progress, Fire and Glass.

Me wielding a pair of jacks with Nate Nix at Harmony Glassworks.

Those of you who have been following along with the Main Street Merchants series know that Book 4 is about Lacy and Daniel. You also know that Daniel is a glass artist. When I started the book, I knew next to nothing about glass blowing, so I did what I usually do: I hit the Internet for videos, articles, and how-to tutorials. But for Daniel, glass blowing is a sensual experience, and that was something I just couldn’t fully understand by reading articles or watching videos.

Here I am adding color to a lump of glass that would
eventually become a bowl.

Enter Nate Nix at Harmony Glassworks in rural San Luis Obispo County, just south of Cambria. I signed up for a glass blowing lesson with Nate, and he walked me through the steps to help me create a bowl from nothing but a lump of molten glass.

Not only was Nate an awesome teacher, he also helped me to understand the way a glass artist looks at his craft. “There’s a grace to glass blowing that women understand but that men have to learn,” he told me. I like to think I’ll be able to use that insight in crafting Daniel’s character.

If I look intense, it’s mainly because I’m trying not
to inflict a life-altering injury on myself.

I also gained a healthy appreciation for the danger of the art form, and for how that might draw Lacy to Daniel. Who wouldn’t think it’s ridiculously hot (literally) for a handsome man to work with thousand-degree temperatures, bending glass to his will?

The whole thing was so much fun it made me wish I’d learned to herd cows for Book 2 in the series. Though I suppose there’s still time, though, since I have lots of plans for the Delaneys.  

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