So the wonderful thing about my family vacation this year (from a writing standpoint, anyway) was that it served the dual purpose of being a research trip for my book.
I like to do a little on-site research for my settings whenever possible, such as the trip to Dugway military base I took for Devolutionaries. (If you want more details on how to conduct effective on-site research, that post has some pointers.) In The Unhappening of Genesis Lee, there is a red-rock canyon that serves as an important place for several scenes. I'd been to canyons like this before, but I wanted a little refresher. And boy, was it refreshing.
My canyon isn't quite as magnificent as Zion National Park, but you get the idea. :)
AND not only did I get in some family fun time and some research, I also finished my second draft. Woot! I gave the story a few day's rest, and I'm now plugging away at revision number three. Yay for progress.
So, my friends, have you ever done on-site research for your writing? Do you like to base your settings on real places, or make them up completely? How are your own writing projects coming?