I am fortunate to have a large family. Not just for all the usual reasons, but because my family often provides me with the background information I need for my stories.
When they all come to dinner tomorrow (there will be 17 of us), I will be asking Hannah (the high school athlete) which sports teams a teen girl might join between the months of October and December.
Ben (the music student) should be able to provide me with the name of an instrument that a kid playing in a school band might choose.
From Sarah (the med student) I need to know why one of my characters has a brace on her leg and walks with a cane.
So, sometime between the Easter egg hunt and the baked ham, I'll be taking notes. I'll be listening too, especially to the younger ones--the ones who are the age of my protagonists. I will hear the cadence of their speech and learn the popular expressions they use when chatting amongst themselves. How sweet is that!