Really really busy lately. The dayjob is eating my life and writing eats the rest. I get ideas for blog posts, lots of ideas, but I seldom have time to write them.
I also totally fail at prime time blogging. Free time tends to happen in the middle of the night. Like…now.
Anyway, finished the edits for Barricade and sent them back to my editor. Now I’m back to work on Against A Brightening Sky. This novel is my best friend right now. I dream about it, I think about plot while commuting and while I’m in the frame shop–framing. Pieces of scenes, bits of dialogue and new characters fall into my head all day.
The professional term for what this book is doing is “eating my head”. If I didn’t have to go to the dayjob, I’d be at the computer writing every spare minute. I love the fact the book is pushing me, I’m not pushing the book.
And the reason for writing every spare moment is that this stage doesn’t always last. You seize the day, and the words, while you can. If in that rush of creativity you forget something, or you need to layer in more for things to make sense, you do that later.
Revisions are the writer’s very best friend. They are my best friend anyway.
I have a rough, raw, oh so subject to revision at a later date darling to post as well. Spoiler free too, or so I hope. I find the italic font for WordPress almost unreadable, so I’m not going to use that. Not until I find a way to change it.
Isadora Bobet and three-year-old Stella Fitzgerald were fast friends, something I’d never have credited when Stella was a baby. Dora appeared to have infinite patience with her, holding long conversations on a wide range of subjects or discussing picture books at great length. Given that Dora looked upon most small children as creatures to be avoided at all cost, watching her friendship with Stella grow was both amusing and touching.
“Mama’s not home. She took Papa to see the doctor. He got hurt when the bad men were shooting guns.” Stella solemnly told Dora all about her father lying on the hotel sofa and how scared she’d been when Jack didn’t talk to her. Listening twisted my stomach. Young as she was, Stella understood much more than I’d thought. “But Annie says Papa will be all right and I don’t need to worry. You shouldn’t worry either, Aunt Dora. God’s taking care of Papa and will make him well. Then he can come home again.”
Dora’s eyes met mine over the top of Stella’s head. Those were Annie’s words, Annie’s heartfelt beliefs. Hearing Stella repeat those same thoughts to keep Dora from worrying about Jack was an odd, uncomfortable feeling. She was only a child and believed the people she loved—believed Annie—knew everything.
“I shan’t worry then. Everything will be fine.” Dora hugged the little girl tight and set her on the ground. “Now run along and find Annie. Delia is going to introduce me to your new friend Hannah and to Nadia. We’re going to talk about boring grownup things and I promise it won’t be any fun at all. But I’m certain that if you ask nicely, Annie will let you help with supper. Go on now. I’ll find you later.”
“All right. I’m going.” Stella sighed, her expression every bit as dramatic as I’d expect from Sadie’s daughter. “I almost forgot. Annie said we should be extra nice to Nadia. Her heart is broken.”
“I will do my very best, poppet.” Dora smoothed curls back from Stella’s face. “Promise.”
As you know, gentle readers, I do a metric ton of research. A lot of that involves looking at old photographs. The pictures, taken at the time the novels are set, help me get the details right. Sometimes they give me super cool historical facts to include or insight into what people did in their leisure time or at parties.
And sometimes I stumble over little archives of pictorial history that talk about things I’ve never heard of or seen. I learn so much that way. For example, the photographs taken by this man.
Edward Sheriff Curtis documented the history of the American West from the late 1890s until well into the 1920s. Specifically, he recorded the faces and the culture of North America’s Native American tribes.
And looking at these photographs I can only wonder how much of this history–how much culture–would have been lost without his photographs. These are amazing records and absolutely beautiful. You can view the entire collection I found here.
They are well worth your time. I only wish he or whoever put this collection together had recorded more of his subject’s names. All my favorites (so far) are on my Pinterest history board.
Now I’m going to bed. With luck I’ll get more written in the morning before work.
244 more days until Delia.