There's something about this picture that I love. It was taken aboard an 18th-century ship and has a quality about it that doesn't look quite real. Things like these can really jump start your imagination. Before I started this 3rd book, The Locket, I kept seeing a shadowy figure of a soldier at a distance. Only I didn't know what to do with him! He just kept reappearing in my mind till I got used to the idea that he might possibly be the hero in my next book. At first I thought he was just regular army. Then I noticed he was wearing a uniform so he became a Continental officer. I was a bit dismayed because I knew very little about that aspect of 18th-century life. But my Colonel McLinn has taught me a lot:) And military life in that time period was not dull. Mix in a few spies, malarial fever, swords and muskets, black powder, a spinster of 29, and a mute child and you have quite a recipe.
A book begins with falling in love. You lose your heart to a place, a house, an avenue of trees, or with a character who walks in and takes complete possession of you. Your imagination glows, and there is the seed of your book. -Elizabeth Goudge
The winners for a copy of Courting Morrow Little and Donald Maass's The Fire in Fiction will be posted Monday. Anyone who has left a comment in the last week has been entered:) Have a wonderful weekend!
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
I've spent two hours on Kentucky's Red River this morning only it's autumn in my manuscript and not January. I know the Red River Gorge would be a very cold, inhospitable place about now though still very beautiful. I think I'd like it best in spring when the ground is a garden of hepaticas and trout lilies and trailing arbutus, everything overhung with mist. What would it have looked like in 1777?
I think one of the best things about writing is being there. Writing really is an escape. Writing erases time. If you don't like living in the 21st century you don't have to. All you need is pen and paper and some good research. The little details make it real. Oh, and it helps to have a big imagination. I love this quote by John Bunyan... Who knows better than He how to guide our mind and pen for His design?
Where do these stories come from anyway? Only He knows! I sometimes wonder what it would be like to not be so dreamy all the time, always wondering about that next scene or scrap of dialogue. I sometimes wonder if my boys might like a mom who is more present and not so caught up in the past.
Today I heard that I'll be able to send two advanced copies of TFD to the good folks at the Kentucky Book Fair in hopes I'll be invited to attend in November. If I am I know just where I'll spend the weekend - at that very old, very hospitable inn called The Meeting House in Frankfort. I fell in love with it last August. And I have to return to Louisville for more research on Locust Grove for book 3. But that's far away yet and I have another book deadline before then. Oh joy!