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Genesis of a Historical Novel

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

purging in the fog

The city is still shrouded in fog--an unusual occurrence. My chiropractor, Terry Dickson, during my adjustment this afternoon, asked me whether I could remember any other such long-lasting fogs in Vancouver. I told him yes: there had been fogs in the fall of 1993. (I knew this because I had written a mystery/thriller called Observer set in Vancouver in that year, and my weather research had turned up a number of fogbound days during my story--I used the fog.) I could have added 1985, since I remember the fog lying over Surrey when Kimmie and I went to buy our first Toyota that December.

I'm sure there have been others. But, as I pointed out to Terry, fogs have been much less frequent in Vancouver since the 1950s and before, when many coal- and sawdust-burning furnaces and stoves were still in use.

Kimmie came home at lunchtime today, although not to have lunch, since she is fasting in preparation for a colonoscopy tomorrow. The prep involves drinking four liters of dissolved mineral salts that act as a purgative. She has just now finished drinking the last of it, and the cold water, plus lack of food, has chilled her to the core. She sits huddled in a blanket in front of the fire I've built for her. Poor thing: no food tonight, and worse, no wine.

Me? I actually lurched forward on chapter 19 again. There was that old familiar feeling: "All that angst and suffering for this? This is what came out after all that?" I shook my head.

Maybe there's a purgative for creative material. Just get it all to rush out at once, leaving one's imagination clean as a whistle.

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