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Genesis of a Historical Novel

Thursday, November 10, 2005

rainwashed thoughts

This morning back to the research notes: A History of Technology, Alexander the Great, A History of Warfare, and Peoples, Nations and Cultures.

Kimmie was off into the heavy but warmer morning rain, and I got back to chapter 19. Still building the scaffolding of my scene: imagining my world. Questions, suggestions. Moving toward the scene conflict: what do my characters want? Always a surprisingly difficult question to answer. Plus I had to create a couple more characters to have on hand.

Morning became afternoon. There was lunch to eat, errands to do. I drove out to Pemberton Avenue where Waterland has its new storefront. A Closed sign hung in the window. Ivan, the clerk, opened the door when he saw me approach.

"Waiting for inspector," he said. "Should be running by Saturday."

He invited me to play chess (he had a board set up on the counter even though the place was closed). I felt tempted, but declined. Plus I was illegally parked. I filled one jug at Save-On Foods at Pemberton Plaza, then negotiated the heavy Marine Drive traffic to Cap Mall, where I picked up a bottle of Bell's scotch.

As I walked back out to the parking lot I was struck by the beauty of the sky, a network of pristine blue beyond dark, tattered islands of cloud. The few leaves clinging to denuded little alders sparkled in the low sunlight. There was the massive shadow of cottonwood trees, cathedral-high, by McKay Creek to the right. It is autumn, but the world was still fresh and vibrant, scrubbed clean by wind and rain. My mind felt the same way, clear and open after a period of agitation.

Life keeps moving to its end. What will you do?

Create in joy.

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