Sometimes I wish I was as clever as Bugs Bunny. He was always three steps ahead of everybody and his plans always worked (Except when he took that left turn at Albuquerque. Hey, maps can be confusing!). Not to mention his sense of humor and cool attitude. I could use some of that mojo right now.
Or clone myself.
First, the writing.
The many threads of my novel are finally coming together and I can envision it as a whole – and want to keep going. I’ve been getting 100 words here and 200 there, but not every day. In between, I’ve been doing some targeted research. I’ve put off this sort of thing for a while, because I didn’t want to get lost in the research, but I had some specific things I wanted to find.
I needed to figure out what my main character looked like. I’m a visual person and not being able to see her really was starting to bug me. So, basing her on what I had in my mind and Google photos, I drew her face. Nothing fancy, but enough to say, “Yes, that’s Lilhana.”
Then, I wanted to figure out clothing, to help with that visual thing, again. I ran across an interesting book called Women’s Work: The First 20,000 Years: Women, Cloth, and Society in Early Times written by Elizabeth Wayland Barber in 1994. Considering cloth is something that breaks down quickly and isn’t normally found by archaeologists, Ms. Barber had to use some unusual sources to discover what cloth and clothmaking were like in ancient times. Fascinating stuff! Since cloth and clothing were a major trade good in Mesopotamia and I wanted to incorporate that somehow into my novel, I now have some good descriptions of the process used (because, really, I don’t know much about weaving except what I’ve watched in my local living history museum and they were using flax not wool).
I also found on the web, Ancient Egyptian, Assyrian, and Persian Costumes and Decorations by Mary Huston and Florence Hornblower, 1920. I looked only at the Assyrian portion and it seems they studied relief sculptures from excavations and experimented making the clothing styles themselves and included basic directions. I played around a bit and figured out clothing for the different levels of Lirithi society I created and drew a couple of them too.
Now, everything else.
Summer is creeping up on silent cat feet, so I have a lot of planning to do. The children have less than two months before they are done with school for the year! So, I need to figure out (with their input, of course) what they will do to keep themselves busy enough so they have some fun but won’t get bored or interrupt my writing time too much. The youngest had a great time at camp last year and wants to repeat the experience and the oldest has shown an interest in making money (surprise! not.) but hasn’t exactly settled on how she’s going to do that yet. Can’t wait to see what she decides.
I also need to get on the stick and plan for a family vacation while there are still hotel rooms available. It looks like this year we’re going to try Cooperstown, NY. It’s known for the Baseball Hall of Fame, but there’s also several museums and ghost walks and farmers’ markets, etc. to check out. Should be fun.
I have several different gardens around my house that need desperate attention. It rained for days and the weeds are out of control! I decided to try some commercial weed-killing products because just manually weeding and mulching hasn’t worked in the past for me. So, I weeded and then mixed a weed-preventer into the soil to start. One bed has two different weeds that are growing by sending out incredible root systems that go deep underground. Last year I just kept digging up what I could, but it spread, so I’m trying a spot killer on those. With my focus on writing, I don’t have the time or energy to waste on constantly weeding by hand.
Needless to say, there aren’t enough hours…
What’s been going on with all of you lately?