Yes, I have been writing again. That is a good thing and it’s largely due to the efforts of my writing friends (particularly Liz Hein and Noelle Granger) who got me into the A-to-Z challenge. It definitely challenged me to go ahead and put words on the page and pay attention. Once the flow started it continued and I’ve accomplished a great deal, I think, on my new book. As you can see from the above photo, I’m a throw-back to the days of the typewriter (this one is a Smith-Corona Skywriter circa 1951), coffee and fountain pens and I’ve been pounding on the poor thing for a couple of weeks now. I’m down on the Outer Banks of North Carolina doing work on our beach house (mostly done) I’ve also taken the opportunity to do research. Apparently I have a thing for period pieces. Beagle Club is set in the summer of 1936, as you know, but the new one is also period, as it’s set in 1947. The main character Max has come home from the war and settled in a seaside community for a nice quiet life and has purchased an abandoned life saving station house for a song.
The one above is the one that now is just down the road from the house, at Chicamacomico. Yes, you too can pronounce the name, just say ‘Chee-ca’, then ‘ma’, then ‘comic’, then ‘oh’. A lot of the names on this island are old native american names, there Chicamacomico, Kinakeet, and Rodanthe for example. If you want to know exactly where I am, look for Rodanthe. The island is less than a half-mile wide at this point so I can see the inland sounds and the ocean at the same time. Pretty cool. Anyway, wandering around the station and talking to the nice folks here gives me a very good feel for the spaces my main character moves around in. Nothing like being there and smelling the place to make your writing real.
Speaking of real, a tropical storm has just passed me by, thank goodness. It never quite made it to hurricane status because it didn’t hang out around the warm Gulf Stream for very long, so Ana was just a tropical storm. She still brought plenty of rain and wind.
I know the waves don’t look all that high when you look at the left photo, but the winds were very strong and when you look closely at the right photo you can see the beach just sort of fades out in a fog of spray off the water. As a continuing tidbit of nauticalia, when a ship is at sea and the wind is strong enough to atomize the spray into fog it’s called ‘sea smoke’. These were taken in between the large bands of thunderstorms. I tried to get some of those when they came through, but as it was mostly at night with heavy rain, that became problematic. Suffice to say that when the winds hit my house moved around quite a bit. All the houses are elevated on stilts by building code requirements because of the flooding that takes place when the big boy storms like Irene came through. She flooded at the house up to 7 feet and washed the A/C units right off their platform. Quite a mess.
I’ve got to get back to packing, due back home today and there’s still too much to do. Thanks for reading, it’s very much appreciated, more than you know, and I look forward to reading your blogs too.