Peeking Over the Shoulder of History

There was no second boom yesterday, which is probably good because I wouldn’t be able to get this post out today if there were.  DA14 is back in the black, and won’t be back around for a while, so we’ll have to wait a while for another rock to get close and get people talking about how this could be “it”.  Oh, sure, Apophis is out there, but NASA is now saying people should cool their jets on impact talk–which is a good thing, because I don’t think I could take all the bad Stargate SG-1 jokes.

On the Cold Front thing are better.  Not much better, but better.  I managed to get some sleep, but woke up in the middle of the night gasping for breath because there was fluid in my lungs that needed hacking.  This morning there have been a session or two of tremendous coughing, but my head is clear and my throat isn’t sore.  It’s progress, so I’ll stick with medication and hot fluids, and hope for the best on Monday, when . . . well, when things are suppose to be back to work normal.

The thing the cold hasn’t stopped is my writing.  Other than Tuesday night–which was Fever City and a lot of inactivity–I’ve been right at the story, getting in my thousand or so a night.  Last night I started early, because I wanted to watch Real Time at nine PM, and it was a good thing that I had, because Chapter Eleven of Suggestive Amusements has turned into a bit of a history lesson.

I’m recounting the first known moments of my muse Erin, and since she’s stating that she’s eight thousand years old, it behooves her to talk about her first charge.  Since she’s talking about the far past, that means I need to start looking around for a place where she can do her first crash, and that leads me to Mesopotamia . . .

Ah, Cradle of Civilization, why did I not pay more attention in high school.  That’s an easy one:  because the shitburg I grew up in didn’t really care much for thinking like “science” and “history”, so we were taught the basics and little else.

As I’m writing, then, I’m looking up everything I can on the civilizations that called Mesopotamia home, in particular those places that were around about 6,000 BCE.  It was a strange process, because I’ll look something up, think it looked good, start writing a bit more of Erin’s tale, then return to the research to pulled down Google Maps to find out where this site she remembered would be located were it around today.  My luck was with me, for the location of the village fit perfectly with a modern day location, so back to the story to put that little tidbit in . . .

That not only went on for about eight hundred pages, but the night before, when I was writing about Erin’s encounter with Hypatia, and her time at the Library of Alexandria, I was doing the same:  research on the fly, write with the information fresh in my brain.  It seems I’ve written much of the story this way, because when I was recounting Elektra’s life, I was hot on the maps getting a feel for the places she’d lived, schooled, and worked, before coming to Lost Wages.

Perhaps this is why the novel doesn’t feel as solid to me, because in the past I’ve performed so much of my research up front before getting into the story–but that’s not completely true, because there’s always things you go back to for reference to see if you’re doing something right.  I knew about this part of Erin’s story from long before, but never had the time to look up anything, so I’m looking up as I write.

Not exactly the sort of thing a sprinter would do:  but then, I’m not a sprinter–

I’m a writer.  And we do what we must to get the story out.