Historical Schooling

Friday was a strange day.  As I told some of my Facebook friends (I say “some” because, like many on FB, I don’t bother reading the posts of every person in my friend’s list) it was a Vic Mackey day:  not a bad day, not a good day, just a different kind of day.  And, no:  I didn’t immediately begin beating someone over the head with a Los Angles phone book.  Most of the time I felt like crying.

But I kept it together and made it through another boring day.  I returned home, spoke with a few people, listened to some music, and wrote.  Still in history class, still getting the first class of the new school year out of the way.  And they’re starting to learn some new facts about their new lives–namely, history doesn’t always tell the truth.

Now, if you’re into history, and I am, you know that history isn’t always telling the truth anyway.  There’s always the nice, convenient history we learn, and then there’s the stuff that comes out much later showing you how things really were.  Take Edison.  When I was a kid all I heard about was what a great man he was, how he created all these fantastic things.  I even visited his winter home in Fort Myers, Florida, and saw all the light bulbs.  Good times.

These days the reality is that Tesla was more the genius behind the 20th Century, and Edison was another greedy, buy-it-or-steal-it CEO only interested in turning a big buck.  We’re talking about a guy who so didn’t want alternating current to become the “big thing” that he set up demonstrations where he had some guy electrocuted animals so he could show people just how damn dangerous it was.  (Check out Empires of Light to see how crazy the electrical wars became.)

So my history class is sort of the same way.  Right off the bat my instructor has told them that everything they knew about flight was wrong, and if it hadn’t been for the good ol’ Foundation, the world would probably be a different place.  Notice I didn’t say better, ’cause some times different leads to some guy setting up his supervillain lair inside a volcano–just ask Jules Verne about that the next time you see him.  (Yes, I know:  Nemo wasn’t a villain.  Now Robur . . .)

The most interesting part was that even though I was distracted looking for a French name, and I was further distracted looking for the spot where my first flight actually occurred–you didn’t think I wouldn’t have that part figured out, did you?–when I checked my final word count I was just short of eleven hundred words.  It was another night of good flow, no forcing anything, and three thousand words in three days isn’t a bad total.

The plan for today is to finish the scene, start the next, lay out some additional stuff for editing my novel, and then . . . I don’t know.  Maybe I’ll kick back.  Maybe I’ll find something else to do.  Maybe I’ll go for a walk while the weather is still good.

It’s one of those different kind of days, you know?