As you know if you’ve been following my Civil War blogs, I had a marvelous time in Virginia–despite bugs and a heat wave. I was delayed one day getting home, and spent a night in a Denver hotel, but the flight yesterday was on-time and easy. The dogs were glad to see me–they probably thought I’d died. –So they were overjoyed to discover that I had been resurrected. Not that they pined–reports are, they missed me, but they are well cared-for and much-loved, even when I am off the canine radar screen.
I mostly sat around staring at the wall yesterday, confounded by how tired I was. (Why does that always surprise me?) I saw so much, learned so much, that I’ll be a while integrating it all. The myriad experiences and impressions go into the subconscious brew, where some strange and wonderful alchemy takes place, and when I sit down to write “North of Eden”, the images and sensations will be there. That’s the closest I can come, today at least, to answering the question I get most often: Where do you get your ideas?
I immerse myself in the project and the research, not just by traveling and reading, but by drinking out of Civil War mugs, hanging posters and flags with 33 stars, watching videos purchased online and in National Park Service gift shops, etc. I even do art revolving around people and events of the period.
That’s the big picture. The small picture is, I’m goofing off today. I want to do some preparation for “Tyler”, the third book in the Montana Creeds trilogy, and play around with my art supplies. I might even go over to the casino for a little while. I’ve learned something, taking the London trip and the Blue and Gray tour–playing is as important to the writing process as sitting at the computer. Granted, there has to be a balance, but I think I’ve spent too much time with my nose to the grindstone, and not enough letting myself stop and smell the proverbial roses. Of course the Civil War tour was a research trip, primarily, but being a buff, I enjoyed every single moment of it, hectic as it was. I’m already looking forward to the second tour, in September! My Rebel cousin, Doris, will be joining me. It’s a shorter trip, and I will know what to expect, which helps.
I do love an adventure.