In the writing room right now ...

In the writing room right now ... I have taken down the brown "butcher" paper that held ideas, photos, drawings, and my hand-drawn maps and plot outlines for the past five or six books. I've placed all those items into three-ring binders, and cleared the deck for paintings and photographs that involve courage, as I move forward in GHOSTKEEPER, the new novel set in Lyndonville, Vermont. My 1850 Vermont adventure THE LONG SHADOW is under contract with Five Star/Cengage -- I will give you a publication date as soon as I know! Scribbling lots of poems, too. And there's a possible route to publication of the "Vermont Nancy Drew" novel I built on Wattpad (see right-hand column). Yes, I guess I do like multi-tasking! How about you?

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Apprenticeships and Indentures

I've had my head in the 1840s and 1850s and even 1860s (and back to the 1600s for background) for the past few months; with luck (and if we don't have too many visitors), the first draft of THE LONG SHADOW will be complete next week.

Today I needed to know more about documents of indenture -- can't tell you why, it would give away an important plot twist. To my amazement, I discovered that Vermont not only has apprenticeships, but also still provides "agreement to indenture" forms. Check out the "FAQs" list from the Vermont Department of Labor.

We are not as far away from 1604 as I thought.

2 comments:

goodidea said...

Very interesting. The word "indenture" has such negative connotations. I tend to associate it with slavery and abuse. I wonder now, with the cost of higher education making young people essentially slaves to student loans, if indentured apprenticeships will become more common.
I look forward to reading your new work!

Beth Kanell said...

There are interesting Biblical precedents for indentures, and of course the major difference between them and enslavement in America's early years is that indenture had an end to it -- sometimes three years, five years, seven. In those early years (the 1600s and 1700s) it often allowed someone to immigrate here, paying for the ship travel. Later, in parallel to what you mentioned, it was a period for paying off the cost of education, especially in one of the skilled trades where a completed apprenticeship meant access to being a master tradesman.

In this novel -- now titled THE LONG SHADOW -- the importance of a letter of indenture is that it is a document guaranteeing that one has a place in society.