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?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Streetcars in Boston, 1921

I've finished writing Cold Midnight and the manuscript, which half a dozen generous readers absorbed chapter by chapter over the past year, is now in the hands of my agent -- the first person to read the book from start to finish all at once.

One of my chapter-at-a-time readers e-mailed me earlier today, asking about a moment when Claire Benedict, one of the two teens featured in the novel, is barefoot in winter in 1921. The consequences for Claire's feet are extreme, but ... well, the end of the book gives some idea of how her recovery may be going. If you've ever walked in snow in bare feet, you have an idea of what's at stake! I have a bit of experience in this -- my sons and I had to walk one-third of a mile in our socks in a snow-covered landscape in the middle of the night once, at twenty-three degrees below zero. Later that week, the skin on our feet peeled from the frostbite.

Shown here is a photo that I was glad to find online, as it gave me some confirmation of what the streetcars in Boston in 1921 could have been like. This photo is from another city, but the year is right, and it's a clearer shot than the ones I found that were from "Beantown." Every detail matters ...

And just in case you wonder what it feels like to have finished the book: Actually, it feels very quiet inside. Neither Claire nor Ben is pushing me to tell what happens next in their story. For the moment, at least, I can hear only my own voice in my thoughts.

You know, it's a little bit too quiet. I might have to start the next book later this week.