Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Not A Lot A Happenin'

I haven't made a new post in over two months for good reasons. Not much has happened. Well, maybe a little. I have a job now, which being jobless was really taking its toll on my sanity. It's nice to finally have some money rolling in. I've been in a depression funk for quite some time and it still has yet to lift, but it's getting better. Not enough for me to get back into my writing, though I did start on a new project, sort of. I have about 3000 words written, The direction I wish for it to go is horror on the Gothic side, but since I'm a 'by the seat of the pants' type of writer, it could turn out to be anything. The working title is Lake One, and here's the gist of it:

During the summer of 1923, strange murders plague the "friendly village" of Nashville, Michigan, and the residents don't know who could be behind the deaths. Young women and children are found drained of blood laying on the bank beside an old boathouse on Lake One. Jennie suspects newcomer Josef and is bound to prove that he is not so innocent as he claims to be, and warns her best friend Millie to resist his charms and to stay away from him. Though Jennie always thought of him as no good, never in a hundred years did she think of him to be a vampire. Vampires don't walk during the day. Constrained to his "family" for being a daywalker, Josef has no choice but to abide their demands of him. His love for Millie turns horribly wrong, and the guilt has him seeking Jennie's help to end not only his suffering and to avenge Millie, but to prevent future suffering onto others in the village.
Main St. Nashville, Michigan (1920)

So, being that it takes place in my home town, you would think research for the story would be pretty easy. Well, it is somewhat, but the town has changed a lot since 1923. Some of the buildings that were around then are still here today, but the businesses have changed, whereas others are no longer here and have been replaced with a different building or turned into parking lots and so forth. It's going to require a lot of research, and the library here has rooms dedicated to the local history and lots of historical pictures and documents that I could search through to help me with making 1923 Nashville as accurate as possible. But--and here's the big but--the library does not like people going into those rooms alone and must be accompanied by a chaperone. Which is understandable, a lot of what they have in those rooms cannot be replaced if they are damaged or stolen. What could be fairly easy access to first hand documents to help with my research has been other than. Since the idea of the story blossomed back in mid-June, I have only been able to access their local history rooms once and for only two hours. Granted, I waited out the month of July and half of August for the story to percolate in my head a while longer so I could get a better idea of what I needed to search for for the next time I would need to go there, but it is such a pain to have to wait and wait and wait for a time when my schedule and theirs coincide so I can have a chaperone take me to the rooms. Which will be next Wednesday. So I have until then to think of what I really need to look for that is important to the story so I can search for that information first since I will only have an hour or two to do what I need to, because afterward there is no telling how soon I'll be able to get into those rooms again.

Putnam House (early 1900's), now Putnam District Library. Was donated by the Putnam's to be turned into a library, which it did in 1923.

I'm also on the hunt for a map of the village and I think I have a source, but from what I can tell it's going to be pricey. Will it be worth it to me? Certainly. Even if the story never gets finished, or if it does and never sells, or whatever, I can frame the map and use it as a wall decoration. I like maps, and a map of my home town in 1923 hanging on the wall would be pretty cool. I'm working on acquiring a map through this company, EDR, which handles the historical Sanborn maps of which give nice details of the buildings and streets for most any year for most towns and cities in the USA going back to 1866. I'm still in the process of finding out if they have one for the year I want, but I'll update here as soon as I find something out.

As for my Draculești novel, I still haven't looked at it since I got my beta critique. I'll go back to it once I have given myself a long distance from it so I can go through it with a more critical eye and use the beta's notes as a guideline. Summer is almost over and summer is usually the time of the year when I lose interest in writing and go into gardening mode, which is what I have been putting most of my efforts toward on my time off from work. Once autumn comes I know (or hope) that my writing muse will return. Usually does. And maybe I'll update this blog a little more often, too.

Oh, and last but not least, my efforts to lose weight are finally showing some results. Especially over the course of this last month since I started working. In March I weighed in around 170 lbs. The past few days I've been down to 151-2 lbs. My goal is to be in the low to mid 140's range and lose most of this belly flab. My pants are fitting loose on me now, which is a good thing. I haven't changed my diet other than eating less at suppertime and drinking more water and avoiding pop and juice most of the time. I also go for walks as much as possible. When I wasn't working that was every night, about a mile and a half to two miles for each walk. Since I started working, which is very physical in itself, I don't go every night, but those days I don't work I do go for my walk and days where I'm not that tired out from my job I go as well. Another ten more pounds or so and I'll feel like myself again. I'm happier with myself now at 151, but I'll be even more happy to fit into the clothes I haven't been able wear in four or five years.

And now to try to get some writing done. Does this blog post count toward my word count for today?