Summer NaNo: A certain slant of light

It’s a perfect summer evening here, with the light just fading to red-gold and a breeze stirring the topmost tree-tops as the birds twitter in the branches. (No, unfortunately I’m not ornithologist enough to tell you what kind, but they seem to be having a lively evening conversation.) I just took my leave of a fellow-writer whose blog I helped to set up, along with a junior colleague who’s getting a cram course in the visual genre conventions of book cover design.

It’s been a full day.

The interview with Leonie that I’d planned for last night actually took place this morning between ten and ten-thirty, and this afternoon I did some additional research on the visual look of ocean-liners of the 1910s. There’s a wealth of material, of course, on the doomed Titanic, which much resembles a floating hotel. (Its sister-ship Olympic was the first to feature an on-board swimming pool.) I’m scaling it back, but Leonie is sitting at supper in a room that doesn’t look too different from a business-class hotel restaurant.

I have no illusions that the result of this month’s labors will be anything more than a Zero Draft, which is to say a suggestive pile of raw materials and a notion of a plot. The real novel will be built assuming all that.

Meanwhile, I have vicarious indigestion thinking about the heaviness of the fare. The Edwardians did not have our notions of the abstemious life, let us say. And I’ve been something of a glutton myself, with the amount of work I’ve crammed into this summer day. Now for a moment of respite, relaxing and listening to the avian neighbors’ conversation or dispute, before I do the next bout: Leonie’s definition of love, in great detail.

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