For this semester…

Hi folks! Being that this semester I want to try to crank out a full rough draft of my novel, and that will require tons of new research since I changed the time period, I’m going to cut back on my blog a bit. You’ll still see frequent MFA updates and serial fiction, but for now, that’s about it.

After this semester I will get back to a regular content schedule, but for now, I have to put school first. Still continue hanging out here, because I’ll still be posting, but please forgive any lack of weekly structure.

Thanks!

MFA Update: Research Appt. Booked

I got in touch with the curator at Fort Ticonderoga, because I want to conduct some research there, and set up an appointment for my trip next month. He asked me to look through the online manuscript catalogue–which I estimate at being 1,000 cards in size–to see what I might want to view.

I whittled it down to a list 89-strong.

I’m going to become a member because I believe in supporting museums whenever and however possible, and because I anticipate that one research trip will not be enough. I haven’t even gotten my eyes on their card catalogue for books yet–that’s not digitized.

So my plan is to look through that when I get there, and then spend the rest of the time reading as many of those 89 manuscripts as I can. I made a spreadsheet of them so I can track which ones I view. That’ll make it easier when I go back to the fort. I’ll probably try to get there in the autumn, since travel to upstate NY can be annoying in the winter and I won’t likely want to wait until spring.

I could try to shuffle some things around and go up a day early to get more research time in but I’m hesitant because the play I’m in is the weekend before my trip. I wouldn’t mind a day off in between performing and taking a four-hour drive.

I also have to see what resources my local libraries have. I should do that before I go to Ticonderoga, to make the most out of that trip. I’m looking forward to wandering around the fort, too. I’ve been through the area but never to the fort itself.

I have to say, I was impressed with the manuscript catalogue, which ranges in time from the 17th century through the 20th.

Independence Day

united states of america flag

Photo by Gerritt Tisdale on Pexels.com

I hope you’re having a pleasant celebration with your family and friends. Today, in light of what’s happening in our nation and all over the world, and as I think about my novel which takes place before (maybe during) the French and Indian War, which was a precursor in many ways to the American Revolution, I can’t help but think it would be helpful if everyone meditated on what it means to have to fight for your independence.

Maybe you’re already fighting that fight. If so, keep at it. Don’t give up. Maybe it’s just a history lesson for you at this point, but amid fireworks and hamburgers, I want to remember what this day really commemorates.

I did the whole hamburger thing already today, so I’m going to take this evening to think about the holiday and connect with loved ones I couldn’t see in person today. Serialized fiction will return next week with the next installment of Rings of Saturn, with the next Pathogen the week after that.

Happy writing, happy celebrating, and happy meditating if you choose to do so.

MFA Update: Research Trip

asphalt blue sky clouds countryside

Photo by Nextvoyage on Pexels.com

Later this summer, I’ll be taking a trip to upstate New York. My main goal is to do some research in the collections at Fort Ticonderoga, but I can tell from their massive card catalogue on manuscripts alone that one journey won’t be enough. So, I think I’m going to go ahead and get a student membership for the year.

What I’m Hoping To Find

I haven’t looked through the card catalogue of manuscripts yet but I definitely want to check out any first-hand accounts of the early years of the fort. I’d also love to take a look at the artifacts from the mid-eighteenth century.

Now that I’m moving my book up about a hundred years, it’s amazing how much more information there is. I mean, that was sort of predictable, but I’m really excited about it since I was having trouble finding a lot of primary sources before.

The Rest Of The Trip

Since research appointments can only take up the morning, that leaves two afternoons to explore the fort and the general area surrounding it. This is perfect, I think, for my needs right now.

I’ve invited my mom to come along, because I think she’d enjoy it, and if she does join me, we’ll also take Zoey, our dog, along. Though it will be important to keep Zoey away from any weapons demonstrations as muskets and the like are loud enough to scare her.

Hopefully the weather will be decent, but I will go regardless.

Hotels

There was one hotel that tries to provide a sanctuary from the modern world. I was so tempted to book that one but because of that sanctuary feeling, they don’t offer WiFi. It’s not that I can’t go without the internet, but I don’t really want to–plus the chain hotel where I booked a room is much closer to the fort and accepts pets.

Final Thoughts & Discussion

I’m so excited to take this little three-day trip! I’ve never actually taken a research trip far enough away that an overnight stay was merited. But the idea of traveling to connect with the past in this way, to gain a more intimate understanding for my novel, enthralls me.

If you’re a writer, where have you traveled for your research? How was the trip? Would you take another?

Writing Prompt: Moving

woman in grey shirt holding brown cardboard box

Photo by bruce mars on Pexels.com

I have two friends undergoing a move right now. But I think I’ve done a writing prompt in the past about packing stuff so this time I want you to write about getting friends to help a character move. You have 1000 words, maximum. Have fun!