What is in the Past?
Yep! I finished the April Camp NaNoWriMo writing challenge
with room to spare. My goal was 30,000 words in 30 days. When their validator
engine looked at my accumulated scribblings, they came up with 40,322 words
total. Their counter is off? I can’t add? I’m not sure which is which, but I’ll
take my “WINNER” badge and run away before they change their minds.
As for the future of the novel I’ve been working on, I now
have a total of 65,777 words out of a finished guesstimate of 100,000. So I’m two-thirds
finished and on the home stretch. However, it’s time for a cooling off period.
I haven’t been planning to release “Henrietta’s Legacy” until sometime in late
fall or the early new year, so I can afford to let it marinate in its own juices
for a while. Then I’ll go back and try to figure out a logical conclusion.
And what lies in the future?
I’ll be putting a new twist on an old book. Many of you have
read “Beyond All Price.” It has been my all-time best-seller and is still going
strong. I just sold two paper copies last week. Ever since the book came out in
2010, several descendants of the Roundheads Regiment have been helping me look
for a good picture of Nellie. All I’ve ever seen is a tiny wrinkled group
We’ve known she had a formal portrait picture taken. We know
the name of the photographer, along with where it was taken and when it was
taken. There is even newspaper evidence; the photographer announced that he had
taken her picture for a carte de visite
(a calling card). There are probably thousands of those Civil War souvenirs
around, but no one had seen one that belonged to Nellie Chase - - - UNTIL LAST
Yes, the lost Nellie photo really exists, and she is lovely.
She even signed this particular card on the back, so we have evidence of her
handwriting as well. I’ve now spent several days talking to people—the
wonderful Civil War re-enactor who has done much of my research, the gentleman
who found the card and purchased it for his private collection, the talented
graphic designer who does all my book covers, and the good folks at
CreateSpace. We all agree—it’s time for a second edition of “Beyond All Price.”
The original book is getting a careful line edit, something
I did not do eight years ago. The chapters will undoubtedly undergo some revisions—not
of content but of organization. I hope to add several more illustrations—not
just Nellie’s carte de visite, but
some maps and photos of important people and locations. And, of course, Nellie’s
formal portrait will now grace the cover of the book, so you can all meet her.
My new goal? To have “Beyond All Price, 2 ed,
revised," available for purchase by the second week in September. There’s a
reunion for descendants of the Roundhead Regiment scheduled for that weekend. I’d
like the attendees to be the first to see the woman who took care of their
ancestors during the first year of the Civil War.
If you’re looking for me, that’s what I will be doing for
the next four months. I can always use cheerleaders.
In 1582, Pope Gregory XIII authorized the dropping of approximately 10 days in October from the old Julian calendar, in order to bring it more in line with the traditional seasons. Since he established the precedent, I'm recommending that we officially forget about the past week. It's not one I want to remember:
- The death of a long-time mentor and friend.
- Spilled coffee on computer desk.
- Book chapters written: 0, zero, zilch!
- New blood pressure medicine: causes three days of violent reaction--swollen feet, hands and face, nausea and dizziness, racing heart rate, and really weirdly, the loss of taste buds from the center of my tongue.
- Friend travels to Lions meeting in SC and gives birth to 2-month premature infant while alone and 600 miles from home.
- Power surge destroys water pressure (pumps run on electricity) and various appliances all over town. Air conditioner is dead and it's 96 degrees outside.
- Two hours spent on phone trying to schedule repair before I embark on a trip of my own -- and then another hour trying to cancel that appointment when the air conditioner decides all on its own to start working again.
I give up on June. Let's just drop the first seven days and start over in the morning. Hey, if the Pope could do it . . . .