Beth Camp Historical Fiction

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Sunday morning . . . early.

It's 4:30 am. A motorcycle revs up and burrs through the night, the sound irrevocably splitting my eyes open. And I begin think what to do -- meetings, public relations projects, deadlines, and the marketing plan (when all I want to do is stay home quietly and write).

I open up my e-mail to find Karen Huber's post about stillness. The Power of Pause. Emptying the mind. Lovely evocative photographs that remind me we can find quiet.

This week I subbed a new opening chapter for Years of Stone to the NOVELS group on the  Internet Writing Workshop and got some generous and helpful feedback. My book now opens at the moment people abandon ship. Cries and screams. Crashing waves. A tenuous rope holds ship to shore. Sailors carry children on their backs and pull their way to safety. Women cling to the rope. A few -- terrified and cold to the bone -- can't hang on and are pulled away in the sea. And the ship goes down.

I found this photograph online of women in 1860 at Scratching Sydney's Surface and am struck by how unique each woman's face is. Of course, they would be, just as we are today, but I have to work hard not to generalize the past, as if all women had that patina from Romantic painters. But they did not. These early suffragettes ultimately brought women the right to vote. Their determination can be seen in their faces, even as their clothing reveals adherence to Victorian codes of dress and decorum.

ROW80 Update: Sadly missed Weds check-in but I have made some progress in writing, reading, and research. Marketing? Less so. Our major quilt show comes up in October with about 5,000 attendees. Should I invest in bookmarks???