Beth Camp Historical Fiction

Saturday, April 27, 2013

X is for Project X and Xeroxed!


I remember putting my face close 
to the glass plate in wonder
and pushing the button.
What image would appear?
My boss pulled me away 
from the new and very large xerox machine: 
 "You don't know what that . . .
machine will do to you," he said.
I wish the incidental exposure 
to that bar of light 
was the worst that happened then.
My home office now sports
a desktop photocopy machine.
The bar of light yet moves across a glass plate.
but I have covered it over
with a bright Guatemalan weaving for
I have learned how to use the cloud.

DL Hammons asked writers today if they have a PROJECT X, that kind of nagging project that we're not currently working on but that we may write  . . . someday. The project that both inspires  and scares us, that challenges our skill and vision, that one day may take us where we haven't been before.

I have four such ideas in various stages, each one would take me in an entirely different direction. If Years of Stone is finished by June (yes!), then one of these ideas will move to the forefront. So, which one? I truly cannot decide. 

Should I finish this trilogy with Rivers of Stone (volcanoes, Hudson's Bay Company, Hawaiians, Native Americans, and Scots in the 19th Century)? I've got a very rough outline, about 20,000 words of a head start (and a pile of books). 

Should I finish Mothers Don't Die which tells how a woman survives being kidnapped by a serial killer? Here I'm working with a first rough draft of about 70,000 words. Have I learned enough to finish this story?

Or I could write a story about how how the Bayeux Tapestries came into being (royalty, romance, religion, and the big "M" -- mystery). I visited the Museum of the Middle Ages in Paris and came away with an entirely different interpretation, based on what I saw there and then later the tapestries at Stirling Castle in Scotland and at the Cloisters in New York City.

The last idea that won't go away involves a small-town quilter who discovers a murder. Did I ever mention that I quilt?

Just as DL Hammons asks, I'm wondering too. Do YOU have a Project X that won't go away? I know I have to decide, but if you comment, which of my four projects appeals most?

Read what others have written for NaPoWriMo and the A to Z Challenge.