Friday, November 10, 2023

Wandering Thoughts

 I feel like I'm in one of those old movies that had flipping pages of a calendar to show the passage of time.  It was November 1 and then suddenly it's November 10.  I tend to live in the moment and am always surprised when something in the future becomes now.  It probably sounds silly, but I am always amazed to see the ages of former kid actors as if they would stay young forever.

Fall finally came to Southern California.  The days have stayed sunny and mild, but the nights have turned cold.  We're getting another dose of Santa Ana winds and all the warnings that come with them.  Next week, there is a forecast of several days in a row of rain.  With the time change, the shortness of the days is very apparent.  Where has this year gone?

I was rushing to finish the rewrite of KNOT DEAD, AGAIN and thankfully got a reprieve of more time. It is so much nicer to be leisurely about going through it.  Though I am already thinking of the next book on my list.  The first book in the new series.  For the proposal, I called it CLASSY YARNS AND TEA FOR YOU, but I suspect it's too long and the publisher will want to change it.  That's not an issue now, though.  My trip to the location where it takes place got me all enthused about it again.

I try to include things in my books that I see other writers do.  I like details that make a place feel real.  I like interesting facts about locations that keep a place from feeling like a generic small town in the Midwest.  Even though I have changed the name of the town in the book (because then I can move things around), it is based on a real town.  It was always a backdrop when I was a kid and I never saw what made it special.  

It is located a few miles from Lake  Michigan and the dunes.  It was just called "the beach" when I was a kid.  I vaguely knew the dunes were special, but mostly viewed them as sandy hills that my feet sunk in.  Recently, the area has become a National Park.  I just read something that said Lake Michigan acts more like an ocean than a protected body of water.  The article mentioned that being a boon for body surfers and sailors.  

I want to include some facts about the area instead of just broad strokes of description.  When we were driving through it, I wanted to remember every detail, which was impossible.  I have snapshot pictures in my mind of the way trees bordered a field that had been cleared for planting or maybe left fallow until next spring.  The way the road dipped down between trees with orange and yellow leaves.  The colors of the sand and sky as it began to rain at the beach.

But now it's back to Cadbury by the Sea to get back to the rewrite of KNOT DEAD, AGAIN.


Patty Jenkins said...

Good morning -- Great post!! I feel the way you do about seeing the adult version of someone we remember as young. Just last week I saw a picture of the husband of a girl we knew as a teenager -- I told my son "She's married to a potbellied old man." She's older, of course, but is still very slim and pretty.

I'm anxious to read your new series of books -- I love your descriptions of the area -- feels so real. Are there going to be more Writer for Hire books? I thoroughly enjoyed the four I read.

We've mentioned about having to be so careful about scams. I got a scare yesterday -- clicked on a crochet pattern and a whole screen of "Beware -- Your Computer has been infected by a Trojan virus. Contact Apple customer service immediately or all information will be infected" popped up. Had a phone number to call. It certainly looked legit but I was skeptical. My screen locked so I couldn't get rid of it. I called the computer protection service I have and they said it was a scam -- they got rid of it for me and everything is now fine. That sort of stuff is so unnerving.

My son is coming this morning to clean outside light fixtures for me -- how so many bugs can get inside the globe is a mystery!!

Enjoy your day and your writing.

Linda D Osborn said...

Fire in a blimp hangar--such a tragic thing this week. I remember driving by those huge structures as a child and feeling terrified , especially at night. My husband spent two summers there as a teenage recruit, A few months before he died, he wanted to take a cruise and a train trip. We went up as far as Canada by ship. A tour was offered of the identical blimp hangars in Washington. Of course we had to go.

Completely overwhelming---he laughed at the memories of the young guys running around on the catwalks on the ceiling, 17 stories above. There were old planes on display, including the one he flew in for years ! A museum, a store, a lunch room, and still hundreds of feet left over. Massive sliding doors, rather thin looking walls which this week we found out were made from lead, asbestos, and other poisons.

We knew he was getting weaker by the day, couldn't even enjoy the cruise food, but we had 5 more months after training home, and he had one of the best experiences of his life !

The big sad building is a pile of rubble now, while it's twin looks on from a few hundred feet away. What a loss of history--thousands of blimps, military planes, and helicopters were cared for there.

Betty Hechtman said...

Patty, that scam sounds scary. It's good you got it removed. I'd heard the best thing was not click on anything and turn off your computer. I don't know if that works.

Betty Hechtman said...

Linda Osborn. the news about the hangar that burned didn't really register until I read your comment. It's scary about all the toxic stuff that got released. Thanks for sharing about the last trip with your husband. It seems like the trip meant a lot to him and left you with a nice memory. We drove past the Goodyear blimp yesterday. Those hangars had to be huge to have one of those inside.

chkntza said...

I love the descriptions of the the setting in your writing. I can easily picture the settings in your books and when I read the next book in the series my vision of the setting doesn't change.

Betty Hechtman said...

Chkntza, thank you. It's nice to know that I'm succeeding with the descriptions.

Linda O. Johnston said...

I enjoy your descriptions of your thinking and planning and enjoying life, Betty! Have fun with your new book, and the others too.

Sprout said...

A brilliant exposition! Your post is insightful, well-crafted, and a pleasure to read. Thanks for sharing your valuable perspective.

Luckster said...

Your blog is a reflection of your dedication to continuous improvement.