It's here! It's here!
I got a call from Chapters on Thursday night, to tell me that my copy of No Plot? No Problem! had arrived. I jumped up and down a lot, but it was too late to drive to the north end of town to pick the book up, so I put that off until morning. I didn't have much time to devote to reading yesterday, but what little time I did have, I spent giggling my way through the first few pages.
I thought the novelists who kindly stop by The Turtle might enjoy this brief quotation from NPNP:
If we loved books, we were equally awestruck by their creators. Novelists were clearly a different branch of Homo sapiens; an enlightened subspecies endowed with a monstrously overdeveloped understanding of the human condition and the supernatural ability to spell words properly.
That must have been in the pre-spell check era. Nowadays, spelling isn't nearly the challenge it used to be. That "overdeveloped understanding of the human condition" thing, though -- that's still pretty impressive. Is it true? When I finish my 50,000 words (Please note I said "when") will I suddenly develop a keen understanding of human nature? That would be very cool.
Also on the subject of It's here! It's here! I checked the theatre listings this morning, and sure enough, Amelia is showing this week, so our Wednesday night dinner and a movie date is on. I don't suppose I'll be able to take notes during the movie, but I'll be absorbing the atmosphere, big time.
Meanwhile, I've been thinking about Bridget's childhood. What kind of soap did she use?(Ivory, without a doubt) What kind of coffee was in the pantry -- or was coffee so expensive during the Depression (Bridget was born in 1920, so she was nine years old when the stock market crashed) that the family couldn't afford it? I've been doing some googling on the subject. It's amazing what you can find on the interwebs. One article gave me this gem:
Imagine buying just a plain (if you can get one today) cup of coffee with cream and sugar, for five cents; a two-egg-bacon-and-toast-with-a-piece-of-pie-and-a-cup-of-coffee breakfast, for 25 cents; or a candy bar for a dime.
It doesn't sound like a lot, except those who were employed might only have been earning $2 or $3 a-day, but when you don't have those few small coins, food prices of the great depression seemed pretty high! For those who had money, life was, undoubtedly, more comfortable even considering the times, but for those who had to scrimp and scrape to put food on the table, their days were filled with worry and strife...
As the clock ticks (faster and faster, it seems) toward November 1, all these tiny, niggling questions keep popping into my mind. What if I get it wrong? What if my characters are using soap and drinking coffee that you just couldn't get in New York in the thirties? What if they take the wrong bus, or what if there was no bus in that neighbourhood at that time?
That's why I'm so glad that my book arrived. It's full of "Take a deep breath" advice. It reminds me that I'm writing a first draft in that thirty day period, not a finished novel. I can fix my mistakes, right? I should worry about who Bridget is and how she feels about Amelia Earhart and how that feeling sets her on her life's course and....and lots of things besides what's in the pantry in 1934.
I'm a little wound up. ;>)