Sunday, December 13, 2009


Flo and Marg, detail of photo. The photo of Marion, first in this series, was part of the same photo and turned into an 'impressionist' painting in some other program. Margaret is faded here, but this is the best photo of Flora in that it is soft and natural and she looks young and pretty.

It's Sunday, the 13th, I think, and I am not ready to write that next scene, because I am spending my spare time fiddling with photos. Old photos. And thinking of all the possibilities.

Now, I can make the excuse that this is 'my process' and it is... really. Believe me. This playing around with the photos from the Nicholson collection is stimulating, creatively. (The photos range from 1840ish to well, present day, but for the purposes of Flo in the City, this novel in progress, I won't go past 1970's, when Flo and Edie passed away.)

This next scene that I am writing, or not writing, is important in that it reveals that Flora is alone, despite being surrounded by a loving family. And that she doesn't quite know what is going on.

She was the child, born in 1892, who grew up when the Nicholsons were prosperous. And she was 'the baby.' And because she was small, she was considered the most frail.

I also decided that when I write the part about Margaret going to Quebec to see the Prince, I will sum up the trips she has taken so far, and in that way get in information from the past.

I know she went to Minerville, New York when Flora was a baby. She went with Herb as well and possibly all the children. There is one line which is funny, she says Herb is outside riding on a philosoped. What is that? I wondered when I read it. A velocipede! I think that is what it's called. Yes, I looked it up. Any multi-wheeled vehicle propelled by human energy was a velocipede. A bicycle is a velocipede. But so is a scooter, I guess. I wonder if little Herb was riding one of ones with a HUGE wheel in front.

I have no record of how Margaret felt about going to Quebec City for the Tercentary. From what I have learned by surfing the Internet, this celebration was huge and lavish! It was very likely the most illustrious event Margaret ever attended in her entire life. But she had mixed feelings about the British crown. These Scots were well-known to despise Englishmen... well, all "Canadians" did according to some observers.

In Richmond, in those days, the circus came, I believe, and there was an annual St. Andrew's festival, St. Patrick's parade, and there was an agricultural fair, of course and they had chautauquas: annual events to provide entertainment, education, inspiration and recreation.

(These chautauquas were mini-world's fairs. Edith and Flo lived to see Expo67. I suspect Edith, especially, loved this centennial year event. She missed the 1900 French world's fair :) although she did get to visit France in her later years. You can see faded video of that famous fair on YouTube. French Fashions. Ummm.)

Margaret loved these chautauquas. She dragged her grandchildren to them in the 20's. With nickelodeons and then wireless (radio) this tradition was already on the fade by then.