Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Perfect Summer 1911 - Someone else's take

Marion, maybe the Charles River, Boston. Maybe that's Henry Watters...

My my., where I often buy books suggested a couple of volumes and I jumped on it. I purchased two books, both by a woman called Juliet Nicolson, one about 1911 (yes!) and one about 1918-20.

The one about 1911, The Perfect Summer: Dancing into Shadow was published back in 2007, but I missed it somehow. It is about famous women in 1911 in England and appears to cover the same territory as Tighsolas. It was very hot in England, too!Gee. I posted my Tighsolas website in 2005!

I can't wait to get these books! Oddly, this book was serialized on BBC 4, must have been in 2006, just before BBC radio four came online and I became one of that station's most devoted listeners. (I'm listening right now to a BRILLIANT production of The Idiot on Radio 7)

Anyway, maybe, once I've read this book I will get back to writing (or editing the first draft of the first chapters) of Flo in the City, my novel in progress about a Canadian girl coming of age in the 1908-1913 era based on the letters of my social studies website.

I was hoping to do a little first hand research by visiting Boston next week and also Nantucket and Newton Center where cousin Henry Watters lived and worked as a doctor and whom Flo visited in 1908 and Marion and Edith visited in 1912. He seemed to be the very best kind of man, and I suspect (well, he even mentions it in a letter) that there was pressure on him to marry.
He never did marry, despite being a successful doctor. Maybe he was gay, who knows? He died young, before Marion even in 1937 and is buried in Melbourne...

That might be him in the picture above. Anyway, after making hasty reservations for two nights in Ogunquit and two nights in South Yarmouth, Cape Cod, I cancelled. I am departing on the July 4 weekend and I don't want to be caught in traffic at the border or anywhere else. Beside, I like the seaside in the fall, when it's rough.

My husband and I are going to Halifax - to see friends and pick up my son's college gear he left behind in the Maritimes. More sensible. I love Peggy's Cove, as much as I love Perkin's Cove.

I did read over my first draft - after a long pause- and it wasn't half bad. Nice rhythm to the writing. Could use some spicy (non cliche) metaphors... Those are hard to make up, you have to be in a creative mood. Must channel my inner Barbara Kingsolver. (I'm reading her book The Lacuna - and, at the same time - the Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao.)