Wednesday, June 6, 2012


Note to self: don’t write historical fiction again. Ever. Don’t write anything set before you started kindergarten.

First, there’s all the background research that forms the foundation and beams of the book: Prohibition, the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union, bootleggers and rum-runners. It’s all very interesting, but the more I read, the more I think I should read. What if I haven’t read enough?

Then there is the quick daily Googling for period details.

In the last few days I have Googled:
  •           1920s + hair styles for women, + hats, + cars, + light fixtures, + flashlights, + locks, + padlocks
  •           1920s + Italian immigrants + Canada, + folklore, + rituals, + benedicaria
  •           WW1 + Canada + rationing, + veterans, + veterans’ pensions
  •           1920s +  Algoma Steel  +  shift work
  •          1920s + Sault Ste. Marie + streetcar
  •           1920s + Temperance posters
  •           Dropsy

Between the compulsion to read more history and the need to know what a 1920s padlock looked like (which produces a desire to follow links deep into the fascinating but irrelevant history of locks), it is hard to lay words down on the page.

Dropsy, by the way, is edema. Cause (according to Temperance materials): alcohol. Cure (according to early 20th century medical dictionaries) : alcohol.

“To alcohol: the cause of, and solution to, all of life’s problems.” – Homer J. Simpson

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