I’ve been largely missing out on time for serious writing lately. That worries me. The rule of thumb is to write every day. I wonder if critiquing the work of the other authors in my two writers’ groups and revising their stories to submit for publication really counts. I also know that I have to be ‘in the mood’ to write de novo, something that Elizabeth Hein in her blog, Scribbling in the Storage Room, calls a ‘luminal state’. For me, being in the mood means I have an inspiration and am so eager to get it down, that I can sit at the computer for several hours without even noticing the time. In any event, I’m reinvigorated and have completed the second chapter of my new book and am researching an idea for a piece about the Pilgrims, which I hope might be published around Thanksgiving.
I grew up in Plymouth, MA, in the 50s and 60s, during what I think was a special time, after WWII and before the social changes and upheavals of the mid-60s and 70s roiled the country. Because my father was anxious for his children to fit in, I was enrolled in a course given each summer at the Harlow Old Fort House. The house was a small story and a half dwelling with graying shingles, gambrel roof, and a large central chimney, built in 1677 by William Harlow, a cooper or barrel maker. There I learned something of Pilgrim life. We, all young girls, learned to cook in the fireplace; make candles and soap; and to wash, card, spin, dye, and weave wool—all in that wonderful, old house. It enchanted me with its creaking floors, the smell of nearly three hundred years in its wood, and a sun-dappled, peaceful garden with rows of corn and vegetables growing at the rear. When I was in high school, I was asked to become a tour guide at Plimoth Plantation, which was opening the following year. In preparation for the Plantation’s visitors, I took Saturday classes to learn more about the Pilgrims. At that time British accents were not required. The garb I wore had not been thoroughly researched and wasn’t accurate, but I nevertheless felt a kinship with these doughty people who crossed the ocean in a small, leaky boat and risked their lives for freedom. I’m looking forward to writing this piece.
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