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bear by san

March 2017



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bear by san


Wheee! I got in the shower and washed my hair, and the epiphany arrived as soon as my brain was clean.

I figured out several ways to externalize some of the conflict in the first two acts of The Stratford Man. This will require some additional scenes, but the book is already ridiculously long, so I don't suppose it matters much. Essentially, the whole political and motivation schema of the first two fifth of the book just came plain to me, along with the agenda os various minor characters, antagonists, and foils.

I am gallantly resisting the urge to get Mary Herbert, Sir Walter Raleigh, or Northumberland into this book. (1) because it's already in dire danger of becoming cluttered and (2) yes, they may be fantastically interesting people, but dammit, I'm up to my neck in interesting people and (3) somebody needs to write a book about Mary Herbert one of these days, and it might as well be me, instead of throwing her away on a cameo.

I'm desperately trying to avoid cameos. They're the bane of every damned historical novel I've ever read, and nothing is more annoying than watching Interesting Personage #5006 trotted onstage for a brief purpose entirely tangential to the plot, and then shuffled offstage again without contributing to any narrative arc major or minor.

I also figured out a character motivation issue and a Plot Twist For Later. Which, I might add, I set up in advance. So my subconscious was obviously on the stick even though it hadn't gotten around to informing my plotters and parsers what was what.

Also, I have a tuna grinder for dinner. And now I am happy.


That mole looks suspiciously as though he might be related to my mastiff. (see above)
Thank you thank you thank you. I *hate* the "quick, one more historical figure!" style of historical writing. (Of course, setting my historical fantasy in 1950 in northern Finland kind of cuts down on the temptation for me....)
You could include a few of my relatives, though. *g*

Actually, all the Westerholms might have been out of Finland by then.
But were your Finnish relatives interesting? Or could you not get them to talk for long enough to find out? (This is the problem with a book in which the main characters are all English or Finnish: the reticence, the reticence! Ack!)
Actually, they were Swedish, and just passing through. *g*

Scandinavian people aren't that taciturn. Get a little liquor and herring in them, and you'll be amazed at the stories you'll hear.

Tall tales are a Scandihoovian art form.
Oh, I do know that: Swedes and Norwegians on both sides. But many of the older ones are either Haugean pietists or have gone through rehab, so we have to rely on just the herring. Which is a powerful motivator, to be sure. (I got German herring once out here when I couldn't find the right kind of Scando herring. My advice to you: NO. Run away.) But even well-lubricated, they tend to give out less personal information than the average Californian.

It will be good to move north again.
Personal information?

What's that? *g*

As a Yankee and a Swede, I have to say, I find these west-coast US life forms who tell you about their psych meds and sex lives in the grocery store a little--disconcerting.
Disconcerting. That's a word for it. My line has been, "In Minnesota, we have an expression for that. None of your damn business." But I smile when I say it.

Californians can also be crashingly bad at conversational subtext. If you want to tell them something, you need yard-high letters. I like many of them (Californians, I mean, although I suppose there are probably nice yard-high letters somewhere). It's just that I'm ready to *go*.

Also, there will be lefse and herring on my table this Thanksgiving. This is a goodness. And people will ask me the right questions when they hear my last name pronounced. (The right questions are: "-en or -on?" and "Like the fruit?")
Here's to Lingonberry jam!
Yay fruit!

Can I come to your place for thanksgiving?

People in NV serve onion dip.

Sure! As long as you come forewarned that there will be no turkey. Mrissas Don't Do Turkey. We do the traditional Lingen family steaks, or lasagna, or chili, or...not turkey. Barbecued walleye is a possibility. Lemon almond dill chicken is. Squash soup. But no turkey.

Last time someone invited herself for Thanksgiving, I made the mistake of saying, "Well, if there's going to be turkey, you'll have to bring it, because I don't do turkey." I expected that would be the end of it, as she and her spousal unit were driving up from SoCal, but instead she said, "Great! [Husband] has been wanting to make a turkey!" and they schlepped it up in ice. Er. All right then.

(I'm actually not opposed to onion dip in concept. It's just not a holiday food at my house, and certainly not a centerpiece to the meal.)
I made goose one year.

God, I miss living where I had people to cook for, too.

Oh well. Someday I will get the Hell out of this godforsaken state.


Someday I'm going to write a paper on the link between showers and ideas/creativity ;)

Re: Yayosity


And walks.