I thought: “It’s Sunday. Lets just have something of a ‘lighthearted’ post.”
Let’s begin with some Instagrams from late last week…
Yes, yes, this is me… 12 years ago:
Friday evening, we drove down to north London to visit with the in-laws. We enjoyed a bottle of wine over dinner:
We saw my pal again, too. Here he is a couple of weeks ago:
He’s 14! Wow!
Last week, I also decided to re-read an entertaining 2015 novel. It’s a wonderful Anglo-American romantic tale: Adele Archer’s aptly titled International Relations. On Saturday morning, on impulse I felt it deserved an Insta-mention:
Clearly, that mention surprised her. I suspected she would respond. (Adele, who lives in southwest England, not far from Bath, is great fun on Instagram.) A few hours later, she @’d me back in her inimitable fashion:
I just wanted her to know I was re-reading her first novel. I wasn’t fishing for praise from her. Naturally, though, seeing that was great: it always feels good seeing another author say nice things about your writing.
It’s also a fact that I don’t believe any writer is ever truly satisfied. I’m definitely not. I often HATE re-reading my books, too. I replied:
An example of where we start when writing is just below. You are seeing this for the first time. It is unsurprisingly intended for Tomorrow The Grace:
For that excerpt, I deleted a large part of the end of the first paragraph […] because it contained way too many “spoilers.” I struggled writing the page for an hour or more back on Friday, huffing over every word, deleting, adding, changing, deleting, altering…
As I think back, that struggle shouldn’t be a shocker, really. After all, it’s not often we write to a U.S. president who left office in 1801 and died in 1826.😂🇺🇸
Oh, and I have to have a related moment of serious “nerd” here. I found this the other day on Wikipedia. Reproduced from the U.S. Library of Congress (so it’s in the public domain), this is part of the earliest post-U.S. independence map of New York State I have ever seen. It was produced at the height of the U.S. War for Independence in 1777. I zoomed in here on the region that is most relevant to what I have of course written recently and I am writing about again:
You see on the map, lower mid-screen, on the page divider, the “Katskill” (now called, of course, Catskill) Mountains. The village of “Kindershook” (Kinderhook), near where one “Robert Rutherford” was born in “1765,” is just across the Hudson River, below the “Mannor of Renslaer” lands. The village of “Katskill” (today’s Catskill) is just north and west of the “Mannor of Livingston.” The town of Albany is capitalized – denoting its relatively “large” size – within the “Renslaer” tract.
And, north of Albany, on the latitudinal line, is the village of Saratoga:
Who says “romantic” historical novels can’t teach us something? I snuck in there some REAL history about the Battle of Saratoga. It was the first huge American victory of the war, and it was fought in upstate New York. Much like “Gettysburg” from 1861-65’s Civil War, the battle site is preserved as a national park you can visit.
To jump ahead some years – but it’s not too much of a giveaway – “Robert’s” and “Mrs. Rutherford’s” (I’m not saying who she is, as that would be too much of a “spoiler” in a romantic tale) fictional home which would be built in “1795,” is located in that blank space in the western/northern “Katskills,” just above the Batavia creek on that map.
Interestingly, notice the language used in the title corner at the bottom of the full map: the mapmaker had labeled New York and other “states” as “provinces.”
You can now amaze your friends with your new knowledge. 🙂
Hope you’re having a good weekend. 🙂
Author: “Tomorrow The Grace,” “Conventions: The Garden At Paris,” “Passports,” “Frontiers,” and “Distances.” British Airways frequent flier. Lover of the Catskill Mountains…and the 1700s.