by Lillian Csernica on November 11, 2014
Holy cats. Talk about a marathon. Every day I have to come up with another 1700 words! Even when I’m working on a novel, I give myself the weekends off. Not this month! It’s “Go big or go home” seven days a week! So this is how the Big Names do it, at least some of them. Wow. I wondered how people could crank out two or three books a year, every year, to keep one or more series going. This is no job for the faint of heart!
I’m doing my research on the run this month, writing and writing until I hit a spot where I really do need to go find out about kimono colors and layers or exactly when petit fours were invented or when foreign ships first developed trade relations with the Ryukyu Islands. I have to keep a firm grip on the rudder here, because it’s way too easy to get lost in the Land of Tangential Research. Thank God for Pinterest. Reading about historical information is one thing, but I really need to SEE the physical objects I’m writing about. The board with all the oiran wigs is a treasure trove. Those women had strong necks. I’m guessing they also had a lot of headaches. I have very long hair by today’s standards, down to my hips, and I can’t wear it up for more than an hour or two. The sheer weight of it gives me a headache. When I was seven years old, I was tall enough to take showers. This turned out to be a bad idea. Once my hair got wet, it weighed more than I did, and I fell over. Not a good thing to do in the shower. Mom had to have me lie down on the kitchen counter so she could wash my hair in the kitchen sink.
At this point Tendo and Yuriko are on Okinawa, where Tendo is working in the embassy established by the Satsuma clans, headed by Lord Shimazu. The rules are different here. In the world of diplomats, gaijin are the rule rather than the exception. That doesn’t make life any easier for Yuriko. The local diplomats’ wives have heard just enough about her and her past to be thinking all kinds of lurid thoughts. They’re rather bored, so a new face with blue eyes who was raised to be oiran yet married this promising young samurai provides plenty of grist for the gossip mill. Yuriko is worried about the more serious dangers that might lie beneath the women’s gossip that Tendo is inclined to disregard or ignore completely. When he is attacked one night by three assassins who make it clear this is no mere street robbery, Tendo realizes Yuriko’s instincts for survival are once again right on the mark.
The NaNoWriMo crew strongly suggest coming up with a playlist for your novel. I love Kiyoshi Yoshida’s work. I think I’ll make his “Rising Sun” or “Samurai Rider” the theme song for Tendo, just as I made U2’s “With or Without You” the theme song for Alexandre in Ship of Dreams. Still looking for Yuriko’s song. I might go with “Cherry Blossom and Wazawai (Disaster).” The title certainly fits the poor girl’s life!
Time to go write today’s pages. Ganbare!
EDIT: NaNoWriMo Day 11: 19,932 total word count. Today’s total: 2577.