Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Writing and thinking

My mind is whirling, and my fingers are pounding the keys. I've kept up the pace of 1,000 words (or more) per weekday, but have also started doing more organizing and a bit more reading and research. It seems I cannot just write. I can't separate what I'm writing from what I still need to know. As I write, I am constantly adding notes to myself on items to follow up on, books to order, points of history to check.

I feel this symbiotic approach to be working well, with a few more clues learned, and my mind connecting the dots. I feel I am getting a better understanding of Lillian's motives, and the more I write, the more I learn.

Lillian Alling was not just a wonder because of how far she walked, though that certainly was a unique achievement. It was how determined she was to follow through on her decision that has made the biggest impression on me. DDid she never get discouraged or sad? Each day I look forward to getting up and working on this book. Though I will be very happy when it's finished and published, I will be sad when it's over because I will miss Lillian Alling and how she and I met each day to follow her journey.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Walking Across Canada, again

I was working on the Walking Across Canada chapter again today. Lillian Alling walked more than 4,000 miles from New York to Alaska, and the majority of that walk was through Canada. Though her time in British Columbia, Yukon and Alaska is fairly well-documented, her time through the rest of Canada is not. Yet with a few interesting clues, and some historical knowledge, we can get a pretty good picture of what her time walking across Canada would have been like. I'm loving writing this chapter, because it allows me to ask myself questions about Lillian's journey, and to learn more about my own country and its history. Wrote 1,010 words today, and looking forward to doing more on this chapter tomorrow.

I also enjoyed tidying up my To Do file, which fell on the floor, emptied itself, and disgracefully collected dustballs from behind the filing cabinet.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

walking across Canada

I am now working on the "Walking Across Canada" chapter in my book about Lillian Alling. I wrote 1,000+ words today trying to figure out her route, the timing and her motivation. I have few clues, but I hope that my speculations will provide enough food for thought for the readers. Lots more to think about and write on this chapter.

It is my hope that once my book is published, and read by thousands (?) of people, some of those people will contact me with their ideas and thoughts on how we can continue to search for Lillian Alling, and conclude the story in either a revised version of the book, or at least a Volume II.

Plugging away

Finished the draft of one chapter, it's 18 pages. Is that too long? I'm sure it needs a drastic amount of editing. And I'm sure there are gaps in the information. However, I'm pleased with the fact that it's done for now, and I'll look forward to editing it next week.

I've sorted all my loose research papers into their respective chapter files, and am in the process of dividing the gigantic British Columbia file into the years of 1927 and 1928.

I'm writing about Lillian Alling's arrest now, and will finish that tomorrow.

Monday, January 11, 2010

A new year, a new energy

The writing is going well. I did another 1,000+ words today on the BC 1928 chapters, and did a whole bunch of organizing and moving things around.

I read over my synopsis. I am liking it. I need to get a few people to look at it with a critical eye.

I was re-reading some references to Lillian Alling in an old newspaper. Seems like where ever she went, she made a lasting impression.

Here's hoping the book will do her justice.

Friday, January 8, 2010

A tricky chapter almost finished

I had a great day of writing today. Wrote 2,000 + words (ok 2,217 to be accurate) and resolved a tricky problem in a chapter. Sometimes explaining why Lillian did things is a bit like putting words into someone's mouth. I mean, it did happen more than 80 years ago, so I do have to speculate about some things, but I always want to give as many possibilities as I can, so the reader can pick and choose which one they think is best.

Sometimes the evidence of Lillian's trail is so strong and so concrete, there is no need for multiple possibilities or speculations. But other times, she simply "arrives" at a place in time (backed up by historical evidence, I mean) and I need to fill in the gaps.

Lillian Alling, the search for the lost legend.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Going rogue - Lillian Alling full-time all the time

Now that I'm gainfully unemployed (having left my editing job) I will have a bit more time to write. I'm setting aside time per day, and making sure I get a certain amount of words done per day. Plus, I'll edit each day, as well, on paper.

One thing I'm wrestling with right now is I have so much information, so I want to get it all in. But putting EVERYTHING in would not only be boring, the book would be too long. So I'm having to self-edit as I go.

Another tricky thing, is that there are so many unaswered questions about Lillian Alling. Where did she come from? What really happened to her? I don't want to fictionalize, but I am going to have to make some speculative, educated guesses. I also think that some of the questions could be answered with more research, but I won't be doing any more in-depth research until the publisher has received the first batch of chapters.