sunny, breezy, temps minus 8
Feels a little colder today thanks to the wind - but still pleasant. What a mess in Britain - all that snow. And, on the other extreme, I've heard from some readers in Melbourne, Australia that it was 44 degrres celcius which is roughly a million degrees fahrenheit. You could roast a marshmallow in that temperature.
We're not in danger of that here.
Had a great time scheming some more. Michael and I did breakfast yesterday and plotted how the murder happened - why - the clues, the red herrings...the place of history. Then we came home and I made notes all afternoon on our conversation. I have a 'master' notebook, divided in to sections - Characters, Plot, Descriptions and atmosphere, Quotes and Poetry. And, uniquely for this book, History.
As the research progresses I keep notes. Crucial not to forget any details. This is proving both complex and huge fun! I need to sprinkle enough clues that you can figure it out...enough red herrings so it isn't clear which clues are important. Enough mis-direction to make it a fun read, but not so much that it becomes confusing. That's it really. I need it to be rich in purpose and character - complex in plot - but not confusing.
So I need to figure out what happened...now and in the past. And how if effects what people do today. And how Gamache unravels the clues. Or maybe this will be the one he doesn't solve. Maybe this will be the one no one solves. That rare beast in detective fiction - an unresolved case. Hmmm.
Spent a few peaceful minutes (about an hour) in the Literary and Historical society today, making notes. I had a couple of ideas and needed to check some research. Turns out my ideas won't work - but fortunately I found something that will work even better, and tie up another loose end. Such fun. And people are unbelievably helpful and accomodating.
I was slightly concerned before coming to Quebec City that the English community wouldn't take kindly to my ideas - or to my thoughts about Quebec history. My theories, really. But they've proven unbelievably flexible and helpful. Even suggesting each other as the murderers!
Such a beautiful library, the Lit and His. If and when you come to Quebec City I'd encourage you to visit. I'm presuming you're reading this because you, like me, love books. And probably love libraries. This is one not to be missed. Not because it's big - it isn't, quite the opposite. Not because it has a unique collection - it doesn't. But it is simply peaceful and old and light and feels both thoughtful and welcoming.
Writing this I got to thinking of the wonderful library on Mackinac Island we visited for an event this past summer. It too is tiny. But perfect. With views out into the great lake, and a huge stone fireplace. And books, too.
And I also think of the lovely old community library in Staatsburg I visited when STILL LIFE first came out and no one knew about it, or cared. Except Anne Jordan - the head of the library in Staatsburg.
I didn't realize until this moment that one of the biggest gifts my writing has given me is a chance to enter so many beautiful libraries. And meet people who work for pittance - often for nothing - because they love books.