Week 7 Task: Geography

11 Nov

Another time and place, from a local production of "Hello Dolly" earlier this year at http://www.ocfta.com

This week I learned of a significant discovery concerning the life of one of the principal characters in my ongoing historical fiction novel struggle. On the one hand, I was excited by the revelation of tangible evidence related to the circumstances of this person’s birth, life and death. On the other hand, I fell into an instant and deep depression that the fictional work I had done based on previously held assertions about this historical person were now out-of-date. Despite this setback, I know I must persist in following this trail somehow, although just how I don’t yet know.

Meanwhile, this week’s task about what other culture and age appeals to me seemed fitting. Inexplicably, since the seeds for this story have been embedded into my brain, it’s as if a part of me is remembering who I am. Call me crazy, but I honestly feel that I am connected to the historical persons in my story through some other-worldly connection. It’s at the heart of my discovered inner sense of adventure. So how would you answer these questions?

  1. What culture other than your own speaks to you? The Old English world fascinates to no end.
  2. What age other than the one we’re in resonates with your sensibilities? Late 17th/early 18th centuries, when our “modern world” was being formed. To me, it’s like trying to understand your mother’s life before you were born. From the formalization of surnames to origins of insurance and advertising to the birth of the novel itself, I wish I could be a fly on a stone tavern wall for a while.
  3. What foreign cuisine feels like home to your palate? Indian–No wonder the early explorers wanted a faster trade route to get those yummy Goan spices!
  4. What exotic smells give you a sense of expansion and well-being? The smell of Chinese tea reminds me of some past or future adventure. Don’t ask me why. I wish I lived in a culture with tea time!
  5. What spiritual tradition intrigues you beyond your own? Buddist monks’ vows of silence. As much as I talk, I think it would be nice to not have to for a long period of time, allowing the inner dialogue to take over.
  6. What music from another culture plucks your heart strings? Classical music is not from another culture, but I love listening to pieces I know were heard by humble peeps like me hundreds of years ago.
  7. In another age what physical age do you see yourself being? This is a hard one because I’ve tried so hard to empathize with my beginning main characters, so I guess I see myself as a naive, desperate, widowed fifteen-year old two-time mother and a brilliant, hard-working but frustrated thirty-year old man.
  8. In another culture and time, what is your sex? See above.
  9. Do you enjoy period movies? Or movies, period? I have always LOVED period movies, starting with the annual former TV rite of passage known as “Gone with the Wind.” For some reason, another time and place seems infinitely more adventurous and meaningful than my own.
  10. If you were to write a film, what age and time, what place and predicament, would you choose to explore? Women now forgotten from the early modern period who helped shape the world as we know it and whose lives foreshadow and forebode the circumstances and challenges of and with the feminist movement.

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