The last week has been a street fight among time-suckers. You know, those little projects that, in your head, should take fifteen minutes and morph into hour long trudges and clock-eaters. No problem; take a few minutes and research the proper names and ranks of various SS officers. Then you find out there were many changes over the fifteen years of its inglorious reign, and I’m only concerned with April, 1945, insignia, uniforms, and medals. And those Germans did like long titles, for instance: SS-Obersturmbannfuhrer Otto Skorzeny – now there was a Nazi’s Nazi. Then there is the vehicle issue of whether the term is Volkswagen or Kubelwagen - must be precise (and did you know that Ferdinand Porsche designed it?). And did you know that the workhorse truck of the German army was the Opel Blitz, built in the late 1930s it was registered as a civil vehicle to disguise its use as a military truck? Oh those Germans were tricky. As a civil vehicle I wonder what colors it came in; dark green is, well, so army. They could trick anyone, except maybe, Neville Chamberlain.
I’m at 25,000 words and working hard, 1,500 words a day is all I ask, the 3,000 word day is always a wonder.
Story venue is changing this week to the City of Light. An interesting bit of research help to those looking for venue development and story locations. I realize that it’s been around a few years but it’s getting better and broader with its locations; it’s Google Earth and the Street View application. I wanted an image of an apartment in Paris to use as the location for the next chapter (the idea of an onsite visit was nixed, albeit reluctantly by the president of our publishing company – something about budgets, “but it’s going to be a block-buster,” I said. “No loans against residuals,” is all I got in return), so after perusing great restaurants we know near the Boulevard Saint-Germain, I picked a likely street, clicked on Street View and strolled down the rues of Paris’s Left Bank until, voila, there she was. Perfect. Good garage entry, three floors (high enough to die from a fall from the roof), flower peddler on the corner, well known Hemingway haunt up the street, and a totally uninteresting façade, again perfect. A quick screen shot, a few notes and all pasted in the notebook. As I said clock-eaters.
I am well ahead of my Toulouse 4 Death schedule, so before marching into Paris, I’m going to attack a few other ongoing projects, like the next edit of my literary piece Elk River (see previous blogs below). I need to increase tension, reduce repetition, blend/merge similar characters, and maybe, focus of the era’s paranoia as the dark haze of the story’s edge. Can a nuclear bomb spoil cherry picking?
More later . . . .