I remember somewhere, sometime, someone referred to having something “marinate” in your head. I love that description! One, because it describes that thought process so accurately, and two because it sounds so yummy. =) Lately I have been marinating a story in my mind, turning it over and over and adding and adding…

It is much more fun to research when your book is a fantasy, not a history, so you know that it is not necessary to have every detail historically correct. Instead of the rules that constrain you, you are simply scanning for things that spark your imagination, that can be twisted with creativity into your own invention to amaze your reader. (I’m not saying all research for a historical novel is bad, though, oftentimes that is inspiring as well!) My love of the nonfiction section of the library is rapidly growing – epecially as I can sit on the floor looking through books, maps, and charts, since almost no one walks through that section looking for a book!

Sir Walter Scott

So here are some discoveries from my research:

1. Sir Walter Scott is always frowning in his pictures. Okay, maybe all people frowned for their portraits back then, but I especially noticed his. Yet the more I look at his frown, the more it looks like a slight, suppressed smile… odd, eh?

By the way, it’s a lot more fun than you think to scroll through the portraits from several centuries ago. Try out this collection for instance – the men’s hairstyles make me laugh! And some of them are just plain ugly, like Scrooge. Some look like the main character’s best friend in a movie, who then turn out to be an awful bad guy. Let your imagination soar as you scroll through these pictures!

A Tumbrel, or Farm Cart

A Tumbrel

2. Tumbrel: [tuhm-bruhl] –noun

1. one of the carts used during the French Revolution to convey victims to the guillotine.
2. a farmer’s cart, esp. one for hauling manure, that can be tilted to discharge its load.
3. Obsolete. a two-wheeled covered cart accompanying artillery for carrying tools, ammunition, etc.

That’s all so far. I’m becoming more and more frustrated with picture searches, as they rarely show the image in my mind. Why isn’t there a button on our head to push – and a picture of what we were imagining rolls out? That would make many things much simpler. For now I must simply rely on the pictures in my mind and hope I can accurately put them down on paper.

The nameless one

I am also stuck with names. One man that I picture with a wide girth, a red nose, smiling face, grey hair, and a floppy old cap, simply refuses to be named! I suppose I will have to discover what he’s called as I go along.

Well, that’s all for now folks! Thank you for pausing to listen to the ramblings of my mind. And stop and consider – where does your inspiration come from?