Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Some sort of winding up

It almost feel like I'm sort of finished.  I have my scheme complete.  I need more polishing, more editing, more debugging, as the tech guys would say.

Here's the progress of Prussia towards the German Reich:

I feel like these guys:
Taking a break but with so much more to do:

Tuesday, October 29, 2013


Matching up events of 1870 with the future. World War I looks interesting.  The fall of Four Empires.  Only Germany came out intact.  Well, Russia, too, I suppose.  I need to make sure a good sharp line exists connecting events of 1870 with Twentieth Century disasters.  Plenty of those.

Bismarck - Flag                                              Bismarck and Napoleon III

Thursday, October 24, 2013


Cited a few bits from Eric Hoffer's books "The Ordeal of Change" and "The True Believer" today to get me started on more analysis of the effect of the Commune on social movements. 

Then I found a post by David Warren that got me going on the implications of socialism, nationalism and democracy.  It seems that everywhere I look these days I see references to the Commune, or to something that could have been affected by the Commune, or Napoleon III or Pio Nono or Garibaldi or Bismarck.  I know, that could be happening because I am, quite unknowingly, looking for that sort of reference.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Into the Summary

Now is the summary of our discontent.  Turned into glorious winter by the breezy sun of October.

Plowing the fields of wordy chapters organizing the materials without which one cannot possibly understand the jubilee year of 1870.

Part summary, part flats

Doing 2500 on one project and 500 (ok, a thousand) on another keeps life interesting.  Now when the imagination flags on one project, I can just switch!

I'm starting to get a point of view together, especially on the Commune.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Summary rolling along

Got into art, religion, literature, music and other forms of culture today.  All in search of echoing repercussions from the annus mirabilis!

European Apartments

Starting a pamphlet or e-book on how to save money in Europe by renting an Apartment instead of living in a hotel room.  A limited audience, to be sure, increased by all those dreamers who may not be ready to make the big trip for some years.  They want to be informed and enthused.  Ah, window-shopping!  One of the great pleasures of life!

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Deep into the not-so-summery Summary

Explaining why 1870 was so important is more difficult, but far more interesting to me, than telling what happened.  I have to roll things forward and see what traces still remain of that fateful year.

And I have to try not to stretch things too far, to hypothesize, to assume.  The evidence is everywhere, if you look for it.  And maybe from this analysis we can pick up some clues as to how to avoid another century like the Twentieth.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Finished with Roger and Saville

Finally put all the raw material in place for the Commune segment.  Got Roger and Saville married up and out of the city.

Started on the summary section.  Hmm.  This could be more difficult than I thought.  I'm pretty set on it being 100 pages (~50,000 words)  At 3000 words a day, though, that won't take long.

Themes:  Nationalism, technological change, colonization, international relations, and cultural changes.  How 1870 sprang from and affected the past and the future is the overarching analysis.  Was it really a turning point?  How so?  Evidence?  Argument?  Judgment.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Trying still to end the story

Not always easy to wrap up a story.  Now Jeanette has to go and die.  Gee whillikers!  Maybe that's the only way to end this thing, to kill off all the characters!

Did 4K yesterday, between work and school.  Busy at work, too, with Selph-ian razzmatazz.  Only attorney available.  Wish I had a secretary to keep track of my assignments so I could do more thinking.  That's what's really valuable and takes a lot of time.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Writing more and enjoying it more

So I rolled right along today, getting "A little gleam of light" back to its origins.  Which means wrapping it up, I guess.  I need a little imagination injection.  But I always rely on my characters for that.  I have every confidence in the originality and creativity of Jeanette and the Marquis, Roger and Saville, old M. Devereaux.  Too bad Jean and Madame l'Enfer had to die.  I wasn't exactly expecting that, but it seemed to flow from events.  I guess I should post up a "spoiler alert".  But that wouldn't be any fun.  So I won't

Monday, October 14, 2013

Writing in a car

Wrote my 3000 words today in a bouncing, swerving car on route 10 out to Okaloosa County.  Somewhat upsetting, but it worked.  Vertigo threatens.  But the Commune is really coming crashing down in my fictional setting.  The lady in red is a horrific production.  Where did she come from?

Saturday, October 12, 2013

The Marquis makes an appearance

Got Robert into the idea of abandoning the Commune.  Got into the street plan of Paris, following my characters around.  Sometimes it just flows.

It's challenging to describe the mood of the Commune as it changes.  Sometimes I feel like Proust. 

Friday, October 11, 2013

Back to Robert (Roger) du Vin

Dashed off an easy 3000 words following Robert and Jean through the streets of Paris.  The Commune's about had it.  My long-term dream is coming true, though.  A connected narrative setting out themes of the Commune.  The difference between straight history and historical fiction is like that between poetry and music.  History rhymes, has rhythm.  But historical fiction sings in tune!  Writing resembles composing a symphony (how would I know!  I merely imagine).

Thursday, October 10, 2013

I get indignant

I wrappedup the Commune today.  Reading over the mareials, I just got madder and madder about the Commune and the destruction and bloodshed it brought to Paris.  So I wrote and wrote to get out the analysis that was beating in my head.  I think this will form the basis of my critique of radicalism in general.  It is, of course, a radical critique, since the idiot leftists have apotheosized the Commune for 150+ years.  Not I.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

The Commune gets serious

Drawing a true but not too dramatic picture of the Commune takes some skill.  The whole bizarre and tragic episode was inherently dramatic.

It was a car wreck in slow motion.  The three part dace of te Government, the Commune and the Germans was and is fascinating.  I wonder if tere will ever be anything ike it again?

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Napoleon 3 and the newspapers and the radicals

The more I read, the more I understand that Napoleon 3 was obsessed with Bismarck.  And with his own uncle, which is understandable.

Lots of info today and speculation just flowed.  By 1869, though, France was a fermenting vat of different kinds of politics.  I do try to put myself in Napoleon's head.  Tomorrow or Thursday I should be getting to Sedan.  I need to read over my other materials.  I might have already done this.  But hey, there would be a first - the same material covered from a different point of view, with the same narrator!

Monday, October 7, 2013

Dreams of Grandeur in French America

Typing in the last of the notebook on Napoleon III's thoughts on his life.  Just got up to Mexico today, then it stopped, at, I believe 59 hand-written pages.  He did spark off some odd thoughts, though, about how deeply France had been involved in the New World since Cartier and La Verendrye.  The Louisiana Purchase is probably still regretted by some Frenchmen.  Who knows where that would have led?  Combine it with the Mexican Empire under French control and you've really got something.  Almost justifies the Monroe Doctrine.  I'll have to look in Google Books to resurrect my sources 

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Much more Napoleon

A lot more than I thought of Napoleon to transcribe.  Probaby another couple of days.  Lots of good quotes.  Napoleon had a lot of ideas, not all of them good.  Mexico, for example.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

More direct Napoleon

Transcribing this old material, written in the first person by my concept of Napoleon III, shows how my understanding of the history has not changed much.  But some of the notes I found I have no idea where they came from.  But I'll track them down.  I haven't been working on this book for six years or more to worry about a few references whose acronyms I don't remember.

Wondering about CreateSpace for publishing.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Transcribing Napoleon

Transferring Napoleon from pen and paper to electrons is a step forward,and not as burdensome as writing from scratch.  Ideas are still relevant, even fom several years ago.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

First blood in the Commune

The Commune launched itself in massive confusion.  I tried to pick up all the good stuff from each of my sources.  And maybe add some cool insights.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Book to book

A new insight bubbles up from in between the stories told of the same events by three books, one in French.  Heck, they  quote from each other, why should I not quote them?  

The trick I am beginning to get is to see everything that happens the way that each character sees it.  And not to worry about who's right.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Starting the Commune

I didn't start the Commune!  Hey, that's Billy Joel, right?! (fake interrabang)  Ah, Billy Joel, the worst piano player who never should have started to sing.  And there's some competition there, believe me!

I think I'm getting the idea of this blitz writing, though.  Shifting from one source to another in between phone calls, pretty good.  Fact-based, entirely.

Bismarck is the guy who always pokes his head up wherever in 1870 I go.  Maybe my next book needs to be about him.  Or BY him!  There's the ticket!

History does get in the way of building a narrative, though.  It always horns in with, "No, that's not the way it really was!"  At least when you're writing about the future it never kicks over the traces to say, "That could never happen in a million years!"  And if the future did stick its busybody nose in like that, you could always change things to start out, "A miilion and one years from now ... "   Am I right?   !