Friday, September 16, 2011
Chatting About the Weather, and What the Prize Was
We are back from the Gulf Coast. Here's a picture I took when we were there of a bird standing in waters roiled by Hurricane Lee. I think it was a great blue heron; I think it was expecting fish.
I promised to tell you what the prize was that I won. It was the annual fiction award given out by the New Jersey Studies Academic Alliance, and they gave it to The Edge of Ruin for its depiction of New Jersey history and its highlighting of Fort Lee as the center of early movies. I couldn't be more pleased. I really did a tremendous amount of research for that book, something like ten hours of research for every hour of writing, although I lost my bibliography and looking back it feels as though I made most of it up. Well, come on. It is fiction, after all. Now I'm going to have to be on a panel with a bunch of real historians, the winners of the various non-fiction awards given out by the NJSAA, and try to look halfway knowledgeable.
Hurricane Lee, having organized itself almost before our eyes as we deplaned in Gulfport, bashed on Louisiana for awhile and then scuttled northward to flood Lambertville and New Hope for the second time in two weeks. We arrived home shortly after the last rains. The locals are mighty annoyed, some of them looking around for somewhere to fix the blame. I would say George W. Bush was responsible, for failing to sign the Kyoto accords, if I didn't think it was already too late to do anything by the time he got in office. Others will no doubt find a way to blame Obama. Or the water company. Whoever.
But even though the world is warming, and strange species of tropical mosquitoes have been sighted in town – we didn't see any in Mississippi, due to the summer-long drought – tonight the temperature in Lambertville is plummeting. Last time I went out on the porch it was 59. (That's Fahrenheit, for you Canadian and European readers, almost chilly.) I like this weather. It wakes me up. It wakes up the characters in my work-in-progress. When I returned to the computer to get going on my suspense novel I found my heroine falling in love, exchanging witty badinage with the object of her affections. It was energizing.
Stay dry. Keep warm. Better times are coming.