What I have to do, before, during and after for writing Dorothy’s Paris Adventure
Re-read The Sun Also Rises and A Moveable Feast and the early years of Hemingway bios. Why not, A Paris Wife? The wonderful Sara and Gerald Murphy biography, Everybody Was So Young, and then the book that was modeled after them, Fitzgerald’s, Tender is the Night. And there are the other books about Paris in the 20s like, The Crazy Years. If I have to, I’ll even read Gertrude Stein’s stuff—if I have to. Oh, and very important, talk to author Anatole Konstantin (A Red Boyhood, Amazon.com), and re-read his lecture series, The Rise and Fall of the Soviet Empire.
Write the chapter.
As I have collected many little books over the years, including tourist city guides to Paris printed in 1926, study map of 5th and 6th Arrondissement to see the relation and distances between landmarks my characters will walk.
Check astronomical websites for moon and star conjunctions during SS Roosevelt’s February crossing to France.
Email the wonderfully helpful Virtual Ocean Liner Facebook page for more info on SS Roosevelt. Email request from SSHSA (Steam Ship Historical Society of America) about particulars of ship.
Go to tai chi class
Email requests to NRHS (National Railroad Historical Society) for detailed info on Cherbourg boat train to Paris.
Email my writer friend, Michael Mayer (Time Trippers, check him out at Amazon.com), for more info through his sources on train schedules, hotel prices, exchange rates, etc. Thank you, Michael! And thanks for the Benchley articles for my book, too.
As on-line research can be limited, go to the library to research the captain of the SS Roosevelt, and hope to make certain connections, and wow! A discovery! While there, research poisons.
Research Paris fashion for 1926. Café life, economy, nightlife and sanitation, Paris sewer system.
Write the chapter.
Cross-check where real-life characters actually were, or could have been, on certain dates.
Find detailed info on the ritual methods of Absinthe drink preparation.
Spend a few hours looking through thousands of public domain photograph jpegs to include in my book, and try to trace to a source those which are ambiguously attributed.
Try to identify the face—“who the hell is that man sitting next to Hemingway?” second from right—by writing to people who might actually know! Now, I believe the caption on this photo was incorrect. I believe it is Harold Loeb sitting between Hemingway and his wife, Hadley. So then, WHO IS THE MAN SEATED FAR LEFT ? This is Maddening! Please comment below with your anwers or guesses. I need a facial recognition program, the kind the police use.
Go to tai chi class. I really need it!
I’m not finished yet, because research is ongoing. And the Paris sequence has to be reviewed by my friend Jeannette, who will deal with interpreting my English into colloquial French where needed. Thank God for her help!
On my end, before going off to my editor, Shelley, I must check usage to make sure no modern terms slip into the manuscript.
Write the chapter!
Go to tai chi class.
Until next time,