Hi, there, Dear Reader. It’s morning here in New Hometown, Florida on Monday, October 26, 2020, and with sunrise still 42 minutes away, it’s still dark outside. The current temperature is 72˚F (22˚C) under mostly clear conditions. With humidity at 97% and the wind blowing – barely – at 2 MPH (3 KM/H) the feels-like temperature is also 72˚F (22˚C). The forecast for the day calls for mostly sunny skies and a high of 88˚F (31˚C); rain is expected in the evening.
Last night I went to bed relatively early; I ate dinner in the kitchenette and then made my way into my room. I was tired and didn’t feel like socializing, so I closed my door and settled down on the couch to watch Revolution, the eighth part of the 2003 British documentary The First World War. I’d seen it before, but it’s an interesting episode, and it reminded me that many of the world’s current socio-political issues – especially the never-ending fight between the “right” and “left” in the West – have their roots in World War I and Wilhelmine Germany’s meddling in the Russian Revolution(s) of 1917.
I stayed awake till the episode ended, but after I turned off the TV, I fell asleep. It was as if someone had aimed a remote control and hit a Sleep button. I don’t know if the family dog slept on the futon with me, but I did find her asleep on the floor next to it when I woke up at 4:45 AM to answer the call of nature.
I plan – among other things – to go out for a walk this morning before the sun is out in full force and the temperature gets too hot. Getting out of the house, even if it is just for 20 minutes, is doing me some good. I won’t go until I’ve had some coffee and a little bit of food, plus I need to change into street clothes, but I definitely need to get away from here. I might even take a book with me and read for a while. We’ll see what develops, as they used to say in the tagline of old Polaroid camera commercials on TV.
After that, Dear Reader, I’m not sure. NaNoWriMo begins on November 1, and I need to officially announce my novel this week at the latest. I have a title – The Tonic of Their Victory – and a vague idea that one of the central characters will be a young war correspondent…and that’s it. I’m still hazy about the exact setting, thought as of this moment I’m leaning toward the Normandy campaign of June-August 1944.
I don’t think I’ll attempt a sprawling epic that begins on June 6 (D-Day) and ends on August 25, 1944 (the liberation of Paris). I’m a rookie (a “noob,” if you prefer) at this novelist gig, so tackling the 77-day campaign is definitely not in my game plan. And a novel that focuses only on June 6 would probably come across as a pale – and predictable – attempt to channel The Longest Day and Saving Private Ryan. So, somewhere in July, maybe, around the time of the Battle of St. Lo and the beginning of the breakout from the beachhead?
Again, as I said about my morning walk, we’ll have to see what the day will bring.
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