"Welcome to England."
And... welcome back to my blog. I know it has been a while. I've been a careless mistress these last many months and I apologize. I'm ready to re-enter your lives, if you'll have me. And I come to you with some fun, and funny, and downright crazy stories from my own journeys right now. I also bring to you the voice of my daughter.... who is posting her part of the trip on her own blog, THE DAILY BRAT (name chosen by her!)
I thought it appropriate that she should blog as well, since the reason for this trip is to inspire and do research for my next book - a new take on Pride and Prejudice. I've added the brief synopsis to my WORLD OF MY BOOKS page of my website. As I've yet to come up with a suitable title, let's just call it - ANNA'S PRIDE for now.
Already we have been here for five days. Such full and busy ones, in fact, that neither Faith (my daughter) nor I have had a chance to kick off this blog-fest. And, if they are any indication of what's to come, I'm not sure how many posts we will make before all is done and we are on the return trip to the U.S. in mid-August. I'll try to tweet moments out every now and then (@dwilsted) or add your email to the RSS feed at the top/right of this page to get an automatic notice when I have posted something new.
For now I am thrilled to report that we are basically over our jet-lag now. The trip was incredibly easy... certainly not what I was expecting with a two huge bags, me and my ten year old, and a red-eye. My ever supportive husband, Jeff, met us on the other side (he had just completed a business trip to Europe) and is staying for a week to help me with this first part of the research.
None-the-less, I find when I am in research/inspiration mode I am mostly living in my own brain. No one but another writer could probably understand the thrill I felt when I walked through Leavesden Studios (where they filmed most of the Harry Potter movies - for its context re: my book, be sure to read the synopsis.) Suddenly, faced with the amazing artistry required for creating the sets and props, the hero in my story came to life in front of my eyes.
Should I write, should I look around, should I take photos. I was overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of inspiration in front of me. In fact, I did all three.... and then I talked with people, interviewed a prop craftsman who worked on HP (Adrian Getley), and recorded my thoughts on everything for processing at some future point when I return back to the very un-magical world of my own home.
How could I blog any of this, I wondered? Well, I'm still getting my head around it, but here's what I have figured out so far; the more I experience, the more my character will experience. So, for example, last night we landed in a rather dodgy (like my British there;>) Inn. My daughter, whom I have apparently spoilt to the point where she was in tears by this, couldn't imagine staying. We lasted a night, which was fine.... and over a brilliant dinner at a local pub called, the George (p.s. thanks Spencer for turning things around for us), the linkages to the storyline began to flow through my brain faster than the lovely local beer I was drinking....
Anna and her daughter, Tiffany, would end up at that hotel as well. They would get in a huge fight. Tiffany (much older than my ten year old daughter) would storm off, and Anna, done with her tirades, would let her. Later she would get worried and track her to the pub where she would find Tiffany sitting with the hero, Malcolm. The argument forgotten, Tiffany would enthusiastically tell her mother all about Malcolm's invitation to stay with him nearby.....
I am often asked how I write and I can give no clearer description than this example above. It comes to me by living it and molding the experiences I have, like a sculptor does with clay, into something new.
It's been too long since I have gotten my hands dirty like this and I am loving every moment of it. Won't you come join me on my own journey inspired by my love of writing? I'll write again as soon as I can.....
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