While I’m still waiting on the edits of my third book to come in, I’ve started working on my fourth book again. I polished off the second chapter and was quite pleased with myself until I started the third chapter. It only took me two sentences to realize that I had a lot more research that I needed to complete. Chapter 3 introduces my law enforcement character, a man who migrated to the plains of Illinois in the early part of the 1870s. The minute I started to describe him I discovered that I had no knowledge of how men or women dressed in this time, especially the farmers on the plains. What kind of pants, shirts undergarments, shoes, hats, and from what materials were all of them made? What types of weapons were available, how fast does a horse travel at a walk, and what types of dangerous wild animals were in the area at this time. Those questions just skimmed the surface of what I would need to know and they led to many more. I spent the most part of two days searching the internet for answers. I found some but others will have to wait till I return to the US in October and am able to access the historical society in the area. This book may take significantly longer to write than I originally planned,
This past week we celebrated Peru’s Armed Forces’ Day and Independence Day. The occasion is marked with parades, political speeches, travel to visit family, and parties galore. Unlike the US, fireworks are not usually involved in the celebration. Those are reserved for Christmas and New Years. One of the benefits of these two holidays, the infamously horrible traffic in Lima dwindles down to almost nothing, and traveling about the city on these days in a rare pleasure.
I read a friend’s new book over the past couple of weeks, “Reckless Traveler,” by Walter Rhein. Walter was one of the first people I met after moving to Peru, we became instant friends, and he helped me get my first writing job here in Peru. His book is about the ten years he lived in this country and his experiences both good and bad. It’s filled with humor, a little danger, and rare moments of sadness. He does a splendid job of describing the Lima of old and a Peru, which for now is rapidly changing from the one he describes. I give it 4.5 Llamas on my scale with a recommendation to read it if you are planning a trip here or if you just enjoy reading another person’s perspective on life in a foreign country.
It was a great week for seeing friends. First, Larry and I were joined at our usual coffee and chat by Dan Keating. He’s chemistry teacher from Springfield, Illinois. He makes the second person I’ve met here in Peru from Illinois. Then later in the evening, I joined Mona and Kelly for cocktails on the patio again. It had been three weeks since we talked and we had a lot to catch up on. The big event was an Independence Day Party on the 28th at Bob and Silvia’s home. Some of the attendees were: Azaad, Natalie and their daughter Nadia; Jamie and Ada; Carlos and Mariella; Manuel and Julianna; Mahlon; Lunia; Alan and Patricia; Dario; Steve; Paul; and a whole host of others whose names I can’t remember. We (or I should say they) danced, sang, enjoyed a bounteous and delicious buffet of food, and probably drank far too much wine and other spirits. The party went from 1:30 in the afternoon till midnight. Everyone had a fantastic time. Bob and Silvia are incredibly warm and welcoming hosts and two of the sweetest people I know.
Well, that’s it for this entry. I hope you all have been exercising body and mind. I know I say it in every post but you really will never regret it. Stay healthy, stay strong, get up, get out and enjoy life. It’s far too short to waste it.