I am slowly but surely becoming an expert on the period from 1870 to 1880. I’m also reading up on the happenings between 1818 and 1825 in the Albion Illinois area. An incredible amount of the most amazing things happened in those years that were never covered in any of my history classes. Did you know there was a Great Depression in the USA and rest of the world between 1873 and 1893? I found out that large numbers of Henry Repeating Rifles were sold to the Plains Indians after the Civil War, Levi Strauss didn’t invent Levi Riveted Jeans a man named Jacob Davis did and shared the patent with Strauss, and the life of the people who settled the prairies of the Midwest was nothing like the show Little House on the Prairie. This presents an issue that I have to consider very carefully. How much of all this cool stuff I am learning should be included in the new book. I am going to have to strike a very careful balance between story and history. I like to try to keep physical and certain historical facts in my novels as accurate as possible. Too much though and the readers might consider it a boring history lesson. Not everyone is as fascinated by history as I am.
I got in a couple of great photo walks since my last post. Getting out with the camera gives me as much enjoyment as my writing does. I’ve heard that taking a lot of photos causes you to miss a lot and gloss over or even ignore some of the beauty surrounding you, to forget what you have seen. I disagree with this line of thought. If anything, it makes you more aware of your surroundings, more aware of small details, and more aware of composition and light. The statement may be true of the average vacation type photographer but I’d be willing to bet that any serious photographer would agree with me. I post my photos on Tumblr (I have 700 followers), Google+ (I have 1200 followers), and Facebook (I have 400 followers) while at the same time friending or following other photographers from around the world. There are some amazing artists out there. I learn from them and hope that my photographic skills are getting better with time.
The weird winter weather of Lima continues thanks to the growing strength of El Niño. I don’t know if the records show it, but this feels like the warmest winter since I’ve moved here. So far, the temperature hasn’t dropped below 60, even at night. I’m still wearing shorts and t-shirts out of the apartment with only an occasional concession to a light sweatshirt. I hope it continues.
I haven’t met up with many friends this past nine days. Naturally, I’ve met with Larry the past couple of weeks for our Friday coffee and chat. We covered our usual topics and Larry shared some things I needed to edit after he read my first draft. Bob and Silvia joined us the first Friday, it’s always fun meeting up with those two. Dan and Sarah joined us this Friday, we talked mostly about education in Peru. He is helping two young girls from a poor family get their college degrees. My friend Kathy has returned to Peru but we haven’t met up yet. I’m hoping to see her this weekend and get caught up on all her goings on. Everyone else is doing great. I rely on Facebook to impart that info.
That’s it for this week. Hope you all have been exercising body and mind. I started back at the gym this past Monday and have made it all five days. I back to the same level in my routines that I was at before I caught that cold. If I can do it, so can you. Have a great week everyone.