Good morning, Everyone! Pour yourself a cup of coffee. Let’s catch up.
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It is a glorious morning here on Hilton Head Island—a little brisk, but it is January. Brisk mornings are to be expected.
If we were having coffee, I would tell you that I am still on my sunrise on the ocean picture-taking mission and morning beach walk. Well, I am not that as consistent with the three-mile beach walk each morning, but it does take time to establish a healthy habit.
My sister-in-law left on Sunday. After a month of visiting and remote working, my daughter, Robyn, returned to her life in Oregon on Tuesday. It was so great to have her around, chatting, and laughing for this extended amount of time. Now, my dear friend and former college roommate, Renee, is visiting from Chicago for a few days. I pick up the grandkids most afternoons. They run amuck, eat some semblance of a dinner, and are simply fun to be with for a few hours. This alone is worth the expense and juggle in being here for two months. It may seem crazy to have people coming and going, but I do like the company and feel that sharing the adventure makes everything so much fun.
If we were having coffee together, I would report that my husband, Matt, rented a semi-recumbent bicycle to get around the neighborhood. We live so close to a walkable plaza of shops, restaurants, and beach bars. He can ride almost anywhere. Now we can explore the many bike paths in the area.
If we were having coffee together, I would say that I am getting tangled up in my writing process. The details of my story are distracting the flow. I had to go back to the research to find out the inner workings of lower east side neighborhood bakeries circa 1911. Was running water available? What material were bowls; were they heavy? Were large standing mixers commonplace, and if so, were they powered by electricity when most of the streets and tenements had only gas lamps? Did the schools have electricity? From my last excursion to the LES, I found out that the school I had my characters attend did not exist until 1920—too late. The school they probably could go to is almost a half-mile away. It is not impossible but changes details of daily life.
I know I should just finish the draft, fill in the gaps later. This is my first full-length work of fiction. Although it is aimed to a middle-grade audience, the information must be accurate, and the characters need to be believable. I know. I should just finish the draft, create a list of questions and quests, and go back to the Tenement Museum to find the answers.
In the meantime, my coffee needs to be freshened. It’s a beautiful day to get outside.
Have a good weekend and week, Everyone. Make it great.
Antoinette Truglio Martin is the author of Hug Everyone You Know: A Year of Community, Courage, and Cancer. The memoir is a wimpy patient’s journey through her first year of breast cancer treatment.