History trips me up again!

I'm a writer, working on a novel with two main characters: Addison a millennialist and Amalie from 1939. 

Scotland 1939

A while back in my blog (September 11, 2017) I had written about wanting to place Amalie in a sleepy village in Scotland's highlands and used a place I was familiar with in 2007-2008. I chose Oban.

Hey, calm down. I can hear you Scots people, who know your history, laughing!

Flying Boat Squadron

Yea, Oban? Not so quiet. The Flying Boat Squadron was located there. The SS Breda was bombed by the Nazi's on December 23, 1940. A storm blew up and spread debris from the Breda about and, a few nights later, as one of Scotland's own Sunderlands came in for a routine landing in the dark, it hit a horsebox. Only one of the eleven crew members survived that crash in the freezing weather.

I adapted my story. Moved Amalie to Connel Ferry. Still close by but not, perhaps used as much by billeted aircrew as Oban was. If you know aircrew were billeted in Connel Ferry, please, please let me know!  

My latest problem? On the day Amalie finds out war is declared, I have her hanging laundry on the pulley-system ceiling drying rack. What's the problem, you ask? 

Asking the right question

Hitler shelled Westerplatte on September 1. The U.K. and France gave Hitler an ultimatum. Get out by September 3 or else we are at war. Hitler didn't draw back so war was declared.

I researched to see how people found out about war, from the radio, word of mouth, or some other way? I came across this BBC site and its archived list from people who wrote in their memories of the war. This archived story made my brain fritz when I read how this boy heard the announcement of war. 

1939 calendar.gif

Do you notice what day September 3 falls on? Any other day of the week, my scene could have stayed but it's a Sunday. I'm pretty sure most Scots people in 1939, especially in smaller villages, attended church on Sundays, as had the young boy of the archived notes. 



On Tuesday, when I found out, I was aggravated.

On Wednesday, I drove to Mom's house to shovel her snow. 

On Thursday I created experimental word documents for three of my 1939 chapters, marked out the different scenes, and listed the events that needed to be swapped in elsewhere and went back to work on them. 

Ah...the life of a writer.

If you know any other questions I should ask or situations to be aware of in 1939 Connel Ferry, Scotland, let me know!


Some week

Last week, the pipe to my toilet leaked and my clothes dryer died. I'm a newish homeowner yet. Love it. But these repairs! 

And then, I bumped into a big barrier as I worked on the last chapters of my Work in Progress. I'm finishing with the historical piece. Amalie lives in Scotland during WWII and I thought I had placed her in a sleepy burgh. I'd researched to make sure the train went through the village at that time. I've seen it in the present-day and decided to google 1930 pictures to see what types of changes there have been. 

And there it was, the Royal Air Force Flying-Boat Squadron. Right in the village I chose for her beginning as early as summer 1938. 


Not a quiet sleepy village. Argh. 

I've had a whole week to think, to research other potential villages (holy cow, what a wonderful distraction!), or maybe invent a village. I've made a decision.

And...it's a far far better thing to have discovered this now rather than after I've submitted to agents or editors to become embarrassed afterwards! 

So I've more work to do and it's time to get at the revisions. 

But as we go about our week, there are many catastrophes happening in our world:

  • fires in north west U.S. and Canada,
  • hurricanes around the gulf and the Caribbean,
  • an earthquake in southern Mexico,
  • the flooding in India, Bangladesh, Nepal,
  • the slaughter of the Rohingya Muslim in Myanmar,
  • and the ongoing wars.

May we hold each of these places in our hearts and pray or offer thoughts of peace, wisdom, and the recognition that we are all on this planet Earth together. as we live through these days.