It’s bye week. No game. Time to rest up. Time to reflect. If I remember correctly, it’s still a few weeks until the beginning of deer season. If they’re smart, towns schedule their fall festivals during this off week. It’s Halloween, and it’s getting a little colder, and soon, Daylight Savings Time will end.
Last year, my team, the Alabama Crimson Tide, went 12-0 during the regular season, and was rated #1. The whole thing passed by in a blur. I didn’t even watch the games. It brought back too many memories of sharing that experience with my mother, who loved Alabama football. I am glad that so far this season, the Tide has been able to repeat the effort, and this year, I am watching and enjoying the games again, only a little sad sometimes. Mama would have loved this team, so tough on defense, with a good running back, like the Bear Bryant teams of years ago.
So I am a little nostalgic, maybe a little homesick. That makes me think of growing up, of my years at college, then the years I spent in Montgomery. Those memories lead me to think about my next project, a novel set in Montgomery during the decades leading up to the bus boycott.
But I am feeling that itch to begin writing the first draft. Have I done enough research yet? There are a couple of books still on my list to read, that I feel I really must have. But the urge is there, the need to put the first chapter on paper, to establish a clear tone, a base note that will stay in my ear and guide me through. I want to know what this new book will sound like. That is the dilemma, to contimue gathering facts around me like a huge pile of raked leaves, to toss them up in the air and see where thay land, or to cast off and begin fishing for that style and tone that will sustain me through the first draft.
Wow, did I just mix a bunch of metaphors, or what? That tells me that I really need to start writing, and soon.
The plan is to have the first draft completed by May, so that I can go to Montgomery and do some on the ground research, delve into archives, take photos, and just see with my own eyes the places I am writing about.
Read some more books, or begin to write?