dorothystewartblog

about writing and life and God

Here be… crocodilians

on October 9, 2012

I tried. I really tried. I got up early and was at the keyboard before 9. But…

The thing is I think I’ve made a mistake with the novel/WIP. I think I’ve made Granny Leslie cave in far too soon. I think she should continue her dragonish behaviour a while longer and then we should have a proper showdown/battle of St George (Chrissie?) and the dragon.

I’m also not at all convinced by my set-piece wedding back in Wick. I reckon my young couple would get married while in Yarmouth and simply announce their fait accompli.

But I need to check that out. Was there a residence requirement? Would their stay in Yarmouth satisfy it? Or would my young man need to get a special licence, and could he afford it? (No wait, if he couldn’t, his Dad would help…). Yes, I can feel it moving forward but I do need to do that extra little bit of research and then go back and rewrite the relevant chapters so the book moves forward on an even keel.

I managed to do some great research in Wick. There’s an excellent library there which fed my literary needs from the age of 3, thanks to the Scottish/Canadian steel baron and philanthropist Andrew Carnegie who endowed libraries throughout Scotland. The library is situated exactly halfway between the North School (the primary school I went to) and my home of the time. That made it easy to stop in for fresh reading material.

But there was a dragon on the gate. Or more accurately a Gavial/Gharial. A crocodilian. Stuffed, but nonetheless exciting!

I had forgotten all about him when I settled in to the microfiche reader in the reference library last week. But when I rose after my first session and reached for my coat on the back of my chair…. there he was. Peeking out at me from the end of the table.

Gavialis Gangeticus, one of the longest of the crocodilians, the male grows up to 16 feet. Known as the long-nosed or fish-eating crocodile, he has a lump on the end of his nose which he uses to amplify ‘hisses’ which can be heard for around 1 kilometre away on a still day.

Granny Leslie eats fish. She has a long nose and I reckon I’m going to put a lump or a wart on it. And oh yes, she hisses and her hisses can be heard a long way away!

For writers, life is full of material to feed our imaginations and our books. Thanks, Wick library, for Mr Croc!

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2 responses to “Here be… crocodilians

  1. Upa/Irene says:

    Love what you’ve been writing. But can I say that Carnegie was Scottish born who lived in the US, not Canada? I live close to where his life revolved, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and this is Carnegie country…they even pronounce his name differently from the rest of the US, which drove me nuts when I first moved to the area 30 yrs ago from NYC.

    Your novel sounds fascinating. Best of luck resolving all the characters and their backgrounds. I always find that it’s the characters which make any novel a success and keep my interest going, so time well spent in figuring out grandmothers, mothers, etc.!

    • Hi. Thanks for that. I knew Carnegie was a Scot who went across the ocean to make his fortune in steel. Sorry I got the wrong part of the continent! The novel is having to take a back seat till the end of the year as I’m under contract to produce a second book of meditations, a sequel to my One Day at a Time. But the characters just won’t go away and I keep having to scribble notes when new things occur to me!

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