Meanwhile, this has been a "writerly" time for me. First, shortly after our arrival two and a half weeks ago, I received word that a short story I had submitted was accepted. The title is "Going Home" and it was published on April 13th by a cool magazine called Page & Spine. If you are interested, you can read it HERE.
Second, I've been doing research for a character in my current WIP. In my book, one of the characters turned out to have been in Vaudeville in her earlier years. (I'm sure all you writers know how that happens. You suddenly learn something about a character you didn't know earlier. She let me know she had been in Vaudeville.)
The writing is fast-paced, humorous, and at times brutally honest about the racism and prejudice that permeated the industry. (Vaudeville was one of the few avenues open to minorities and immigrants, but the actors themselves played off their own stereotypes in the early days.) The author gives a comprehensive history. I hadn't realized the differences between music halls, saloon variety shows, or how gradually respectability was worked into shows that once were a step away from medicine shows, freak shows, etc. They had an unsavory past, too, thanks to after-hours entertainment before they gradually evolved into what became known as Vaudeville. Then Vaudeville became cut-throat business for managers, theater owners, agents, etc., until the movies came along. I'm only halfway through the book, but since one of my characters wants to be a movie star, I'm glad to see this book has information about the early days of the movies as well.
Third, while doing the research I need for this character, I've been writing poetry. A blog friend mentioned a poetry challenge for April ( National Poetry Month). (She writes Haiku and has a wonderful blog called Words and Such; she always has rewarding posts, which you can read HERE.
The challenge was actually a contest: You register to write 30 poems in 30 days around a theme of your choice. At the end of it, you have a chapbook. I started on April 1st, but I didn't register in time, so I missed the contest. Still, I gave myself the challenge anyway, because I felt I needed to be writing while I worked out what I was learning in my research in terms of the characters. I felt I couldn't afford not to be writing.
Well, "I did it!" I wrote 30 poems in 30 days. Today I wrote my 30th. I'm done! Whew! But it really was a nice way to start each day. I actually woke up many mornings thinking about the new poem for the day.
How about you? Do you like poetry? Do you like research? Do your characters surprise you with revelations about themselves? Have you ever written a chapbook? (If so, I'd sure like some information about how to put one together.)