A few things I am thinking about lately:

    In the early 1900s, L. Frank Baum was releasing one Oz book every year. (So was Beatrix Potter.) I wonder if that was a bit like the Harry Potter books today? Did tiny 1907 children dress up like Dorothy and stand in line at their bookstore for the latest Oz book?

    I need a costume book. I write historical fiction, and when it comes to imagining a character’s physicality, it helps to have a sense of how they dressed. I need a book that goes into underwear and day wear and evening clothes for both rich and poor. Unfortunately, all the costume books I have found are very expensive, but it is something I should buy some day.

    Flashbacks in fiction are tricky to achieve without creating a third-person narrator voice: “The story of Bob and Ginny went like this,” for example. Keeping a flashback in the character’s head brings up a questions about how we remember things. How do you balance the emotions of a memory with the information necessary to let the reader know what is going on?

    Why are there so few books on subjects I want to know about? Corporate robber barons circa 1901! Daily life for women in San Francisco during the Civil War! Different poem structures and how exactly they are achieved by poets! Where are these books?

    I want to carry on a old-fashioned letter correspondence with someone, preferably another writer who will write to me long philosophical diatribes on pretty stationery. Kind of like Betty Hester to Flannery O’Connor, only I would rather we both be Flannery O’Connor in this scenario.

    Oooh juicy: How bad was JM Barrie?

1 Comment

  1. Justin

    I read some of the original Oz books when I was a kid (original as in the ones my parents had when they were kids), and I loved them.

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