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Monday, May 07, 2007

When writing goes slowly

I know when my writing is going slowly, it is when I start finding excuses to do that extra bit of research. Today, my mind was all vexed by lights -- lamps and candles. Which would my characters use? How would they light them?like? And that sort of thing. On friday, I spent my middle's riding lesson reading about the Lost Houses of Northumberland. I earnt a lot but did not really advance my own story. Ho hum.

One of my favourite books for checking out details like lighting or refrigeration is Behind the Sceness --Domestic Arrangements in Historic Houses by Christina Hardyment. I know I have mentioned the book before but it is worth dipping back into. It has quite a good history of candles and when various things happened. For example, cheap candlelight came about in 1831 when the tax was removed, equally a new way of producing stearine from vegtables oils was discovered about then. It was not until 1857 that paraffin candles were marketed. Beeswax candles were only used for churches.

Anyway, I found the research interesting nd I also learnt about matches and when various types of matches were invented. But I did not make as much progress on my wip as I should have. Progress was also not helped by it being Bank Holiday over here and having the family around.

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