Saturday, March 21, 2009

Revision #3 and a New Idea

I'm five chapters into the third revision of Blue Velvet (henceforth to be known as Dancing with Velvet due to other uses of the first title with which my story is definitely not associated!). My goal for this time tomorrow night is ten chapters, which will be one-third of the way through. Eventually I can start on revision number four! It needs work, folks, but thanks to my online crit partner, it's getting there.

Also, I've been doing some research for the new novel idea---a western story set on a south Texas ranch in 1910. My grandmother taught in a one-room school on a ranch in the Texas Panhandle in 1911 before she married the following year. I wish I knew more about her experience. The afternoon she mentioned it, I didn't ask enough questions! I do know she went to school and took an examination for a certificate, which teachers could do in that day and time. I'm trying to track down any records of that if they still exist---which I doubt---but a very nice lady in the TEA Library in Austin promised to see what she could find for me.

While my grandmother was there, she boarded with a family--or perhaps multiple families--and my grandfather gave her a copper chafing dish. I suppose she cooked in her room on occasion. Today it is one of my most cherished possessions.

I asked my Daddy, shortly before he died, for the name of the ranch on which she taught. After some thought, he gave me the name. Like a dunce, I didn't write it down, and with all the busy-ness of that time, it went right out of my head--and remains out! I've researched all the existing ranches in that area during that era, but nothing rings a bell. There is a museum that is the repository of old ranch records which I hope to research someday.

Every good genealogist is buried with a yellow legal pad and two #2 pencils (sharpened) so that she can look up all her ancestors and ask all the questions to which she never found the answers.
Mine are packed and ready to go at a moment's notice!


nlindabrit said...

I am so excited to hear that the revision of Dancing with Velvet is going so well! I wish you success in your researches too.

K9friend said...

Geneology is certainly fascinating. It's wonderful to learn little tidbits on our ancestors, and in the process know more about the times they lived in.