The finishing straight, I hope

Not quite across the finishing line with my NaNoWriMo novel yet but I have written over 46,000 words so the end is in sight!  Or it will be, if I can only manage to squeeze another 4,000 words out of this plot. I accidentally wrote a ‘tying up loose ends’ scene today, but I’ve already identified some areas for later expansion, notably the place where I’ve written something like ‘this is too traumatic to go into here so I’m leaving it for later’. Unfortunately recent political developments have left me reluctant to write about anything really bad, which is probably a disadvantage when the story is set in Berlin in the 1950s.

The books shown here are just a few of the sources I’ve used for background information. Then of course there are Google maps and other online places…berlin-research

Maps have turned out to be the most vital resources for this novel, or at least they vie for top spot with my Dvorak, Beethoven and Dylan playlists. I’ve noticed before when writing things set at any time in the past that it’s all very well knowing the broad outlines of historical events, but what you really need to know is the train route from Paris to Berlin, or how much currency you were allowed to take out of the country in 1954, or (as I realised only this morning) what the interior of a jeep looked like.

Of course writing isn’t the only thing I do in November, although I must admit it takes up more time than anything else except sleep. Or trying to sleep despite one cat almost always deciding to lie on my bad leg during the night and the other cat getting restless at 3 a.m. and walking over my head with a plaintive miaow before settling either  across my shoulders or right on the edge of the bed next to me, so that he falls off whenever I move, giving him the excuse to jump up again immediately with more plaintive miaowing.

During this past week I have at last been allocated a probable date for my hip operation, and not a minute too soon as my left knee has now joined my right hip in complaining whenever I move in the wrong way, or at all. Hibernation is now looking like the only sensible option. I’m building up a stack of new books on my Kindle in readiness for it.


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