March 31, 2009

It's All in the Details

Recipe for a great weekend:
1. Nora home for a visit.
2. No particular agenda.
3. A drive down the 101 to Tutti's Off Main in Ventura for a delicious brunch.
4. Maybe a trip to Target--since we're already in Ventura... (Even though Santa Barbarans, including me, complain about not having a Target in town, we must claim the most beautiful drive to reach a Target.)
5. Cooking together--especially Ina Garten's lemon roasted chicken with croutons.
6. Lots of talking and laughing, with a few lattes thrown in.
7. Morning walk on the bluffs.
8. No agenda.

Last week I read the book, Lost Childhood—By Annelex Hofstra Layson. Published by National Geographic Children's Books it's really an oral history of three years of the author's childhood spent in a Japanese prison camp. Even though the book is nonfiction, I was struck by the impact of the unique details she included. They lent the book authenticity and credibility, added tension and drew the reader more deeply into the story.

Since then I've been on a quest for my own essential details. I've been looking for the perfect descriptions and facts to anchor my story in it's proper time and place--popular music of the 1940's, phrases commonly used on conversation of that time, etc. Yesterday I unexpectedly happened on what I'd been searching for, but it wasn't where I expected to find it. I thought the process would be much for involved, but then on page 22 of the book Impounded my perfect details appeared. Very satisfying. It felt like a huge accomplishment even though all I had done to earn it was turn the page. I now have a few nugggets to incorporate in my story that will inspire the author and intrigue the reader.

1 comment:

Patty P said...

Oh, it's good to see you writing again. Plan to sign up for the UCLA class tomorrow...have a great week.