The rain has stopped and the sun is finally out. Though the temperature is a bit on the cool side, I’ll take it! We’ve had three days of rain and gloom and many of us were living under the threat of Hurricane Joaquin’s wrath. It looks like the south will take the brunt of the storm, but I couldn’t help recalling Superstorm Sandy and my five days without electricity, heat, and Halloween. Trick-or-treating was cancelled in my area that year, and the kids were told they could go door-to-door the following week to get their goodies. Everyone complied – the kids, the parents, and the households handing out the candy. As with most things, it all worked out.
To keep myself occupied over the weekend, I’ve been researching for a chapter in Recurring where the protagonist has to check out something in Camden, New Jersey. I needed a frightening setting and situation for a scene and boy, did I ever get one.
It’s been years since I’ve been there, not even passing by the city on my way to somewhere else, and rather than hop in the car and drive south, I used the internet to get a feel for the notorious streets. To say I’ve never seen anything like it is an understatement. The main character in Recurring, Elaine Masters, works in the family business – Endicott Pharmaceuticals (a family-owned drug developer and manufacturer). She tracks down a problem involving a nursing home and one of her company’s products, and finds herself in the middle of – nothing – which was exactly what was needed in the storyline. The photos helped to give me a perfect visual perspective for the setting. Unfortunately, they also gave me nightmares. I have a pretty good imagination, but I could never conceive living under the conditions some people do in parts of that city. Danger, hopelessness, Beirut in 1983 – you name it and those were the impressions I came away with after viewing the photos. If anyone is interested, click on Camden Streets and scroll down. You can see buildings that once stood tall and proud. It was a noble city in the past, and with hard work, some luck, and a little intervention from above, it will be noble again.
The first drafts for both Recurring and Food for Thought will be finished by the end of the month. Then the real work begins! Revising and editing takes a lot more concentration than writing a draft, but making sure everything is right, everything clicks, and it all reads well, is a job in itself. Hopefully this will all go smoothly.
Have a great night and an amazing week everyone!