You know that part of a project when you’ve got about a billion different elements clanging about in your head demanding recognition and attention and to be top dog and you know all of them are probably important or essential but you can’t for the life of you sort out how to make anything other than goulash out of the whole mess–maybe a bit more paprika will help? Well, it’s rather like that.
A break-through occurred on a day-trip with my rather ingenious and maths-minded daughter a bit ago, when I put forward my difficulty with all the research (no, I am not going to tell you how many tomes or how many languages…) and asked if she could see her way to organising it all for me. She, being very whizzy at these sorts of problems, had three different solutions in about 30 seconds. All of which were excellent. (I hate that. It’s so breathtakingly easy and she makes it all seem so obvious…)
So we spent several days together with me downloading the contents of my brain and the many books and journals into her magic notebook, which she then turned into a frighteningly efficient thing for cross-referencing as well as a series of maps and other such intellectual delights…we still have several volumes to go.
But it was at this point, when she looked at the pages and pages of notes she’d made, the outsize cast of historical personages (I hadn’t even mentioned the fictional additions…) that she observed, “No wonder you’ve had problems. This is like a game of chess with twenty players!
“For heaven’s sake, you’ve got five separate armies on the move…”
And that pretty much sums it up. (Okay, yah, there are a great many generals and staff officers with Russian and Prussian surnames, I admit that…)
But since then, since then–and even with the delicious manifold diversions offered by the Christmas season–progress has not only seemed possible, but has got underway. Of course, no one is more astonished at this than self. But there it is.
A new opening chapter has presented itself which makes brilliant sense of all sorts of things and which just popped out of the too many notebooks of research notes and I find myself in the unusual position of being quite positive, hopeful and even feeling a bit of the old Bennetts wit returning to the page…
So that’s me. Yes, a trifle overwhelmed by the too much that I know, but with help gaining some sense of control over it all…and you know what that means, don’t you? That means a book will dribble itself out of my thoughts onto the page and into your hands eventually.
So thanks for all the support, cheer, and encouragement. It’s meant more than you’ll ever know…
Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!
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