One of the things I do is to make wild research forays around the topic or the historical figure that interests me. I end up with pages and pages of notes I’ll never use, but sometimes I stumble on something that gives me a hook or an angle. The world is full of great stories and unexpected connections. I try to keep my mind wide open at this point. It’s not a huge effort. I’m capable of prairie-sized open mindedness.
All the while this is going on the essence of the new book eludes me. Like that sliver of soap in the bath tub that you know is there but keeps slipping out of your grasp. But today I had the feeling I was closing in on it. I woke at 6am and found I was trying out voices. This is a good sign. By Monday I may have a perfectly polished proposal to offer my publisher. Or a horrible sinking this-will-never-do feeling that I’ve frittered a week. Had great fun though.