Being a writer is hard work. When I began to write a book several years ago, I thought the hardest part would be the typing. It wasn't until I took classes it became clear how little I knew. It isn't just plundering the page with words. It isn't just following the rules of language. It isn't just the ability to use a thesaurus. It is a craft one works to master.
There are those who can slough down a slew of scuttlebutt in seconds and have very little revision. And then there is me. It may take me four hours to heave some hearsay onto the herald and then another four hours to come up with a page of prose worth keeping.
It is so fun.
For two years I wrote a little and researched a lot. Friends and family can attest to my excitement and exhilaration during that time. Conversations began with "Did you know..." and my friends eyes would glass over.
Today I conducted more research. My critique friend, Peggy, and I had a private lesson with David Cogley in Camas. He kindly brought a French cavalry sabre and a weapon similar to a small sword which would have been used by the officers aboard a Royal Navy ship. We started out with a foil and graduated up to a fencing sabre. We lunged, we parried, we engaged, we disengaged, we thrust and parried and followed with a riposte. We advanced, we recovered. And most thrilling of all, we ran him through. And then we apologized.
It is hard to thrust a blade into someone, especially when he has velvety brown eyes and an equally silky voice. The mask helps though. One can imagine it is someone who left their blinker flashing for three miles, going 30 in a 55 and talking on their cell phone. (Not that I ever entertained the idea of jumping out of my car, hauling the culprit out of his and engaging in a duel, or anything.)