What to Write?
It’s early. I’m wrapped up in the garden room, trying to decide what my next novel will be. It’s a decision not made lightly: characters, setting, and problem will be with follow me around, day and night, for a long time.
Of course I want to write about the history of Kings Highway in Brooklyn. But there’s a tiny bakery near there that draws me in, too. In back of that bakery are a few tables; a pair of turtles sun themselves on the edge of a small pool. I remember putting my head back to the sun and telling myself I’d write about that place someday. I have pages of notes, dozens of ideas with that tiny bakery at the heart of a story.
But ah, there’s still Pfaffenhofen in Alsace.
Jim and I stood there in the square, looking at the fairy tale magic of those aged buildings. It was morning and that bakery was open: people came out with sweet smelling bread.
And I think about Elise again, Elise who was there in Alsace during the Second World War with her daughter. I’ve blogged about her earlier. She told me snippets of stories while she showed me how to make a coffee ring. Her small deft fingers worked the dough quickly, lightly; the finished product was perfectly braided. I’ve always wanted to fill out the story using research…and imagination. But how can I write about the war in Alsace unless I know what they managed to eat, how they managed to survive with the little they had?