Rosewood

Here we are: The moment I’ve been waiting for. And dreading.

I’ve reached the third of up to five new sections in Brown River Blues.

I wrote a six-page outline months ago, and I’ve been letting it marinate. It tackles a big issue that isn’t exactly pertinent to the plot but is.

I’ve been holding back on it because it’s one of those things that I don’t want defining people’s opinions of the book before they even read it. Although, if it ever gets successful, I can guarantee there being some quasi-pompous Slate think piece on it.

The other thing is the timing.

As I’ve mentioned before, I’m bringing my computer and notes with me on my vacation because I plan on having at least one marathon writing session while I’m in Nevada. There’s just something about letting the words flow when the world is relatively still and dark. I think it has something to do with unwinding in general and my brain gearing up for dreams. (Speaking of dreams, mine often are incredibly detailed and have continuity. I’ve been able to pick up where I left off in some instances of being awakened.)

I’ve gotten some exposition out of the way that does some world-building as Lorenzo drives home. The city has a long, quirky history that only gets mentioned in passing a few times. I’ve had to remind myself that I’m the only person who knows so much detail about Imperial City over 20 years, I know where the Wendy’s closest to Lorenzo’s apartment is and what streets he has to take to get there.

I also know a lot about Lorenzo’s ancestral home, Rosewood.

I first drew it on graph paper when I was in high school. I have a passing fancy for architecture, so I often drew building façades or floor plans on graph paper. I did a broad overview of the front and then a ridiculously detailed drawing of the area of the front door. In that one, I considered every square to equal 9 square inches, because I measured a brick and discovered, with mortar, they’re roughly nine inches long and three inches high. Eventually, I stopped drawing every brick.

Eventually, I lost the drawings — and the floor plan — in a move.

But, after 20 years, I know the inside like I know the inside of my mom’s house.

I didn’t know at the time that I effectively drew a front that strongly resembles Richmond’s Wilton. I won’t bore you with the bedrooms and layout or how a creek begins in the backyard and cascades into a tributary of the South Fork Holston River.

Lorenzo’s family is rich. He’s been wealthy ever since I created him. He’s only a journalist because he wants to be and he’s appalled at how little the industry pays. I actually met an independently wealthy journalist before. He was pretty damn good at his job. It’s easy to give 110 percent when you’re not doing it for the money and don’t have to go home to a can of great northern beans. (There seriously was a point when I was starting out that I essentially was starving.)

But anyway, it’s my dream home, and that’s why I had to not only give it what might be its only debut on the printed page but also address why Lorenzo was avoiding it.

I hope the section does it, and Lorenzo’s family, justice.

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