Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Flags I have spotted

I don't know for sure all the countries that have turned up since we've passed 30 here on the blog. Last night there were 42 total.

I do remember Austria being the 42nd because the city was Vienna and we have friends in Vienna, and I wondered if they'd suddenly discovered the blog or if someone else in Wien had stumbled across it.

My first extended experience abroad was in Vienna in 1982. I took two of our kids (ages 12 and 3) and participated in a Friendship Force exchange with families in Vienna. It was one of the high points of my life. I remember getting up the first morning after I'd spent a full day there and it was just getting light and I opened the curtain in the top floor of the apartment building we were staying in and looked out across the rooftops and simply stared and thought, "I'm really here."

I love Vienna. I love the architecture, the history, the strassenbahn, the heurigen, Stefansdom, Demels, the bohemischeprater in the 10th district, the zoo (though forgive me, John Irving, but my feet hurt too much by the time I got close to the bears to walk the extra fifty yards it would have taken me to see them in person. I had, not long before, read his book Setting Free The Bears. It was one of the reasons I wanted to go to Vienna in the first place!).

It also had a part in my first American Romance, Starstruck, and in my last Presents, The Antonides Marriage Deal. Never let it be said that anything in an author's life goes to waste.
So I was very happy when Austria turned up on the flag list.

Of course I'm always happy to see new countries. Puerto Rico turned up the same day, a few hours earlier.

And in the week or two before that China appeared.

On almost the same day -- which must have heralded the Middle East discovering my blog -- I had visitors from Turkey, then from Israel, then from Syria and Egypt.

Sweden popped up shortly after that, and the Seychelles Islands appeared then, too. Don't you love the vibrant colors of the Seychelles flag?

Sadly I haven't been to any of them. I'll have to put them on my list and hope to get there sometime in the future.

I've wanted to go to Turkey for years. Would love to see the Topkapi museum and see for myself the many places my husband's parents took photos of when they visited 30 odd years ago.

At the moment, though, I'm making plans for Ireland. And making inroads into the beginning of the book.

I realized a while ago that I needed a different first scene -- one for Flynn to deal with before Sara comes on the page. One that will give the reader a notion of where he's coming from before he upsets Sara's world. Today I finally figured out what I think that scene will be. I even have a first line. In Latin. (Like I said, nothing in an author's life goes to waste).

Why does writing take such a long time? Is there any way to make the bits and pieces hurry up and appear?

Or do I simply think slow?


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