Do the Loco-Motion With Me

We're heading into a three-day weekend in the U.S., to celebrate the Fourth of July holiday. I took a couple of days off LAST weekend (photos to come), so I'm going to work this holiday. I'll be at my desk on Friday, the Fourth, but will knock off midday for a picnic with friends. Then, back to work.

And, even though I've extolled the virtues of my three weekends in a row OFF, I will likely work through this weekend and next, as I'm up against a deadline of pages due to my editor by the time I leave for Maryland/D.C. on July 14, a Monday. And I want to have those pages for her. I want to get to her as much of the 1962 book of the Sixties Trilogy as I can.

I'm continuing to cull through books and add to my arsenal of print Sixties materials. I'm also using lots of primary sources and some websites for checking data quickly -- here is where I've been clicking this week. It will give you an idea of what I'm writing --

John Glenn biography from NASA

Mercury Program photos of astronauts, etc.

Godzilla movies

Civil Defense sirens -- what did they look like?

The Civil Defense Museum. This is a fantastic site, full of audio and visual sights and sounds of the early Sixties civil defense days. Do you want to hear what my main character, Franny, hears when the civil defense siren begins blasting, signalling an air-raid drill? Click below:

Air-raid attack siren

Air-raid alert siren This is what Franny would have heard most, and what I heard as a kid -- I wanted to remember it... and it all came back to me as I listened.

I'm still trying to find an all-clear signal. Anybody know where I might find one?

Civil defense directions (audio) -- there are many of these on the above website -- what to do in the event of a nuclear attack, what to do if you are out in the open, if you aren't, and how to protect yourself against nuclear attack.

Franny's Uncle Otts, a World War I veteran, is the neighborhood's air raid warden. He takes his job so seriously that he plans to build a bomb shelter, right in Franny's front yard, much to the chagrin (and over the objections) of Franny's mother. Here's what his bomb shelter would look like:

Back to work for me -- just wanted to give you a glimpse into this project. Chapter one has been completely rewritten -- a completely new storyline finds it way into the book, and chapter one sings now -- this is a pre-requisite for me... I have to feel good about the first few chapters before I can really move forward, and this first chapter has been a bear. I'm well into a brand-new chapter two today, so back to it.

I leave you with the current first sentence of the book:

Tom West has more pimples than I do.

And here are two quotes I've used to start the book:

“We have enough missiles to blow you up thirty times over.”

-- John F. Kennedy, President, The United States of America, to Nikita Khruschev, 1962

"We have enough to blow you up only once, but that will be enough for us."

-- Nikita Khrushchev, First Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, 1962

These were scary times. And they were exciting, too:

We choose to go to the moon.

-- John F. Kennedy, September 1962

Play List for today's work session includes:

"Baby Elephant Walk" -- Mancini, from "Hatari!" 1962

"Round Every Corner" -- Petula Clark, 1965. I know it's only 1962 in this book, but I love this song, and it's helping me BIC -- I'm keeping my Butt In Chair and moving forward. The lyrics are apropos.

"Do You Love Me? (Now That I Can Dance)" -- The Contours, 1962.

"Night Train" -- James Brown, 1962.

"The Loco-Motion" -- Little Eva, 1962

Today's filmtrack:



These two films are good companions to the first few chapters of the novel. There will be more. I'll start here.

So -- Dear Readers:

Come on, come on, and do the Sixties Loco-Motion with me! What do you remember about these early Sixties years? What did you love? What were you frightened of? What were you awake to? Grab your notebook, and start making lists -- what did those days taste like, sound like, look like, smell like, feel like?

If you weren't here in the Sixties, choose an age -- ten, say, or twelve, the age of Our Hero, Franny. List, list, list. Thence comes Story.

1 comment:

Howdy. Moderating comments to prevent spam. I'm sure you're not that. Thanks for your thoughts! Write on, warrior on. Make art.