What I’m Reading
Still on Herman Wouk’s The Winds of War, now up to the early days after the invasion of Poland. I wish traditional publishers would publish more historicals like this these days, instead of books which are all of 288 pages long. When your canvas is over 1,000 pages, it gives you much more room to develop characters and storylines, and to build the historical setting.
What I’m Writing
Finishing up Chapter 83 of my WIP, up to about 641,000 words, and still hoping I can finish it up not much over the 700K mark. This chapter has involved doing lots of reading and research about the Battle of the Bulge, and a bit about rocket production at the brutal Dora-Mittelbau complex. My rocket and munitions factory is fictional, with fairly decent overseers and working conditions, but the concept of the factory is based on Dora-Mittelbau.
Next up is some research into Operation Grenade, the Battle for the Rhineland, and the Allied march towards Berlin. Darya and her friends will also be moved from the factory to a concentration-camp (after their relative good fortune since leaving Oswiecim in June 1943), and Leontiy Godimov (husband of Fyodora Lebedeva, Lyuba’s youngest stepsister) will come home. Leontiy’s knee was hit by a mortar during the Battle of the Bulge, and he suffered a anterior cruciate ligament injury that ended the war early for him.
What Inspires Me
The bravery and resilience of the GIs during the Battle of the Bulge, in the face of such bone-chilling weather (Europe’s coldest winter in 40 years), being cut off from vital supplies and air support for awhile, not having winter clothes at first, and such an unexpected savage assault.
What Else I’ve Been Up To
My computer has been slowly dying for months, and it’s only getting worse, not better. I have to have a fan right behind the computer every time it’s awake, to keep it as cool and quiet as possible. Hopefully this old beast will make it to the end of Part III, and then I can start the homestretch on a computer without a terrifying death rattle coming from the left fan.
I’m also loving my Caran d’Ache Pablo coloured pencils. They’re just as beautiful and soft as everyone said. The nicest thing about them is that they’re oil-based, not wax-based like the overrated Prismacolor. They even have gold, silver, and bronze, along with so many beautiful shades of blue, green, and red.