Did you know the 150th anniversary of the storming of the Bastille was in 1939? I didn’t either, but the book I was reading for research on occupied Paris mentioned that they put on an enormous military parade in July, 1939 – before they were invaded less than a year later. Apparently the Germans didn’t take the intended message! I mention this because that was the scene I’ve been writing for the last several days. With two million Parisians lining the Champs-Elysses, clearly I needed to send my heroine to the parade too. And I thought it was a convenient place to bump into Paul, the romantic lead, a photojournalist who obviously would have been photographing the spectacle.
After the parade, I went to another flashback to Maggie’s childhood – that went more slowly than the last one, but I did figure out her entire extended family (fifteen people!) so even if it ends up being more of a workshop piece and I substitute a different flashback during revision, it was at least useful.
I’ve been able to stay above 1,000 words each day – until today, but I’ll write some more later this evening, so we’ll see what happens. I’m just short of 15,000 words, well ahead of where I need to be to hit 25,000 by the end of the month – although I’d be behind if I was going for the 50,000. I’m happy with where I am, though, and with how the story is progressing.
Here’s a glimpse at the conversation during the parade. Paul is doing his best to guess Maggie’s name, but since he’s basing his guesses on her gold necklace with the letter G, he’s not doing very well! We pick up the conversation after a slightly ill-advised comment that landed badly…
He grimaced. “And now I suppose you think I’m exactly the uncouth sort of American you expect, right?”
I shook my head. “No – I sort of expect all Americans to be Fred Astaire.” He was the only movie dancer my mother found acceptable.
He snapped his fingers. “Ginger!” he said with sudden enthusiasm.
I smiled. “Still no.”
“Oh well, I couldn’t have lived up to Fred anyway. How about Gabrielle?”
I hesitated on that one. It was, after all, the right name for the clue he was using. My Great-aunt Gabrielle had been the first to own my necklace. But it wasn’t my name. “You’re not going to guess it. And you’re missing the parade.”