Between checking my daily discussion and writer's forums, visiting a lot of military forums and checking the Google Reader feed, no time is left for writing - especially with my nose in Bancroft's huge book on the History of California.
I blithely wrote the first two novels creating my own characters as I went along - using what information I could find online and in the book the Franciscan Brothers of Santa Barbára had sent to me. Then, I found the Bancroft book and it's messed everything up!
How on earth can I "make up" characters for times and places when real ones existed?
So, now I find myself with the problem of having to take those real characters and give them fictional lives which will entertain my readers. Of course, some of them don't need a whole lot of imagination to make them interesting.
How about the Padre who entertained guests with a parade of chickens, ducks and geese?
How about the Padre who had four huge cats that followed him everywhere? Even to Mass?
And then there is the Alférez [sublieutenant] who got relieved of his duties because he couldn't read, write or do math?
And what about the 17-year feud between the governor and the Padres? And over such silly stuff as the governor opening the mail of the friars?
So, it's going slow but, thank goodness, my publisher has a big lineup so I have lots of time to get this whole thing right.
Who knows? Somewhere in Southern California will be a young boy or girl who discovers the amazing part their ancestors played in the beginnings of that state!