10 October 2009

what's real - what's not

Spending a lot of time lately fact checking. If you write a story into a real setting, I think you have a responsibility to make sure you get the real parts right.

Questions like did it really snow in Redmond Christmas 1981? Where would a brand new U.S. Marine go to boot camp if he enlisted in Seattle? And would said same new Marine be hot or cold on August 17, 1990 as he arrived on his new assignment? Or who won the Super Bowl in 1982? (I admit, that's a cheater one because I remember when it happened.)

Today I watched some classic NFL footage. Read stats from all kinds of places, online and that old traditional method: books. Spent some time talking to my USMC cousin in D.C. with some real-life experience in the Gulf War. Read some historical TIME magazine articles. Googled "Scud Bowl." Watched part of a George Clooney movie.

Over the last couple of months, my husband has had to field a whole lot of random questions. As if I was the 3-year old he needed to revisit: do the schools close in Tam O' Shanter if it snows? can you find me a 24-year old weather report? 25-year? what high school did those kids attend? when you were a kid, did you see a Steller's jays or just scrub jays? was there a fence around the golf course? what kind?

Confounded by so many notebooks of so many facts, I have been writing around and around the story today. Perhaps sleep will bring it all together into an intuitive informing of character for tomorrow.

Or perhaps I'll just have that dream, like my daughter, where I am really hungry and the refrigerator is full of only one thing: eggs. Cartons and cartons of eggs.

Analyze that.




  1. Sherri, I'm getting excited to read this book! It's probably pretty cool learning all these facts even if you feel like a 3 year old doing it! Good luck.

  2. Me, too! I am excited, that is. Learning cool new stuff is just gravy - even if I feel like a child. Thanks for the luck. I can always use some of the good kind.