Back to reality.
For three glorious days, I ran around Gettysburg; charmed my way through the Confederate artillery camp. Was a media darling. Local paper superstar!
And now I’m back to washing dishes and paying bills. Ho hum.
Here’s a small sampling of the chaos of My First Day Back as a Contributing Member of Society:
- I burned my finger on a flaming hot hard-boiled egg. Which, I didn’t know was actually possible.
- I walked around the corner and found The Baby standing on top of a toy scooter/car/thing. When he saw me, he said, “Beep beep!” and proceeded to laugh hysterically, no doubt at the look of horror on my face.
- The Toddler dyed his face blue with food coloring, following a failed “science project.” I literally heard myself say, “No, we can’t do it again! You just dyed your face blue!”
Well. Just his upper lip. And the tip of his nose. At any rate, it washed off. When I asked him if he was playing with the food coloring while Mommy washed dishes he said, “No. Yes.”
I’m worn out just thinking about it. I swear, these two boys are like trying to tame tornadoes. Over the weekend, The Toddler was riding his tricycle and–until I caught them–The Baby was holding onto the back, riding around the little ledge thing between the back wheels. Seriously? Dude, you’re nineteen months old! Have some juice.
So, there’s that.
As anticipated, my time in Gettysburg was a veritable wellspring of writing ideas. Manuscript II: Revenge of Manuscript (until I come up with an actual title, anyway) is now almost three complete chapters. I have Chapter Four roughly plotted out and let me tell you. It’s like the fire making scene from Caveman. Inspiration has struck. Oooohhh, and I forgot to mention: Manuscript II? Yeah, I dumped my contemporary and hooked back up with historical. Sure, playing in present day was fun for a hot minute. And no doubt, contemporary and I will illicitly meet again. For now, though, after how amazing an experience Gettysburg was and how pumped I am about the 1860s, it’s back to historical. Again: for now.
And look, you know this kid takes research seriously. Manuscript II, as it stands now, is completely different from Anything You Ask of Me. Which it should be, obviously, but it’s a different beast. It’s a lot less, “Hey, let’s try this ridiculous 1860s recipe or look up the ingredients in Boar’s Head soup!” and a lot more, “Hey, what does the kick of a Model 1842 Springfield feel like against your shoulder and exactly how much weight am I wielding with this smoothbore musket?”
Luckily, The Hubs was on the scene.
In case you’re curious–and I know you are–a Model 1842 Springfield weighs ten pounds. It’s 55 inches long, which means without the bayonet attached, it comes up to my chin. As demonstrated here, with my impeccable posture and dainty grip.
Fact: I could barely hold it up to simulate firing. Obviously, I’m standing in my in-laws basement so there was no firing going on. Even if I wanted to fire it, we had no black powder and no caps. So…so yeah, it was just me looking tough. Tough, and simultaneously incompetent.
When holding a musket like this, you have to use one hand to pull back the hammer, place the cap, and then pull back the hammer again. I couldn’t.
Which is excellent novel fodder!
The Hubs also has a Model 1853 Enfield. It weighs in at 9.5 pounds and 52 (?) inches long. Not surprisingly, I was equally bad with the Enfield. But, since my firing stance was markedly better, I’m posting that picture instead of my Springfield Stance. It was…just bad.
I even tried the “T Stance” as is outlined in the period infantry manual. Nope. Nope, can’t do that either. I work out to Jillian Michael’s Ripped in 30, but I am nowhere near ripped enough for this.
Which is excellent novel fodder!
I smelled like gun oil. I may have broken a sweat. But I am so excited about Manuscript II that I am, quite frankly, borderline giddy.
And finally, in somewhat related news, I ended up purchasing the pictures from the newspapers I was in related to the Gettysburg event. There’s something I didn’t think I’d be typing anytime soon. I tried to convince The Hubs that he needs not only a t-shirt with my face on it, but also a key chain/mouse pad/coffee mug/10×16 canvas wall print.
We settled on the 5x7s and called it a day.