Pixie Toes and Klutzieness
Way back when my writing partner wrote up a biographical report covering the first 18 years of one of the most important persons we consider in our new book. It’s about 100 pages long and was written as editorial research for someone else’s book. That author ignored what my writing partner presented, opting to repeat the same old story line that is in some respects discredited or at least inaccurate by omission.
I’ve read it and reread it over the last few days. We can’t use it as is, but the amount of rewrite it needs is small. There’s a whole area of new research that will find a home in the finished product, but this report will be the basis for two chapters. My WP really is an excellent writer. One of my Literary Agent friends called him charming, meaning that his writing was engaging. She never met him face to face, but, yes, the old guy can exude charm when it pleases him to do so. He can also zing you with a word or two and it may take you ten minutes or so to figure out exactly what he did. He’s funny, but with a straight face which I suppose is some sort of high comedic art.
I’ve drifted from the subject, haven’t I? Anyway … the research behind his “report” is excellent. He combed through forty years of magazine articles to cull personal statements made by the Mr. Russell who is the man he’s profiled. These are often throw-away lines in an article on a Biblical topic. When assembled, they paint a very interesting picture, though one different from what his friends present. He was very much a man of his times, believing things most of us would see as superstitious, but which many took seriously in the 1870-1910 period.
Biographers and historians should never lose sight of the belief systems current when their subject lived. Russell believed in maternal influences, pre-natal influences. Almost no one take that seriously in that way anymore, nor should they. But you can find the idea in medical text from the era. There were other matters like that too. His supporters ignore those bits because they avoid anything that makes him look less than the intelligent, God-directed man they believe him to be. This is a nonsense approach to biography. His enemies miss almost all of that story too. It’s just fallen off the radar. The bad thing is that it leaves unexplained important aspects of his self-view. Omitting these things from consideration distorts the story.
I’m going to start revising his “report” tomorrow. When I’m done I’ll send it back to him and let him do his stuff. He’ll send it back to me. I’ll look again. … Anyway … If you’ve ever written as part of a team, you know how this goes.
Apparently I depressed the entire world by posting my funeral plans. Sorry, guys. We all die; best to plan in advance.
I’ve been pulling my hair out by the roots (only figuratively) over being directed to a spam page. I’ve run virus scans; I’ve updated my mal ware programs. I still get that stupid page. Turns out it’s not a virus, mal ware or ad ware. It’s my spelling! Or rather, it’s my typing. Leave an “L” out of a web address I visit daily and you get sent off to this page. At least now I know it’s my “klutziness” and not an infected computer.
I went shoppin’ – on line mind you – for baby shoes. NO, no, silly, I’m not pregnant. One of our employees is though, and I’m lookin’ for a present. Cottage Closet makes lovely hand-made baby shoes. If you have an infant in your life you should visit their store.