Derry, Northern Ireland

Derry, Northern Ireland
A book I'm working on is set in this town.

Thursday, May 5, 2011


I tried doing the outlining of POS in an Excel spreadsheet but it is SO damned hard to use this way, I finally gave up and shifted everything over to Word.  It's not as clean-looking, but I can add sections in much more easily and shift things around and once I get back to it, the detailing will go much more quickly.  So away we go.

A positive side-effect of this is I'm seeing spots where I can combine moments so the book is not too repetitive.  And there are places I can add more details.  It's also helping me maintain consistency in the characters, even as they change and expand and build up their own lives.

I also learned PRONI -- the Public Records Office of Northern Ireland -- joined with CAIN (Conflict Archive on the INternet; not a very convincing acronym) and have a building in the Titanic Quarter of Belfast with access to millions of archives about The Troubles.  I haven't really been to Belfast since my focus has been so sharp on the opposite side of the place, but this would be a good excuse to go and find what I can.  The trick will be getting over there.

I almost worked out a massive packing job outside London and would have factored in an extra week to stay there so I could hop a ferry over...but the owner of the books turns out to be a real dick.  It would have been a bigger job than packing up Heritage was, but after I worked on the quote for hours, I learned he's already packed most of the books and really just wants a moving service to take them up to his new home in Scotland (which he did not bother to mention when I specifically laid out what I planned to do to pack his books and artwork).  We're talking a good 4 truckloads of items, which would include household goods, furniture and personal items, like we're The Mayflower Moving company.  So we politely declined...and the old fart got pissed off!  "How dare we not want to take this job on?!" kind of crap.  Look, I know from years of experience that book dealers are a very "eclectic" lot, but I may have dodged a bullet here.

These photos were taken by Eamon Melaugh, in 1972 in Derry.  He was a major chronicler of the time with his camera.  
This was right around the time of Operation Motorman, 31 July, when the British Army cleared Derry and Belfast of "no go areas," places where the IRA was in control and the RUC was banned.  By noon of that day, two kids were dead and the British army controlled all of Derry and Belfast...well, controlled them as well as they ever were able to.

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