Derry, Northern Ireland

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

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Got it...

I received a copy of Philip Cunningham's Derry Down the Days and it is exactly what I needed for Place of Safety. He lived on Nailor's Row for 15 years as a child and it's a treasure trove of discussion about that little strip of homes facing the Derry Walls. I already knew the toilet was outside; I didn't know the running water was, as well. And his home was a two-up-two-down situation, with the front room used as an additional bedroom and the kitchen-back room referred to as the living room. 18 people lived in that place, and this was a family where the father had a decent enough job. They wound up moving to Creegan Estates in 1952 or so.

I'm still digging to find out when the buildings were vacated for demolition. I know some were still around as late at 1971, but no indication as to whether or not they were inhabited. Of course, that doesn't really matter in a fictional book. I'm making up a small section of the area to keep from having to deal with the people who actually lived there. Philip was in the Friels Terrace section.

Since posing the question of just how dark do I want to go, some interesting thoughts have made themselves known. After witnessing a horrific bombing, Brendan goes into what I was calling a catatonic state...but that felt rather 1940s to me. which reminded me of some old movie where the heroine had what was referred to as hysterical blindness. Which led me to find out that term hasn't been used in decades; it's now called Functional Neurological Symptom Disorder, and there is still controversy over whether or not it's a real psychological or physiological condition.

Don't care. It suits my goals and gives Brendan's family more excuse to shuttle him off to Houston, so he can be treated. And he just overstays his years...and it sets up a fun dichotomy that is also a parallel to his life in Derry.

Which is where some serious darkness has begun to grow...

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