Derry, Northern Ireland

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

Friday, May 26, 2017

Henna me, baby...

Well...I have now experienced the full measure of a henna tattoo. Like the little brochure said, it starts out looking very light, after the mud flakes off, but it darkens...and so it did.

What's interesting is the slight difference I feel in my skin, between the parts undyed and those with the tattoo. It's the barest hint of slickness with a touch of a dip when I draw my finger over the top of my little lion.

Adam's would, of course, be much more refined and detailed. Julie would make his seem almost 3-D in its depth and meaning. But something I hadn't thought about was, it wouldn't be at its height till he was back in London. It would be soft and yellowish, slowly burning darker and darker till a fine genial color more like burnt umber than raw sienna.

This is why online research is never really sufficient for digging into a story. You can get the gist of it and the ideas and the form and function, but the details that make the story humanesque come from actually being there...doing it...or watching and talking and listening.

I found that out many years ago, when I first wrote Return to Darian's Point. A major point in the story comes when Perri, the hero, is taken to The Cliffs of Moher to learn the truth of himself. There's a squat round tower just up the hill from the touristy part of the Cliffs, and from the photos I saw it seemed to be an easy jaunt.

But when I got there, the first time, I found not only was it up a steep incline, but at that time the main pathway was damned dangerous. Uneven steps right next to a 700 foot drop to the ocean. No barriers to hold you. Sharp winds. I saw some Italian kids squat on a flagstone just inches from the edge, their backs to the sea, to have a friend take their photo. I learned their coast guard was always picking up bodies of people who hadn't taken the Cliffs' danger seriously. It altered the story a bit...and made it stronger.

And now, as regards A65...experience has done the same, again...

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