I was reading an article about jazz in the Time-Life special edition on the Roaring Twenties  that I recently purchased when I read about a band in Chicago that was tantamount to the rise of that particular music genre.
Of course, that got me thinking about my W-I-P, as all things related to that era do, and my character Charlie Brockway.
You’ve seen Charlie in some previous posts , but he is still a relatively unknown character for me. I know he’s originally from Chicago; that’s there’s some big secret in his life; and that he’s a musician. But this Time-Life article got Charlie talking about his past a bit.
I have a thing about rhubarb pie.
It’s deep-seeded, to be sure, since I haven’t had a bite of that particular pastry since I was a child. My paternal grandmother made them. She died when I was ten. 
So when the LitForum‘s Writer’s Exercise  for March was to “write a scene in which the emphasis is on the consumption of food. Make use of the senses of taste and smell. Complement those senses by also drawing on sight, feel and mood. The MC  in this scene has stopped whatever he/she has been doing before and is pausing for a moment,” I knew immediately mine would be about rhubarb pie.
One thing I’ve learned while writing is that I have a terrible visual imagination. I can describe how something feels. Or smells. And I’m pretty good with emotion. But ask me to describe how something looks and if it’s not right there in front of me, I go totally blank.
Maybe I’m afraid I’ll get it wrong? Without looking at it first?
Take my mythical town of Henderson…
I’ve never been a gardener. In fact, I usually tell folks that “I don’t kill plants; I just make ’em wish they were dead.”
So, it’s fitting that, as I plan what flowers I’ll be planting this spring, I’m thinking about Rose, who also wasn’t much of a gardener.
As a writer, one always questions if a character is being true to their own nature or whether the author is projecting his or her own moral belief system or code of action upon them.
To be clear, you don’t want the latter. That’s called Author Intrusion. 1
Sometimes, however, it seems impossible to keep the author’s world from encroaching on their writing. And when it happens to me, I try to mitigate its effects by relegating it to the world of research.
This week’s topic of research has been healthcare.2
Sometimes, when words are hard to find, my writing group plays a little game. We spin for prompts, which are just words or phrases that have been plucked from various sources and added to a numbered list, and then see what we can write that includes one or all of the prompts.
Occasionally, the resulting scene is actually relevant to the work-in-progress; other times it just serves to open the floodgates and remind you that you can still write.
Regardless of outcome, the games are always fun. And writing is supposed to be that, isn’t it!
I’ve been considering bank closings, and the panics that ensued,1 and how that would have manifested itself in the small town where Rose and Harold lived?
We’ve seen pictures of the mobs that rushed banks in New York after the big stock crash in ’29. But stories about smaller crowds, smaller towns, smaller banks, are harder to find.2