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Book Progress

August 21, 2005

I can’t believe it! I’ve already written this post beautifully, but like a dummy I didn’t save and now I have to do it all over again! Oh well.

I have had a good few days. Not really social days because I have spent a lot of time at home, although I did talk on the phone some, but fairly productive days. I am up to six potential students now. I say potential because they will take trial lessons and then decide for sure. But if I do have six I am half way to my minimum. I also got quite a bit done on my book today. I now have a chapter outline! I have been working on my book for about a year and half and it’s about time I get some serious plot development down. Things have been really coming together for me the last few weeks and I’m starting to really see where this story is going. It started out as a thought for main character and some main themes she struggles with it, but now I have added several other characters, their struggles and how they all tie together. It’s interesting because characters that I originally planned to be major roles have taken a backseat while other characters I thought would be minor have taken more prominent roles. Things are still developing so who knows how it will look in the end, but right now I have a prologue and 16 chapters. The prologue is pretty short, but starts the book off right away with some good action. I’m still getting used to trying to use the underground slang of the 20’s. I want it to be as accurate as possible, but still creative and hopefully not too predictable. I am hoping to get my prologue on my book blog in by mid Sept so if you’re interested in reading (and giving comments) I will let you know when it’s there.

I started thinking about the amount of words I need to write for this NaNoWriMo thing and it scares me a little. If I am writing 50,000 words in a month then I have to write 1666.6666…. words a day! If my prologue is 300 words my chapters will have to be 3,100 words each. Since I have never done a project like this, I really don’t know of what this consists of, but I will soon find out. I am hoping to have most of my research done by the end of Sept so I can start writing and rewriting what I already have on my computer. All of the stuff I have so far is in a notebook so I have no idea how much I have.

I have learned a lot with the research I have done. Today I tried to get through the radio/cinema chapter. I got tons of information because my book is set in the early 20’s and that is when radio really started booming. I also learned that I can attribute a lot of my career towards the development of radio. Apparently it was unheard of to have a school orchestra program in 1920, but in just two decades they grew a ton in popularity. This was because classical music started filling up the air waves. People that had never heard an orchestra before really enjoyed it and started going to see the better quality live performances. Radios just didn’t, and still don’t, have the same quality as a live performance. Not only did school orchestras increase, but so did professional and semi professional orchestras. From 1928-1939 pro orchestras increased from 10-17 and part time orchestras increased from 60-286! Good thing! I’d be interested to see what those numbers look like now and how stable they stay.

It was really interesting thinking about the excitement that radio caused. Radio was the first time that people across the nation could tune in and hear about the same event at the same time. This really must have caused a sense of unity across the nation. Did people feel that they were more connected because of this? This is something that we don’t often feel as a country anymore. Sure I know that there are certain things that most of the country is tuned into while I’m watching, like and election or the Superbowl, but it doesn’t seem to matter. The only thing that I can think of mattering and feeling connected to people while watching was 9/11. It seems horrible that the only thing that can connect us anymore is tragedy. One of the first major broadcasts was the election that President Harding won. I can’t help and think about this last election as I sat in a bar in Flagstaff waiting for the results. I didn’t feel any more connected to someone watching on the other side than I did normally. Maybe next time I’ll take this into consideration more, but it is hard when we have an increasingly divided nation.

When radio started it was also started by amateurs. I really liked this because it was less regulated and more controlled by people not corporations. People would find a way to broadcast and share poetry, stories, music/phonographs, weather reports and time signals. A lot of it was in Morse code, but they had no way to regulate where it would be picked up. In 1915 a broadcast from Arlington, Virginia was heard in both Paris and Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. It wasn’t until WWI that they developed a circuited tuning device called a superheterdyne. During WWI radio waves were given priority to the military so that it was secure and speedy. That was when all the regulations started and government/corporation monopolized the air.

To make sure I give credit where it’s due here is the book that I have been reading. It’s really interesting, written well and I highly recommend it.

Kyvig, David E., Daily Life in the United States, 1920-1940 : How Americans Lived During the Roaring Twenties and the Great Depression; Ivn R Dee, Chicago, 2002.

PS With this sentence this post is 1,028 words. I have a lot of writing to do!

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