For some reason, the world of Virginia Reed feels comfortable and familiar to me. It's the same West I live in, separated by a century, but the same terrain, the same ethos, if you will.
There is a feeling that settles over me, one that draws from my childhood of exploring, of hunting, fishing, backpacking, boonystomping, hay bucking, horse-riding, skiing, canoeing, and so on and so forth. Back when Bend was a lumber town of 13,000 people.
All of that is still accessible to me. I can go directly into the High Desert if I need inspiration. There are wagon routes just outside of town that were blazed by John C. Fremont. Truly.
I also grew up when Westerns were still a thing. Most of TV was dominated by Westerns, there were the books, there were the movies. The Western feeling pervaded the media.
This latest book is based on a famous incident that happened in eastern and central Oregon. I can literally follow much of the same route as my characters.
Meanwhile, I love the Virginia Reed character, and so far I've found interesting companions to her.
I had a transition chapter to write yesterday. Virginia had received a letter from an old acquaintance, asking for help. So she leaves her ranch in California and heads by steamship to Oregon City.
I thought I'd spice it up a little by having her attacked by werewolves.
So a sinister character is following her, and then they meet.
And the guy is interesting, and he isn't a werewolf, and he suddenly becomes her sidekick. Angus Porter is his name, and I really like the little guy.
I had this book all mapped out, I thought, but so far it's been going in unexpected directions. Starting with the next chapter, I moving into the essential core of the plot, so I'm expecting it to be more like what I envisioned.
But, as always, my subconscious will decide that.
1 day ago