Saturday, June 10, 2017

Coat Hangers and Knitting Needles



May 8, 2017

What I accomplished or didn't during my second week of trying to write this book on abortion before 1973 in the United States. Maybe other writers can sympathize with the distractions that can slow down one's work.


Flying back to France from Boston, our plane is late landing in Paris.

“No running,” my husband said. He had run for a tram in, last November and fell. His hand still hurts. Also he has helicopter tendencies with me that would do any helicopter mom proud. I don't mind.

We make it thru short custom and security lines He does a final sprint to the gate, points me out to the staff, as I huff and puff my way by the gates.

We make the plane—just. Our luggage stays in Paris.

We pick up the car in Toulouse and drive to our home, a village on the Mediterranean going back to the time of Charlemagne.

Jet lag hits, like it has never hit before. Working is complicated by lack of luggage, the need to buy a new stove top and installation problems. Granted our electricity doesn’t go back to the Middle Ages when the house was built, but sometimes it seems the case. The installer keeps saying “dangerous, dangerous.”

We track our luggage on the internet.

We try and work, but the feeling of being underwater continues. Sleep is at a premium.

Our village is the type where we can walk to everything, including 76 steps to the movie theatre, Stores, caf├ęs, doctors. Everything we need is close. When I buy the fresh-baked bread at the boulangerie, a five-minute walk from the house, I can be gone all day as I run into this and that person. On this walk, I see a couple we know and are summer people, have made a quick hop over the Channel for a few days.

Despite Rick’s writing deadlines and my desire to delve into my abortion project, we put people first. A cup of coffee and catch-up is a must. A non-coffee drinker, I consumer espresso which restores a bit of coherence. It ebbs and flows.

The internet tells me that most of my ordered research books are in process of being sent. Others are on my Kindle.

I have found a book. Abortion Counseling and Social Change from Illegal Act to Medical Practice: The Story of the Clergy Consultation Service on Abortion (Paperback) by Howard Moody, Arlene Carmen, the CCS founders. However, the book costs over $1,000. I wonder if I can track a copy.

I start to read When Abortion was a Crime: Women, Medicine and Law in the United States on my Kindle. It is slow going, not because it is difficult reading, but every few pages there are things to research. And I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to find enough. I need to follow up on:
·       Sarah Grosvenor who had an abortion in Pomfret CT in 1745.
·       Ann Trow, Madame Restell, a woman who died wealthy from her abortion business in the 1800s.
I send emails to:
·       The Motherless documentary producers
·       PA ACLU
·       Judson Memorial Church where Moody began the CCS.
·       First Presbyterian Church

I reorganize my files. Unlike writing a novel this comes in bits and pieces and keeping track as well as keeping sources straight are more of a challenge.

A woman from New York has sent me several leads to where I might be able to find women who had abortions pre-1973.

As jet lag slowly ebbs, I prepare for work in week 3.

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