Thursday, August 24, 2017

Coat Hangers and Knitting Needles





Coat Hangers and Knitting Needles is a work in progress about abortion in the US prior to Roe v. Wade. It is an attempt to show people who want to make abortion illegal that it will not stop abortions, but will force women back to the butchers.

I am also documenting the writing of the book including the reasons I never accomplish as much as I want as I balance life against work.

July 31-August 20
We go to Geneva for the Swiss National Day then meet up with a high school friend who is in Zurich for only a few days.
Then we head for Austria where we stay in a bubble, a plastic igloo type construction
on a roof top in the Alps. The bubble holds two beds with violet duvets. There is a space-ship type airlock that has to be unzipped, then zipped before we can enter the bubble. We pretend we are on the Enterprise.
The owners invite us for dinner and we sit outside and talk late into the night when we climb into the bubble and fall asleep looking at the stars.

The next day we head for Liechtenstein and a four-star hotel. It is part three of our four-part honeymoon. The goal is to visit the four principalities. We've already gone to Andorra and Monaco. Rick has told the hotel it is our honeymoon and we find rose petals on the bed in the shape of a heart.
From the terrace we can see the castle occupied by the Prince and Princess of Liechtenstein.
Needless to say my writing is nonexistent.
We head back to Argel├Ęs. Our summer friends are here from Ireland, England, Switzerland, Denmark and Canada. We meet up with them at night behind the hotel l’Hostalet where our friends and owner Mattieu and Jonathan offer a variety of wines, beers, juices and teas on the terrace under the trees. Mattieu makes tapenade, some of the best I’ve ever tasted. Different people wander in and out and the conversation covers every imaginable topic.
During the day we are caught up in chores and it seems I can’t get to the laptop as early as I want. When I do I am bogged down. I want a timeline for everything I can find on abortion thru the centuries. I go thru my sources and create it, taking notes on what I want to follow up on. Tedious work.
Every time I think I’ve finished, I find more things to add. However, all the listings prove that abortion on demand has always existed and always will. The question is how safe not if.
At the moment the timeline covers 13 pages with 4,061 words.
As a reward to myself for slogging through the dates, I decide to write a chapter on Madame Restell, who was a leading abortionist in the late 1800s. She franchised her operation and was in and out of jail. I have over 31 pages of notes from many sources.
It takes me four days to produce the five-page first draft. Tomorrow I will do the second.
Rick and I have both decided on a social moratorium to get our writing done. 
I read about writers who sit down in the morning and just write for X number of hours and pages. 
How do they do it?

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