Thursday, February 23, 2006

Two Wheel Revolution

I love, love, love researching things. I also love writing. (Note the imbalance of the verb repetition.) Some days it's not at all clear whether I write to justify my research or the other way round. On my quest for factual details, I find countless rabbit holes down which I could disappear for hours. Fortunately (I suppose), my time to write is limited, so I must cut short the information chase before it's hardly begun. Then it's back to the novel manuscript.

Some resources are just too exciting to keep to myself, though. Scootergirl extraordinaire Crystal Waters rides a Vespa that will knock your socks off. Look at "Ilene" here! When I checked out her blog, I found an entry reproducing an ad in the February 21 NYT. Seems Paolo Timoni, the President and CEO of Piaggio Group Americas (Piaggio manufactures Vespas) has written an open letter to US Mayors recommending scootering to alleviate our reliance on oil. Bravo, Mr. Timoni.

One of my lead characters rides a Vespa, probably because I've had a secret hankering for one myself since I first visited Italy ten years ago. My main protagonist drives an old Honda Civic. Mr. Timoni doesn't have to tell my characters that conservation is cool.

5 comments:

Jeff said...

I think it would be cool to own a Vespa. How many miles per gallon do they get, Mary Louisa?

Erik Ivan James said...

I'm curious about when you do research. Do you research then write, or start writing then research as needed?

Thanks.

Drama Mama said...

Vespas are awesome

shannon said...

I drive an old Honda Civic. ANd I love vespas!! There is a vespa shop up the street from me. SO fun to ride. Are you writing about me ML???

Mary Louisa said...

Oh, Jeff, bless you for sending me out to do...more research. Vespas can get from the mid-40s to the mid-60s in mpg. Depends on the engine size.

EIJ, it really depends. For my work-in-progress, I chose a milieu I already had knowledge of, therefore didn't need to do research to start drafting. In fact, I've been consciously sticking close to "what I know" as the novel progresses. So, I guess the answer for now is that when drafting, I stop when I encounter a question, make a note of it, and continue writing. Then I try to find out the answers when I'm ready to revise that section.

Hot mom, word. Thanks for popping in!

Shannon, if you are either a stripper or a 60-year old secretary, then yes I AM writing about you. I'm guessing you're the stripper...