Friday, March 18, 2011

Traipsing About in the Past

Mr Amazing Dude and I visited Colonial Williamsburg for our anniversary recently and thoroughly fell in love with the area.  Several times during the trip we looked at each other and remarked, "Wouldn't it be so cool to live here?" (meaning Williamsburg proper).  Of course, the allure of the preserved village is the ability to live with one foot in the past and the other in the present.  By day we ambled through the surprisingly wide streets of Williamsburg's historic area, stepping into work shops of blacksmiths, wheelwrights, book binders, apothecaries, tailors, etc to see craftsmen (and women) working their trade as they would have in the 1700s.   The museum (Colonial Williamsburg is considered a living museum) even was kind enough to hide any electrical wires (for the most part) and provide 21st century visitors with indoor plumbing while keeping everything else (buildings, clothes, and tools) as authentic to the period as possible.

Naturally, I had lots of questions--as any good writer will.  After nearly an hour at the kitchen in the Randolph house, the cook there probably thought we were either interviewing her for a job or writing a historical cookbook.  Really, we're just Foodies, but that's another story.  I don't typically find myself wanting to write historical fiction, but after Williamsburg, my hysterical, er historical senses were resurrected.  My hand wants to seize a plumed pen and scribble down a story set in the past.

Adding fuel to the fire is my recent re-fascination with genealogy.  I say "re" because I go through spurts every couple of years where the urge to dig up my family's past inserts itself into my life with a vengeance.  Mr Amazing Dude has realized that this mood is sometimes more dangerous than my writing mood as it's hard to pry me away from my computer once the research venom paralyzes my fingers to the keyboard.  Plus, now I have another person (my husband) whose past I get to muck about in.  So far his family tree has revealed a more colorful family history than I have.  We (meaning, me) still have more research to do and can go farther back.  Already some of the interesting things we're finding are tickling my writing bone so maybe soon I'll write down some ideas for a historical novel.

Either that or collaborate with Cossette on her Bonnets and Bootstraps parody. ;-P


  1. ROFL--so we're going to write Amazing Dude's family tree into an epic historical thriller and call it Bonnets and Bootstraps. Hopefully he won't disown us...
    (ps: it's about time you posted! ;-))

  2. LOL, Abby!

    Sounds like a great trip. I still haven't ever made it there. Did you get any interesting recipe ideas from the cook??

  3. Well, not really for food....but, we did come away wishing we had a lighter cast iron skillet. We have two we use several times a week, but their really heavy. In Williamsburg, the cook was using a very thin skillet with a long, thin handle. She let us hold it for a weight comparison. While it wasn't as light as an aluminum pan, we were shocked at the lightness of it. Definitely going to see if we can find one like it at a "traditional" cooking store.

  4. ....and I mispelled "they're" as "their." Tsk.

    And I call myself a writer. ;-P


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