This might be a somewhat shocking update. Then again, it might not. Despite my best laid plans of editing Molly’s Song whilst working on the first draft of Dark Raven, it hasn’t worked out that way. Though I’ve written a little of Dark Raven and, despite having the whole thing plotted out and outlined, the story just isn’t grabbing me by the unmentionables at the moment. The edits of Molly’s Song are progressing well, which might actually be the root of the problem. Having to immerse myself in Molly’s world once again, a world I last inhabited in November when I finished the book, has made it difficult to move back and forth in time from the Russian Revolution to the American Civil War. As I’ve said before, so this isn’t giving you any spoilers, Molly’s Song is the first of a projected three (or possibly four) book series. I wanted to write Dark Raven while preparing Molly for publication and then return to her after Dark Raven was published. Well…it ain’t gonna be like that after all.
Molly’s Song ends with her headed west and I hoped to pick up her story after Lincoln’s assassination. As I said a post or two ago, my pain levels have been quite severe of late and as a consequence, I’m not sleeping much at all. (Keep in mind, I don’t sleep much anyway, so what is happening now would be best described by saying that I’m just plain not sleeping. Period.) Part of the reason why I wanted to write a non-series book in between Molly’s Song and her second book is that I had no idea where I wanted to go with the plot of the subsequent books. A few nights back, I was sitting on my porch around 0300 enjoying some Brigadier Black: Antietam tobacco in my pipe and listening to a Civil War era playlist on my phone. That’s when it happened. It was as if a voice in the darkness was whispering in my head. By the time the voice was done, I had the entire plot to Molly’s sequel in my brain. Maybe it was Maria Nikolaevna, who has a birthday coming up, was the one who gave me the plot! But I digress.
Originally, I had a vague idea of starting the sequel with her safely ensconced in St. Louis or points west. Not anymore. As she is leaving New York in the summer of 1864, there is still plenty of Civil War left. Rather, the story will open with her in Franklin, Tennessee on the morning of November 30, 1864, on the eve of the worst Civil War battle you’ve never heard of. What took place at Franklin on the evening of November 30th is a horrific tale. It was obscene and vile what took place there. It’s my “favorite” Civil War battle, though I loathe to use that word to describe a battle. But I want my Molly there to witness it for all it’s glory and all it’s horror. I say all of this simply to get to this main point, rather than writing Dark Raven while finishing up the edits to the first book in Molly’s saga, I have gone ahead and plunged into writing the sequel and it is going splendidly thus far.
So why Franklin? Well, I’ve previously written about a recurring dream that I have on the anniversary of the battle every year. Also, my great-grandmother had a grandfather and two uncles who took part in the Army of Tennessee’s ill fated charges upon the Federal works. All three men lived well into their 80s and so she knew them quite well as she was in her late teens/early 20s when they died. She once told me that her relatives, who had fought at Shiloh, Perryville, Stones River, Chickamauga, and the Atlanta Campaign could talk with great mirth at their first experience with artillery fire. They could describe with great clarity being on some of the bloodiest fields of the war. They could boast about stacking Yankees up like cordwood at Kennesaw Mountain. But if you asked them to talk about Franklin, all they could do was weep.
Obviously this is just part of her story, but I want the reader to experience this battle, unknown except to the the true Civil War enthusiast, through her eyes. Molly bade me follow her, and so I will tag along and see what she has planned for herself.
Until next time, Dear Readers, take care of yourselves. And each other.
P.S.: I have avoided comment on this on my website because people follow me to read my opinions on Russian literature and writing, not politics and society. However, I do feel as though I need to address something here. There are times when you can’t and shouldn’t remain silent. I categorically oppose racism and discrimination. It is a great evil in this world. Everyone, regardless of race, class, gender, religion, or sexual orientation, deserves to be treated equally. We are all human and it is high time we start treating one another humanely.