Thanks to everyone who has suggested Victoriana for me! Especially Reader Ariella–thanks for the ISBNs, they make things a ton easier.
My project for the morning (other than bouldering and getting in wordcount) is to find a decent map of London in the 1850s; one at least 2ft by 3ft that I can get laminated and tack up over my fireplace. Of course I plan on altering things with (relative) abandon–what use is history if one can’t have a little fun–but I’d like the bones up there for me to build on, so to speak.
Yes, this is for the current work, but I don’t know if I can announce it yet, so mum’s the word until I get permission. But it’s awesome, I am hideously excited and almost dancing with glee every time I get a chance to work. This is the period of creation where everything is shiny and fun and new, where everything feeds the work and serendipity, not to mention synchronicity, is working overtime. There comes a certain point where something clicks in a book, the characters get a breath of life and start misbehaving in earnest, and the whole thing achieves a critical mass and starts behaving like an organism in its own right rather than just a disparate collection of words.
I love that.
So, I’ve a fresh cuppa and a mass of reference books stacked at my elbow, tissues within reach and the window to my street uncovered. The clouds are gray cotton, the street is gray pavement, even the grass is grayish. But there’s color and life and motion inside my head.
Let the magic begin.