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March has not been good for my writing. Part of the reason has simply been that I have had too much work to do and not enough information to pursue. The story ideas that I have just don't seem to come together like they should. However, having multiple ideas started is a good thing since I can sometimes pick up one storyline and use that for a novel.

After trying to write three different novels this month, two historical, one fairly contemporary, I came to the conclusion that the research that I needed to do was more than I was able to accomplish. Also, considering the fact that I have little storyline to fight towards, I found myself wallowing in confusion and frustration.

Yet, there is hope. After being in Lancaster County PA last week, I decided to follow with another book idea: historical fiction based in Early American history. In this case, the series begins in 1768 and will proceed for a little while. I haven't quite decided when it will end. Set in Lancaster PA, the tentative title for the series is the Duchess of Duke Street. What intrigues me about the series, and the main character (Nicia L'Estrange) specifically is the weaving that she does. During the colonial time period, weaving was done in America, but it was cheaper to purchase finished yardage from England than it was to weave it in the Colonies. Once the American Revolution began, though, weaving became not only a necessity, but also a patriotic endeavor.

This is the age right before the Industrial Revolution, and it is the final age in which handweavers and handspinners were a common sight in the world. It was the age before the mechanized loom and spinning wheels. A generation before Nicia was born, the linen trade in Ireland suffered an economic downturn, sending Irish weavers to London to find positions as silk weavers in places like the Spitalfields, London. Nicia's family are descendants of the Huguenots weavers that came to London after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes. Now, coupling the old immigrants and the new immigrants together, plus adding into the mix an economic downturn in silk production, the late 1760s became ripe for troubles. It is in this world that the first book takes place, during some of the riots that happened in Spitalfields around 1768. In some cases, the Spitalfields Riots in the late 1760s were a precursor to the Luddites later on during the Regency time period. In both cases, a downturn in prices and an increase in production elsewhere inhibited the workers' livelihood since the average professional weaver was not paid very well.

The late Eighteenth Century was an interesting time period: old things were passing away, new things were just coming. Following Nicia through this tumultuous time period will prove to be interesting.


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