WRITING CLOWN SUITS

Chatsworth By Rob BendallI’m working on the last book of my School of Magic series, currently under the title of Captivating the Countess (I’m hoping by writing this here I’ll finally commit to a title. Those of you who read my newsletter will note that I’ve been struggling with the previous title of The Duke’s Magic because the marquess is the hero). This book is basically an aristocratic house party in a house as large as Chatsworth—with ghosts. Unlike Christina Courtenay, I have no need to research house plans. I love making up my own, and I’ve visited enough old houses over the decades to have a fairly good knowledge of what goes where, if it absolutely must.  

This leaves me in the strange position of not needing a lot of research. I like research. It often sets off plot points that wouldn’t have occurred to me otherwise. But these characters and this house were established in earlier books. I just need to find some way to bring them together and let things happen. So most of my digging has been into the family history, established over several sets of Magic books, and trying to avoid obvious errors. Circus-160165_1280

There is freedom in not being confined by scientific research and actual history, but evidently, I need defined lines to guide me. To picture my process, imagine a coloring book. I can neatly color inside the lines of a clown figure, make his nose any color I like, decorate his suit at will. If I decide to go outside the lines, I can draw outlines that conform to the shape already established. History gives me boundaries, much as the printed clown would. And even if reality is messy, it’s still better than taking a blank sheet of paper and blindly scribbling—which is currently what I’m doing.

And because I’m dealing with paranormal elements, I really need to ground the story in reality. At the moment, the only authenticity, outside the architecture, is medical. My duke and marquess are both physicians. Without going into plot, I had to determine what is wrong with the duke. And I had to find a real condition to go with the heroine’s distressing habit of keeling over, as she puts it. And no, it’s not her corset, although that is a nice period detail to play with. (The image I’m showing is 1886 because it’s a cool image and the one from 1869 was mostly about the embroidery)

Corsets 1886Finding medical details isn’t difficult. I found a great setup for the duke—only in 1871, medical science had utterly no way of detecting or curing it.

Now fainting—that has all sorts of possibilities. Irregular heartbeats, seizures, hyperventilation, hypoglycemia, anemia, how the nervous system relates to blood pressure—all can lead to our heroines regularly having the vapors. Unfortunately, what medical science knew about any of this in 1871 is extremely limited. Even a basic problem like blood pressure couldn’t be detected, although they did know about it. But they had no way of measuring blood pressure until 1874, when Frederick Mahomed invented the sphygmograph.  Measuring and Pietro_Longhi faintingunderstanding took another twenty years.

So, there’s my clown outline. How do I color in the medical realities to ground my story so I can make the paranormal elements seem real? I don’t have an answer for that yet. <G>

Can you recall any stories where reality grounded the fictional? I know more than one of you out there know your history. Do you read historical romance to understand that history better? What kind of history do you like to see in your romances?

100 thoughts on “WRITING CLOWN SUITS”

  1. “because I’m dealing with paranormal elements, I really need to ground the story in reality”
    Not sure that you need historical facts for this ‘grounding’, perhaps its better to focus on areas that are poorly understood or where the evidence is disputed or hard to verify. This leads to fringe areas of science, and away from mainstream. Phenomenal mental abilities or topics like remote energy healing come immediately to mind. Medical intuitives do seem to show remarkable healing abilities which are hard to understand. Somehow they must trigger the bodies self healing but to try to understand how a healer can ‘cure’ cancer for someone on a different continent leads to discussion of quantum entanglement coupled with placebo. The world is full of mysteries, leaving plenty of room for ‘plausible’ paranormal input. I have never experienced anyone communicating with mice but have seen a dog get excited when it is time for the owner to set out for home, so communicating with animals is on the edge of plausibility, and that makes for an enjoyable yarn!

    Reply
  2. “because I’m dealing with paranormal elements, I really need to ground the story in reality”
    Not sure that you need historical facts for this ‘grounding’, perhaps its better to focus on areas that are poorly understood or where the evidence is disputed or hard to verify. This leads to fringe areas of science, and away from mainstream. Phenomenal mental abilities or topics like remote energy healing come immediately to mind. Medical intuitives do seem to show remarkable healing abilities which are hard to understand. Somehow they must trigger the bodies self healing but to try to understand how a healer can ‘cure’ cancer for someone on a different continent leads to discussion of quantum entanglement coupled with placebo. The world is full of mysteries, leaving plenty of room for ‘plausible’ paranormal input. I have never experienced anyone communicating with mice but have seen a dog get excited when it is time for the owner to set out for home, so communicating with animals is on the edge of plausibility, and that makes for an enjoyable yarn!

    Reply
  3. “because I’m dealing with paranormal elements, I really need to ground the story in reality”
    Not sure that you need historical facts for this ‘grounding’, perhaps its better to focus on areas that are poorly understood or where the evidence is disputed or hard to verify. This leads to fringe areas of science, and away from mainstream. Phenomenal mental abilities or topics like remote energy healing come immediately to mind. Medical intuitives do seem to show remarkable healing abilities which are hard to understand. Somehow they must trigger the bodies self healing but to try to understand how a healer can ‘cure’ cancer for someone on a different continent leads to discussion of quantum entanglement coupled with placebo. The world is full of mysteries, leaving plenty of room for ‘plausible’ paranormal input. I have never experienced anyone communicating with mice but have seen a dog get excited when it is time for the owner to set out for home, so communicating with animals is on the edge of plausibility, and that makes for an enjoyable yarn!

    Reply
  4. “because I’m dealing with paranormal elements, I really need to ground the story in reality”
    Not sure that you need historical facts for this ‘grounding’, perhaps its better to focus on areas that are poorly understood or where the evidence is disputed or hard to verify. This leads to fringe areas of science, and away from mainstream. Phenomenal mental abilities or topics like remote energy healing come immediately to mind. Medical intuitives do seem to show remarkable healing abilities which are hard to understand. Somehow they must trigger the bodies self healing but to try to understand how a healer can ‘cure’ cancer for someone on a different continent leads to discussion of quantum entanglement coupled with placebo. The world is full of mysteries, leaving plenty of room for ‘plausible’ paranormal input. I have never experienced anyone communicating with mice but have seen a dog get excited when it is time for the owner to set out for home, so communicating with animals is on the edge of plausibility, and that makes for an enjoyable yarn!

    Reply
  5. “because I’m dealing with paranormal elements, I really need to ground the story in reality”
    Not sure that you need historical facts for this ‘grounding’, perhaps its better to focus on areas that are poorly understood or where the evidence is disputed or hard to verify. This leads to fringe areas of science, and away from mainstream. Phenomenal mental abilities or topics like remote energy healing come immediately to mind. Medical intuitives do seem to show remarkable healing abilities which are hard to understand. Somehow they must trigger the bodies self healing but to try to understand how a healer can ‘cure’ cancer for someone on a different continent leads to discussion of quantum entanglement coupled with placebo. The world is full of mysteries, leaving plenty of room for ‘plausible’ paranormal input. I have never experienced anyone communicating with mice but have seen a dog get excited when it is time for the owner to set out for home, so communicating with animals is on the edge of plausibility, and that makes for an enjoyable yarn!

    Reply
  6. And you’ve hit directly on the original premise of these books–except it’s impossible for my characters to have our level of knowledge. They spend way too much time saying “what if…” as it is. Right now I’m trying to figure out a good explanation of one person being able to “enhance” the abilities of another!

    Reply
  7. And you’ve hit directly on the original premise of these books–except it’s impossible for my characters to have our level of knowledge. They spend way too much time saying “what if…” as it is. Right now I’m trying to figure out a good explanation of one person being able to “enhance” the abilities of another!

    Reply
  8. And you’ve hit directly on the original premise of these books–except it’s impossible for my characters to have our level of knowledge. They spend way too much time saying “what if…” as it is. Right now I’m trying to figure out a good explanation of one person being able to “enhance” the abilities of another!

    Reply
  9. And you’ve hit directly on the original premise of these books–except it’s impossible for my characters to have our level of knowledge. They spend way too much time saying “what if…” as it is. Right now I’m trying to figure out a good explanation of one person being able to “enhance” the abilities of another!

    Reply
  10. And you’ve hit directly on the original premise of these books–except it’s impossible for my characters to have our level of knowledge. They spend way too much time saying “what if…” as it is. Right now I’m trying to figure out a good explanation of one person being able to “enhance” the abilities of another!

    Reply
  11. I appreciate your difficulties, Pat. It’s a fine line to walk, grounding it in the realities of the time and also convincing modern readers, and then there’s the paranormal element. I once wrote a book where a minor-but significant for the plot character was believed to be dying — and his last wishes helped drive the plot. I consulted a doctor friend who came up with the perfect condition for my needs.
    In my book the doctor he consulted bled and purged him relentlessly, and he got weaker and weaker until eventually the heroine and his daughter intervened and said “enough” and dismissed the doctor. He was then tended by a healer/midwife, and his condition improved (along the lines my real doctor friend had told me it would.) But some readers were outraged that the heroine had the arrogance to set herself above a doctor and to turn to an untrained local woman, and didn’t believe the cure. Even though the medical treatment of the time was not only ineffective but incredibly debilitating, they still insisted the doctor must be right. So, the message is, you can’t please everyone. (g)

    Reply
  12. I appreciate your difficulties, Pat. It’s a fine line to walk, grounding it in the realities of the time and also convincing modern readers, and then there’s the paranormal element. I once wrote a book where a minor-but significant for the plot character was believed to be dying — and his last wishes helped drive the plot. I consulted a doctor friend who came up with the perfect condition for my needs.
    In my book the doctor he consulted bled and purged him relentlessly, and he got weaker and weaker until eventually the heroine and his daughter intervened and said “enough” and dismissed the doctor. He was then tended by a healer/midwife, and his condition improved (along the lines my real doctor friend had told me it would.) But some readers were outraged that the heroine had the arrogance to set herself above a doctor and to turn to an untrained local woman, and didn’t believe the cure. Even though the medical treatment of the time was not only ineffective but incredibly debilitating, they still insisted the doctor must be right. So, the message is, you can’t please everyone. (g)

    Reply
  13. I appreciate your difficulties, Pat. It’s a fine line to walk, grounding it in the realities of the time and also convincing modern readers, and then there’s the paranormal element. I once wrote a book where a minor-but significant for the plot character was believed to be dying — and his last wishes helped drive the plot. I consulted a doctor friend who came up with the perfect condition for my needs.
    In my book the doctor he consulted bled and purged him relentlessly, and he got weaker and weaker until eventually the heroine and his daughter intervened and said “enough” and dismissed the doctor. He was then tended by a healer/midwife, and his condition improved (along the lines my real doctor friend had told me it would.) But some readers were outraged that the heroine had the arrogance to set herself above a doctor and to turn to an untrained local woman, and didn’t believe the cure. Even though the medical treatment of the time was not only ineffective but incredibly debilitating, they still insisted the doctor must be right. So, the message is, you can’t please everyone. (g)

    Reply
  14. I appreciate your difficulties, Pat. It’s a fine line to walk, grounding it in the realities of the time and also convincing modern readers, and then there’s the paranormal element. I once wrote a book where a minor-but significant for the plot character was believed to be dying — and his last wishes helped drive the plot. I consulted a doctor friend who came up with the perfect condition for my needs.
    In my book the doctor he consulted bled and purged him relentlessly, and he got weaker and weaker until eventually the heroine and his daughter intervened and said “enough” and dismissed the doctor. He was then tended by a healer/midwife, and his condition improved (along the lines my real doctor friend had told me it would.) But some readers were outraged that the heroine had the arrogance to set herself above a doctor and to turn to an untrained local woman, and didn’t believe the cure. Even though the medical treatment of the time was not only ineffective but incredibly debilitating, they still insisted the doctor must be right. So, the message is, you can’t please everyone. (g)

    Reply
  15. I appreciate your difficulties, Pat. It’s a fine line to walk, grounding it in the realities of the time and also convincing modern readers, and then there’s the paranormal element. I once wrote a book where a minor-but significant for the plot character was believed to be dying — and his last wishes helped drive the plot. I consulted a doctor friend who came up with the perfect condition for my needs.
    In my book the doctor he consulted bled and purged him relentlessly, and he got weaker and weaker until eventually the heroine and his daughter intervened and said “enough” and dismissed the doctor. He was then tended by a healer/midwife, and his condition improved (along the lines my real doctor friend had told me it would.) But some readers were outraged that the heroine had the arrogance to set herself above a doctor and to turn to an untrained local woman, and didn’t believe the cure. Even though the medical treatment of the time was not only ineffective but incredibly debilitating, they still insisted the doctor must be right. So, the message is, you can’t please everyone. (g)

    Reply
  16. Having spent about 5-1/2 hours today in the emergency room because I fainted withour obvious cause, I sympathize with your heroine. Of course I had modern medicine on my side: x-rays, ekg scan, I don’t remember what else. Blood sugar was ruled out, because my morning test was 101, even though it was 249 by the time the ambulance got me to the hospital.
    Finally, I remember the off-chance that I might have UTI — And I do! Not sure how that lead to the faint!
    Home now, with medication. All is well.

    Reply
  17. Having spent about 5-1/2 hours today in the emergency room because I fainted withour obvious cause, I sympathize with your heroine. Of course I had modern medicine on my side: x-rays, ekg scan, I don’t remember what else. Blood sugar was ruled out, because my morning test was 101, even though it was 249 by the time the ambulance got me to the hospital.
    Finally, I remember the off-chance that I might have UTI — And I do! Not sure how that lead to the faint!
    Home now, with medication. All is well.

    Reply
  18. Having spent about 5-1/2 hours today in the emergency room because I fainted withour obvious cause, I sympathize with your heroine. Of course I had modern medicine on my side: x-rays, ekg scan, I don’t remember what else. Blood sugar was ruled out, because my morning test was 101, even though it was 249 by the time the ambulance got me to the hospital.
    Finally, I remember the off-chance that I might have UTI — And I do! Not sure how that lead to the faint!
    Home now, with medication. All is well.

    Reply
  19. Having spent about 5-1/2 hours today in the emergency room because I fainted withour obvious cause, I sympathize with your heroine. Of course I had modern medicine on my side: x-rays, ekg scan, I don’t remember what else. Blood sugar was ruled out, because my morning test was 101, even though it was 249 by the time the ambulance got me to the hospital.
    Finally, I remember the off-chance that I might have UTI — And I do! Not sure how that lead to the faint!
    Home now, with medication. All is well.

    Reply
  20. Having spent about 5-1/2 hours today in the emergency room because I fainted withour obvious cause, I sympathize with your heroine. Of course I had modern medicine on my side: x-rays, ekg scan, I don’t remember what else. Blood sugar was ruled out, because my morning test was 101, even though it was 249 by the time the ambulance got me to the hospital.
    Finally, I remember the off-chance that I might have UTI — And I do! Not sure how that lead to the faint!
    Home now, with medication. All is well.

    Reply
  21. Pat, as a reader I find that paranormal input (like communicating with animals in ‘lessons in enchantment’) is much more compelling if it borders on the plausible in terms of modern understanding. I don’t expect or want historical characters to understand their magical powers though Energy Healing has a long history based on an ancient understanding of life force energy flows within the body and the chakra system. So you could perhaps have a healer using paranormal powers or more historically based understanding to perhaps remove blockages in the energy flows to cure the heroine’s distressing fainting spells. Hope that helps!

    Reply
  22. Pat, as a reader I find that paranormal input (like communicating with animals in ‘lessons in enchantment’) is much more compelling if it borders on the plausible in terms of modern understanding. I don’t expect or want historical characters to understand their magical powers though Energy Healing has a long history based on an ancient understanding of life force energy flows within the body and the chakra system. So you could perhaps have a healer using paranormal powers or more historically based understanding to perhaps remove blockages in the energy flows to cure the heroine’s distressing fainting spells. Hope that helps!

    Reply
  23. Pat, as a reader I find that paranormal input (like communicating with animals in ‘lessons in enchantment’) is much more compelling if it borders on the plausible in terms of modern understanding. I don’t expect or want historical characters to understand their magical powers though Energy Healing has a long history based on an ancient understanding of life force energy flows within the body and the chakra system. So you could perhaps have a healer using paranormal powers or more historically based understanding to perhaps remove blockages in the energy flows to cure the heroine’s distressing fainting spells. Hope that helps!

    Reply
  24. Pat, as a reader I find that paranormal input (like communicating with animals in ‘lessons in enchantment’) is much more compelling if it borders on the plausible in terms of modern understanding. I don’t expect or want historical characters to understand their magical powers though Energy Healing has a long history based on an ancient understanding of life force energy flows within the body and the chakra system. So you could perhaps have a healer using paranormal powers or more historically based understanding to perhaps remove blockages in the energy flows to cure the heroine’s distressing fainting spells. Hope that helps!

    Reply
  25. Pat, as a reader I find that paranormal input (like communicating with animals in ‘lessons in enchantment’) is much more compelling if it borders on the plausible in terms of modern understanding. I don’t expect or want historical characters to understand their magical powers though Energy Healing has a long history based on an ancient understanding of life force energy flows within the body and the chakra system. So you could perhaps have a healer using paranormal powers or more historically based understanding to perhaps remove blockages in the energy flows to cure the heroine’s distressing fainting spells. Hope that helps!

    Reply
  26. Neurocardiogenic syncope. For no apparent reason you suddenly feel dizzy and can end up fainting. Your brain and heart get confused about who is in charge of the blood flow. Doctor’s advice: Don’t stand or sit too long without moving ad drink plenty of water.
    My doctor panicked when this happened in the office, sent me to the emergency room, and I ended up spending three days in the hospital while they tried to figure it out. I changed doctors to one less prone to panic.

    Reply
  27. Neurocardiogenic syncope. For no apparent reason you suddenly feel dizzy and can end up fainting. Your brain and heart get confused about who is in charge of the blood flow. Doctor’s advice: Don’t stand or sit too long without moving ad drink plenty of water.
    My doctor panicked when this happened in the office, sent me to the emergency room, and I ended up spending three days in the hospital while they tried to figure it out. I changed doctors to one less prone to panic.

    Reply
  28. Neurocardiogenic syncope. For no apparent reason you suddenly feel dizzy and can end up fainting. Your brain and heart get confused about who is in charge of the blood flow. Doctor’s advice: Don’t stand or sit too long without moving ad drink plenty of water.
    My doctor panicked when this happened in the office, sent me to the emergency room, and I ended up spending three days in the hospital while they tried to figure it out. I changed doctors to one less prone to panic.

    Reply
  29. Neurocardiogenic syncope. For no apparent reason you suddenly feel dizzy and can end up fainting. Your brain and heart get confused about who is in charge of the blood flow. Doctor’s advice: Don’t stand or sit too long without moving ad drink plenty of water.
    My doctor panicked when this happened in the office, sent me to the emergency room, and I ended up spending three days in the hospital while they tried to figure it out. I changed doctors to one less prone to panic.

    Reply
  30. Neurocardiogenic syncope. For no apparent reason you suddenly feel dizzy and can end up fainting. Your brain and heart get confused about who is in charge of the blood flow. Doctor’s advice: Don’t stand or sit too long without moving ad drink plenty of water.
    My doctor panicked when this happened in the office, sent me to the emergency room, and I ended up spending three days in the hospital while they tried to figure it out. I changed doctors to one less prone to panic.

    Reply
  31. Sue, glad your episode ended well. I’m in your general age group and know that strange and scary stuff happens. I’m amazed at the variety of it. Seldom a dull moment!
    And Lil, sometimes you really do need to change doctors, as I realized after spending a year and a half chasing down a serious condition that was diagnosed within a week by a new cardiologist.
    As Bette Davis reputedly said, “Old age is not for sissies!” (But I guess it beats the alternative, lol.)

    Reply
  32. Sue, glad your episode ended well. I’m in your general age group and know that strange and scary stuff happens. I’m amazed at the variety of it. Seldom a dull moment!
    And Lil, sometimes you really do need to change doctors, as I realized after spending a year and a half chasing down a serious condition that was diagnosed within a week by a new cardiologist.
    As Bette Davis reputedly said, “Old age is not for sissies!” (But I guess it beats the alternative, lol.)

    Reply
  33. Sue, glad your episode ended well. I’m in your general age group and know that strange and scary stuff happens. I’m amazed at the variety of it. Seldom a dull moment!
    And Lil, sometimes you really do need to change doctors, as I realized after spending a year and a half chasing down a serious condition that was diagnosed within a week by a new cardiologist.
    As Bette Davis reputedly said, “Old age is not for sissies!” (But I guess it beats the alternative, lol.)

    Reply
  34. Sue, glad your episode ended well. I’m in your general age group and know that strange and scary stuff happens. I’m amazed at the variety of it. Seldom a dull moment!
    And Lil, sometimes you really do need to change doctors, as I realized after spending a year and a half chasing down a serious condition that was diagnosed within a week by a new cardiologist.
    As Bette Davis reputedly said, “Old age is not for sissies!” (But I guess it beats the alternative, lol.)

    Reply
  35. Sue, glad your episode ended well. I’m in your general age group and know that strange and scary stuff happens. I’m amazed at the variety of it. Seldom a dull moment!
    And Lil, sometimes you really do need to change doctors, as I realized after spending a year and a half chasing down a serious condition that was diagnosed within a week by a new cardiologist.
    As Bette Davis reputedly said, “Old age is not for sissies!” (But I guess it beats the alternative, lol.)

    Reply
  36. I love history. But, to be honest, if I am enjoying a good story, I can skip over the part where the Regency heroine opens her smart phone to make a call. Well, maybe not that much but I can overlook details which are not exactly within the period.
    I will say that, the speech errors give me more pause. I do not want to read “you know what I’m sayin” in a period story.
    I am probably more into characters who hold my interest than many readers. Also, if I love an author’s writing, I am pretty forgiving.
    I think, Ms Rice, in your case, take a deep breath and go with what you feel fits best. I have read a great many of your books. And the stories you provide are always so well done, I certainly trust your judgement.
    I hope everyone is taking care and staying well.

    Reply
  37. I love history. But, to be honest, if I am enjoying a good story, I can skip over the part where the Regency heroine opens her smart phone to make a call. Well, maybe not that much but I can overlook details which are not exactly within the period.
    I will say that, the speech errors give me more pause. I do not want to read “you know what I’m sayin” in a period story.
    I am probably more into characters who hold my interest than many readers. Also, if I love an author’s writing, I am pretty forgiving.
    I think, Ms Rice, in your case, take a deep breath and go with what you feel fits best. I have read a great many of your books. And the stories you provide are always so well done, I certainly trust your judgement.
    I hope everyone is taking care and staying well.

    Reply
  38. I love history. But, to be honest, if I am enjoying a good story, I can skip over the part where the Regency heroine opens her smart phone to make a call. Well, maybe not that much but I can overlook details which are not exactly within the period.
    I will say that, the speech errors give me more pause. I do not want to read “you know what I’m sayin” in a period story.
    I am probably more into characters who hold my interest than many readers. Also, if I love an author’s writing, I am pretty forgiving.
    I think, Ms Rice, in your case, take a deep breath and go with what you feel fits best. I have read a great many of your books. And the stories you provide are always so well done, I certainly trust your judgement.
    I hope everyone is taking care and staying well.

    Reply
  39. I love history. But, to be honest, if I am enjoying a good story, I can skip over the part where the Regency heroine opens her smart phone to make a call. Well, maybe not that much but I can overlook details which are not exactly within the period.
    I will say that, the speech errors give me more pause. I do not want to read “you know what I’m sayin” in a period story.
    I am probably more into characters who hold my interest than many readers. Also, if I love an author’s writing, I am pretty forgiving.
    I think, Ms Rice, in your case, take a deep breath and go with what you feel fits best. I have read a great many of your books. And the stories you provide are always so well done, I certainly trust your judgement.
    I hope everyone is taking care and staying well.

    Reply
  40. I love history. But, to be honest, if I am enjoying a good story, I can skip over the part where the Regency heroine opens her smart phone to make a call. Well, maybe not that much but I can overlook details which are not exactly within the period.
    I will say that, the speech errors give me more pause. I do not want to read “you know what I’m sayin” in a period story.
    I am probably more into characters who hold my interest than many readers. Also, if I love an author’s writing, I am pretty forgiving.
    I think, Ms Rice, in your case, take a deep breath and go with what you feel fits best. I have read a great many of your books. And the stories you provide are always so well done, I certainly trust your judgement.
    I hope everyone is taking care and staying well.

    Reply
  41. It really really helps that readers trust my judgment. I do my best to keep things that way. And in the process, just learned that catatonic was not a word until the early 20th century. Who knew? Sounds perfectly old to me!

    Reply
  42. It really really helps that readers trust my judgment. I do my best to keep things that way. And in the process, just learned that catatonic was not a word until the early 20th century. Who knew? Sounds perfectly old to me!

    Reply
  43. It really really helps that readers trust my judgment. I do my best to keep things that way. And in the process, just learned that catatonic was not a word until the early 20th century. Who knew? Sounds perfectly old to me!

    Reply
  44. It really really helps that readers trust my judgment. I do my best to keep things that way. And in the process, just learned that catatonic was not a word until the early 20th century. Who knew? Sounds perfectly old to me!

    Reply
  45. It really really helps that readers trust my judgment. I do my best to keep things that way. And in the process, just learned that catatonic was not a word until the early 20th century. Who knew? Sounds perfectly old to me!

    Reply
  46. Thanks for a thought provoking post, Patricia.
    That is funny about catatonic; I would also have thought it a far older word. It’s the opposite of the “Tiffany Problem.”
    Stay healthy people… No more fainting, please!

    Reply
  47. Thanks for a thought provoking post, Patricia.
    That is funny about catatonic; I would also have thought it a far older word. It’s the opposite of the “Tiffany Problem.”
    Stay healthy people… No more fainting, please!

    Reply
  48. Thanks for a thought provoking post, Patricia.
    That is funny about catatonic; I would also have thought it a far older word. It’s the opposite of the “Tiffany Problem.”
    Stay healthy people… No more fainting, please!

    Reply
  49. Thanks for a thought provoking post, Patricia.
    That is funny about catatonic; I would also have thought it a far older word. It’s the opposite of the “Tiffany Problem.”
    Stay healthy people… No more fainting, please!

    Reply
  50. Thanks for a thought provoking post, Patricia.
    That is funny about catatonic; I would also have thought it a far older word. It’s the opposite of the “Tiffany Problem.”
    Stay healthy people… No more fainting, please!

    Reply
  51. Pat,
    Chinese medicine has been using acupuncture and meridians to move energy from areas with too much, or not enough, for millennia. Have you looked into it? This could add dimension to one of your doctors having studied with a Master in Chinese Medicine, or the opportunity to call in someone from that tradition. That region of the world also had a strong tradition of boiled herbs, roots, and bark that are still powerful medicines used today.
    My acupuncturist/herbalist (as opposed to my doctors) has identified some interesting things and actually saved my life with something she recognized, sending me off to a doctor. Could you work with that? It would also involve energy work. Totally real and still used, but the characters might not understand why, or how it works. Their explanation might be different.

    Reply
  52. Pat,
    Chinese medicine has been using acupuncture and meridians to move energy from areas with too much, or not enough, for millennia. Have you looked into it? This could add dimension to one of your doctors having studied with a Master in Chinese Medicine, or the opportunity to call in someone from that tradition. That region of the world also had a strong tradition of boiled herbs, roots, and bark that are still powerful medicines used today.
    My acupuncturist/herbalist (as opposed to my doctors) has identified some interesting things and actually saved my life with something she recognized, sending me off to a doctor. Could you work with that? It would also involve energy work. Totally real and still used, but the characters might not understand why, or how it works. Their explanation might be different.

    Reply
  53. Pat,
    Chinese medicine has been using acupuncture and meridians to move energy from areas with too much, or not enough, for millennia. Have you looked into it? This could add dimension to one of your doctors having studied with a Master in Chinese Medicine, or the opportunity to call in someone from that tradition. That region of the world also had a strong tradition of boiled herbs, roots, and bark that are still powerful medicines used today.
    My acupuncturist/herbalist (as opposed to my doctors) has identified some interesting things and actually saved my life with something she recognized, sending me off to a doctor. Could you work with that? It would also involve energy work. Totally real and still used, but the characters might not understand why, or how it works. Their explanation might be different.

    Reply
  54. Pat,
    Chinese medicine has been using acupuncture and meridians to move energy from areas with too much, or not enough, for millennia. Have you looked into it? This could add dimension to one of your doctors having studied with a Master in Chinese Medicine, or the opportunity to call in someone from that tradition. That region of the world also had a strong tradition of boiled herbs, roots, and bark that are still powerful medicines used today.
    My acupuncturist/herbalist (as opposed to my doctors) has identified some interesting things and actually saved my life with something she recognized, sending me off to a doctor. Could you work with that? It would also involve energy work. Totally real and still used, but the characters might not understand why, or how it works. Their explanation might be different.

    Reply
  55. Pat,
    Chinese medicine has been using acupuncture and meridians to move energy from areas with too much, or not enough, for millennia. Have you looked into it? This could add dimension to one of your doctors having studied with a Master in Chinese Medicine, or the opportunity to call in someone from that tradition. That region of the world also had a strong tradition of boiled herbs, roots, and bark that are still powerful medicines used today.
    My acupuncturist/herbalist (as opposed to my doctors) has identified some interesting things and actually saved my life with something she recognized, sending me off to a doctor. Could you work with that? It would also involve energy work. Totally real and still used, but the characters might not understand why, or how it works. Their explanation might be different.

    Reply
  56. Another fainter here! It’s usually triggered by having to give blood samples, or seeing blood, or even people talking about blood. I have vasovagal syncope, and low blood pressure.

    Reply
  57. Another fainter here! It’s usually triggered by having to give blood samples, or seeing blood, or even people talking about blood. I have vasovagal syncope, and low blood pressure.

    Reply
  58. Another fainter here! It’s usually triggered by having to give blood samples, or seeing blood, or even people talking about blood. I have vasovagal syncope, and low blood pressure.

    Reply
  59. Another fainter here! It’s usually triggered by having to give blood samples, or seeing blood, or even people talking about blood. I have vasovagal syncope, and low blood pressure.

    Reply
  60. Another fainter here! It’s usually triggered by having to give blood samples, or seeing blood, or even people talking about blood. I have vasovagal syncope, and low blood pressure.

    Reply
  61. That is a totally cool idea, Kat, thank you! I use “energy” because of these beliefs but in the historicals, it’s a little difficult. I don’t know how much of Chinese beliefs would have reached rural Yorkshire in the 1870s. But for my contemps…now I’m itching to start another!

    Reply
  62. That is a totally cool idea, Kat, thank you! I use “energy” because of these beliefs but in the historicals, it’s a little difficult. I don’t know how much of Chinese beliefs would have reached rural Yorkshire in the 1870s. But for my contemps…now I’m itching to start another!

    Reply
  63. That is a totally cool idea, Kat, thank you! I use “energy” because of these beliefs but in the historicals, it’s a little difficult. I don’t know how much of Chinese beliefs would have reached rural Yorkshire in the 1870s. But for my contemps…now I’m itching to start another!

    Reply
  64. That is a totally cool idea, Kat, thank you! I use “energy” because of these beliefs but in the historicals, it’s a little difficult. I don’t know how much of Chinese beliefs would have reached rural Yorkshire in the 1870s. But for my contemps…now I’m itching to start another!

    Reply
  65. That is a totally cool idea, Kat, thank you! I use “energy” because of these beliefs but in the historicals, it’s a little difficult. I don’t know how much of Chinese beliefs would have reached rural Yorkshire in the 1870s. But for my contemps…now I’m itching to start another!

    Reply
  66. ouch! At least I’ll have an audience who won’t think my fainter a wimp. (I keep thinking of those falling goats in TN but figure I can’t use them in England in 1870 ) So my healer will have to “magically” deduce her problems with energy flow, I guess. But all this info on here is really stirring the juices.

    Reply
  67. ouch! At least I’ll have an audience who won’t think my fainter a wimp. (I keep thinking of those falling goats in TN but figure I can’t use them in England in 1870 ) So my healer will have to “magically” deduce her problems with energy flow, I guess. But all this info on here is really stirring the juices.

    Reply
  68. ouch! At least I’ll have an audience who won’t think my fainter a wimp. (I keep thinking of those falling goats in TN but figure I can’t use them in England in 1870 ) So my healer will have to “magically” deduce her problems with energy flow, I guess. But all this info on here is really stirring the juices.

    Reply
  69. ouch! At least I’ll have an audience who won’t think my fainter a wimp. (I keep thinking of those falling goats in TN but figure I can’t use them in England in 1870 ) So my healer will have to “magically” deduce her problems with energy flow, I guess. But all this info on here is really stirring the juices.

    Reply
  70. ouch! At least I’ll have an audience who won’t think my fainter a wimp. (I keep thinking of those falling goats in TN but figure I can’t use them in England in 1870 ) So my healer will have to “magically” deduce her problems with energy flow, I guess. But all this info on here is really stirring the juices.

    Reply

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