I lost my research

Dear Reader,

You are not going to believe this, but I seem to have lost my research. Not all of it, just the detailed, every day sort of stuff about the town that I’m writing about.

Shoot me. Shoot me shoot me shoot me.

Let me break it down for you: two years ago, I befriended Graham Carter thanks to the amazing randomness of the interwebz. He found me because I was bewailing the lack of information about the little town in England I had chosen as the location of Haunting Miss Trentwood, which at the time was called Trentwood’s Orphan. The town is Compton Beauchamp, which Graham described as “the back of beyond.”

Only an Englishman could make a middle-of-nowhere village sound charming. But then, as I understand it, middle-of-nowhere villages in England are charming, ergo my choosing said middle-of-nowhere village. He called it “obscure” and “anonymous.” He lives within 12 miles of the place and had to look it up on a map to remember where it was, exactly.

I still have the emails he sent me, and he sent me many, because he likes to study genealogy. In fact, he assumed I was an American looking for my Brit roots. Unfortunately, I have none. He went to the local library and made copies of newspapers from every month in 1887 that mentioned Compton Beauchamp.

I was giddy. Ecstatic. I printed them out in chronological order, highlighting and marking where and when I could use local events in Trentwood’s Orphan. I kept the information with me while I moved to Bloomington for grad school. I remember packing the folder when moving back to Columbus for a job.

I cannot find the folder. I know I put it somewhere, and I hope when I move from my parents’ to my brand-spanking-new apartment it will magically appear beneath my pillow, a la the tooth fairy.

In the meantime, I’m working from memory. Thank goodness I spent so many hours studying those papers. But bless me if I didn’t almost lose my mind searching for that folder in all of my within-reach boxes.

I do have generic research about the era, such as clothing, vehicles, etiquette, that sort of thing. Going through that research reminded me that originally the climax of Haunting Miss Trentwood née Trentwood’s Orphan was to be a court scene in which someone was sued for breach of promise. A breach of promise lawsuit could also be known as “how &*%#!@ dare you &*%#!@ break up with me you mother-&*%#!@!”

But I’ve lost the good stuff that I had tucked away in a green, battered, two-pocket, three-hole-punched folder. Maybe if I channel the self I was at the beginning of the summer, I will remember where I put it.

Or, I can wait one more week until I get into my new place and hug the folder upon its retrieval.

All the best,

Belinda

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