Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Camp #Nanowrimo Day 1 - Playing marbles

Sure, I collected marbles as a kid. I loved the pretty way the different colored glass swirled around. I'd even role them know and then, but only for effect because I never learned to play. John knows how, but since I'm the one writing the first pass of Louisiana Snowflake, I had to learn for myself. Why? Because marbles play an important part in the story. So part of my job today was to research marbles -- not only how to play, but what types of marbles were available in 1905. Fortunately, I found very detailed instructions on how to play on the Land of Marbles website. The website included handy illustrations that let me imagine Hanover and Toledo instead of the cartoon figures. I also learned important vocabulary like lagging and knuckle-down.

Courtesy of
Next, I had to figure out what these marbles looked like. The Vintage and Antique Marbles site had lots of good information, including pictures. Since Hanover got his marbles as a gift from his uncle who lives in Germany, I decided on handmade glass German marbles. Toledo's shooter looks kind of like this red and white swirl marble.

Courtesy of
I was particularly intrigued by the sulfide marbles. Here's a picture of one that has a horse inside. The one I used in the story doesn't have a horse, but it's the only marble Hanover has named. It's called Louisiana Snowflake, just like the book. Why is it so important?  You'll have to wait to find out.

Did you collect marbles? Do you have a favorite? Do you have a favorite marble-shooting technique? I'm sure Hanover Fist would love to hear about it. I know I would.

The August copy of our newsletter will contain a sneak preview of Louisiana Snowflake. Sign up before the end of July if you want a sneak peek.

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