[LMB] Happy Birthday, Howard Brazee!

adkinslawfirm at mindspring.com adkinslawfirm at mindspring.com
Sun Jun 20 12:46:38 BST 2021

For your special day, you're going to Bonsanklar.  During a sumptuous breakfast in a quiet courtyard, you savor the shade, the balmy breeze, radiant sky, and subtle susurration of the leaves.  A wide-eyed Duv Galeni staggers over and asks to join you.  Over his own breakfast, he explains how he was basely tricked.  When Delia wanted to come down, he was picturing romantic strolls along the esplanade or even moons-lit walks on a beach.  Instead, he's been dragooned into giving a workshop on historical research at a writing seminar.  His loving wife has basely abandoned him to hordes of women, some of them even--breathe it softly--*romance* writers, for shopping, of all things.  You remind him that women aren't the only readers of romance, offering yourself as living proof.  "So you'll come then?"  He clutches your possible attendance like a desperate man on his last straw.  You suggest he keep the focus on on historical research, something he knows about, after all.  He can breathe again, and goes off to prepare.  

You start your day's activities with a quiet walk in the nearby virgin woods.  Even a short walk can be quite invigorating.  Refreshed, you're ready for further adventures.  This will be a surrey ride around the old town with the Vorthyses.  Whenever the Professor starts to elaborate overmuch about structural stresses and architecture, the Professora knows how to rein him in with a related historical tidbit, usually amusing or scandalous.  Having thought of Bonsanklar as a quiet backwater, you're shocked at some of the goings-on.  On the other hand, those were rather turbulent times.  Speaking of which, you mention Duv's upcoming workshop.  The Professora's very enthusiastic, declaring that they wouldn't miss it for worlds.  Your ride culminates in lunch with the Vorthyses in a charming place they know.  The Professor waxes positively poetic about the desserts.

The relief on Duv's face when you come in, and the surprised delight to see the Vorthyses, make any bother well worth it.  There's nothing like friendly ringers in the audience.  Duv gets the Professora to come up, and they have a fun and lively discussion on historical research: how to do it, how to get access to archives, etc.  You have several helpful comments to make there, as you remember life both before and after the internet.  Some skills never go away.  The Professora is especially emphatic about what to leave out.  After all, as you note to general amusement, it's not the thing to wear all one's boleros at once, just to prove one has them.  She waxes quite eloquent about the variety of genres of historical fiction: mysteries [dark or cozy], romance, comedy of manners, slice of life, etc.  It's a long list, and they all need to be well-researched, as well as well-written.  The workshop takes place in the quiet courtyard you enjoyed for breakfast.  Some of the break-out groups and discussions are animated, but the Vorthyses know how to keep things from getting acrimonious.  It's fun and fascinating, to see so many fired up by all the possibilities.  When the discussion gets a bit abstruse, should you choose to join the Professor in the shade, for drinks with fruit on sticks, or even a nap, no one will notice.

Over dinner, Delia is back from her shopping, with all sorts of adventures to recount.  Duv's grateful for the help from everyone [else, his laughingly severe glance reminds Delia].  After dinner, they wander off.  Perhaps he'll get his romantic stroll after all.  You and the Vorthyses enjoy your own leisurely stroll along the esplanade during and after sunset.  Over another fabulous dessert [the Professor is extremely useful at times], you enjoy the superb fireworks over the ocean.

Have a fun day!


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