In Ann Arbor

I’m writing this in Ann Arbor, where I am visiting my sister-in-law, Wendy (as well as my mother-in-law Rosemary and her husband Michael, who are over on a flying visit of their own).

The trip from Kitchener went well, with only an accident on the 401 hindering our progress. We took the 402, crossed over at Sarnia/Port Huron and followed I-69 to Flint before cutting south on US-23. Avoiding Detroit altogether appears to be the key in getting where we want to go in Michigan quickly.

Again, I am impressed by Ann Arbor: a city of trees, Victorian neighbourhoods, and a vibrant, thriving downtown. This comes from having a thriving university in one’s downtown, I guess, and it goes to show how much I like university towns. Yesterday was a little lazy, with all of us walking downtown to visit Borders and then going to a sports bar to see Michigan face Notre Dame in football (Michigan lost a close one). We retired to Wendy and Lars’ home for barbecued ribs and trout (well done, Lars!) and played a game called Cosmic Wimpout.

So, it wasn’t a trip of big experiences, seeing new lands and meeting lots of new people, but I’m glad we came out. We did look at some of Wendy’s pictures of our South Dakota trip, however, and I admired a new painting Wendy did of the short grass prairie. Mark my words, she’s going to become a famous artist; she is as talented with paint as Erin is with words.

While sipping coffee at Borders, I managed to work out a coherent plot for The Young City. It will be Peter asking questions at the Taddle Creek burial site that will attract the initial attention of Aldous Magnait, I think, not Rosemary (although Rosemary quickly attracts his attention). This ties Aldous back with the buried river and completes the plot circle. There’s still a lot of work to be done (researching organized crime in the early 1880s, for starters, and also reading Dickens), but now I have an idea of where The Young City is going, and that’s a big improvement.

On the :Trenchcoat Farewell Project: front, Trenchcoat 1 is laid out up to The Abbey by the Sea (the fifth out of six stories), and Trenchcoat 0 is waiting on just two titles before it’s complete as well. I’m about a quarter of the way there…

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