I had a good time yesterday at the Halton County Railway Museum. There were fewer crewmembers than usual, and I got more chances to drive the streetcars, and I watched with interest as other volunteers worked their tails off pouring gravel onto the floor of one of the carbarns. Attendance was surprisingly light (about a third off from normal, despite sunny and dry weather), and when I asked about it, I heard that attendance at museums across Ontario was down this year. It's probably the brief recession we had. Things may be recovering, but the effects are still rippling out across the economy.
The volunteers pouring gravel into the carbarn picked a good day to work. Although the sun was hot, the air was dry and clear, and the result was comfortable. Things look like they're heating up again this week, but I haven't yet heard mention of smog or humidity. I'm not looking forward to the return of sticky weather, but I bet that it will arrive tomorrow.
Things are heating up in more ways than one. Erin and I are putting the finishing touches on another version of Rosemary and Time to send to Orca Books. When we got permission by Ms. DeVries to submit the rest of the novel, Erin was determined that I should put the best foot forward. I'm eternally grateful for her help.
One enhancement she suggested is in the chapter about the haunted house set. There was good comedy to be had in the battle between Rosemary and her Victorian clothes. After tearing off her corset and her crinolines (behind a set of bushes), the taffeta skirt drags along the ground, tripping her as she walks. Then, after they enter the house, the fall through a trap door.
Peter and Rosemary found themselves sliding down a chute. They smacked against a door, which swung open, and then they were rolling across a carpeted hallway, landing in a tangled heap against a wall. A moment later, Puck burst out of the doorway, did a somersault, and landed nimbly on his feet.
Rosemary's skirts had flown up and tangled round her head. She felt like she was tied in a sack. She flailed her way free. "Right!" she shouted. "That's it! I can do a haunted house, but I won't do this stupid dress!" She tore at it, sending tiny black buttons flying. She yanked the skirt back up over her head.
"Rosemary, what are you doing?" Peter stared. White undergarments were emerging from the tangle of blue and green. "Calm down!"
"I'll be... calm," she grunted, struggling inside the taffeta, "I'll be ... calm ... as soon ... as I get this thing ... off!" Rosemary burst out of the dress, and flung it aside in triumph. She was wearing stockings, knee-length bloomers, a laced camisole, and a wicked grin. Her Victorian updo was a frizzled wreck. "There," she said. "Now I'm calm."
They were in a narrow, dim corridor. Around them, the lost buttons shone back at them like eyes.
Peter averted his eyes. "What do we do now?"
I hope that the remainder of the revisions will be done today, so I can send off the story on Monday. Keep your fingers crossed!