AT LAST: Day 1

[for the purposes of personal safety, these entries were not released until after we returned]

 

It is amazing how difficult it is to start a trip. Even when you have deadlines and arrival times.

 

We are late. Not by much, but late enough to make me start to pull out of the driveway with the tailgate wide open. Shelley doesn‘t start out this way. She starts out with just Frankie in the car, driving to the Raleigh’s RDU airport to pick up the others. I calculate that they would have to start even earlier than we in order to make it to Raleigh, then get on the road to Asheville to arrive at the Biltmore estate in time. On the other hand, I don’t think they arrive as early as we do.

 

Our visit to Biltmore is as effective as it is informative and fun. There is much in the book that will have to change. I have so much wrong in the description. Conservators and visitors would have laughed — and put the book down. We can’t have that.

 

We tour the roofs – what was once called an architectural tour. Claud would want to go on that. And if – IF – I say, one of the sisters developed a case of vertigo and it interrupted the trip, she’d be angry. Good. More plot.

 

What I also learn is that one of my main questions is about to be answered in the positive. A scene I’ve written is very possible – and so that means of moving things forward is perfectly reasonable. (No, I’m not revealing details here – it would be too much information.) However, I will say that character flaws make for good drama and revelation.

 

The day finishes with our GPS leading us miles astray, when all we want to do is find our hotel. Along about when she tells us “Turn right on Ford road, and drive off-road” we conclude she’s lost, and we go about tricking her into giving us proper directions. Silly mechanics.

 

‘ta

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