Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Biography Research: Repotting a Book-in-Progress




When I was a few months into my research on my biography of painter Elisabeth Chant, I bought a thrift shop item to house my growing stacks of notes.

That piece of furniture, shelves that were more like mail slots, was fine for a while.

But recently I realized I needed more space, and lots more different files. The distinctions in topics were growing ever finer, in addition to the added piles of bulk material.

So: a new container. I'm up to a very deep-drawered file cabinet, dressed in a sari from Varanasi, the setting of my novel Sister India. (This is the very distinctive Banarsi brocade.)
And this doesn't count the shelves of books, or the digital material.

I expect I'll have to repot another time or three before this book is done. It's a satisfying piece of the process, seeing it grow.