I often ask myself which I love more--researching Arizona history or writing. And while the two run close together, AZ history has to take the top spot.
Oh the amazing stories of people and places of Arizona's past!
I tell you, when I shove my nose into a history book and read about those people, about Arizona of that time, I just literally tremble with excitement. What must it have been like to live when Arizona wasn't overpopulated? When water ran in the rivers much more frequently than now? When there were many more acres of productive, tillable land? When people due to sheer necessity had to relate to one another in a more hospitable manner? (Not that there weren't plenty of trials and problems.)
It is so utterly fascinating I wish I could spend all of my life studying it. It makes me sad that most of the waking hours of my life are spent toiling away in a worthless job instead of studying the history I love so well. Sometimes I fear I'll never learn anywhere near all I deeply long to know about Arizona's past--to become fluent in her rich history. Much less translate that into my heart's desire--a string of novels based on the early years of territorial Arizona.
I am so thankful to those Arizona pioneers and their family members who took time to preserve notes, biographies, sketches and stories. And for people like Frank Lockwood, C.L. Sonnichsen, Constance Altshuler, Marshall Trimble and so many others who have pulled together aspects of Arizona's history for others to study.
I hope before I kick the bucket I can cover even 1/10th of the historical material out there, and that I will see the completion of at least a small handful of manuscripts. As exciting and fascinating as Arizona's real life history is, it is all the more a great spring-board for story ideas and what if questions.
And there is so much to learn from our history. Oh I wish I'd been born and raised here! But I'll just have to make up for lost time in the best way I know how.
And pray those yearnings for facts and fiction will be realized in due time.