Today I'm satisfied with leaving the six scenes to be written. They'll be sirens to lead me back to the manuscript. I'm going to set a goal of doing research and character work for three-to-four weeks while the story cools.
This is what I'm doing now. I'm breaking in my extremely pretty blue and metalic gold kitty-butterfly journal that was a gift from FH (saved for just such an occasion). So far, I've: listed my major research topics (7); made some notes on the timeline questions; listed the named characters (15); and listed the major settings (3, though, say, interior rooms of a building aren't included).
I've also begun assembling research books. Many of them I have already. I'm quite vexed though because there's one wonderful picture book (so good for the visual images) that is out of print, and the cheapest it's available is $54 on Amazon. That's just wrong. I could get it through interlibrary loan, but then I can't keep it. I may have to settle for that anyway. We'll see.
Basically, my plan is to write the name of whatever it is I'm brainstorming, underline it, and then make a note underneath. When I'm done, I'll synthesize and key up reference guides to each topic. Previously, I've used notecards, so this is a new strategy.
In other news, I wrote a draft of my panel talk on YA history and multiculturalism. I'm speaking with KA, who's talking about alternate forms, and GLS, who's talking about humor, at the upcoming AWP convention. By the way, Exploding The Myths: The Truth About Teenagers and Reading by Marc Aronson (Scarecrow, 2001)(author interview) was the best reference source I found. I'll refer the audience to it for further reading.
Oh! One last thing, try the turkey melt sandwich on whole wheat at Magnolia Cafe on Lake Austin Boulevard. I had it for dinner. Yummy!