Last week I typed “The End” on my 2014 NaNoWriMo project, having written an unbalanced 50k plus words in November, and 20k through December and the first week of January. In this particular manuscript the heroine revealed herself early on to be from Ireland, and as I dashed along I needed to do some naming and geographying.
Oops! That’s not a word. I had to mention in passing where the heroine was from. I needed a placeholder so my right brain could whiz (or at times plod) on with the creating, but I also needed an excuse for my primal drive to procrastinate. So I turned to my maps.
I have a contemporary highway map of Great Britain and Ireland that I obtained from the Auto Club, but yikes, have you seen one of those? There are no wide open spaces. Heaven forbid you want to find a specific locale without a magnifying glass.
There are also online sources for contemporary and antique maps, for example here, and here.
Frustrated, I turned to another procrastination activity, cleaning my workspace, and lo and behold, I found the perfect map.
My sister is a world traveler and amateur genealogist who always brings me back a carefully selected souvenir. On a trip to Italy to search out the paternal roots, she produced this gem, a dishcloth map of Abruzzo and Molise in fetching red, white, and blue colors (our family hails from near Teramo, I believe).
Last year she went to Ireland looking for the maternal Reagan/Regan/Riogan/Ragan roots (spelling varied widely and wildly) and brought this:
Note that this says “Names of Ireland”, showing their home counties and including family crests. Perfect for my needs.
I just Googled “dishtowel maps” and there is an amazing variety of dishtowels and tea towels, most at reasonable prices. We’re planning a trip to London, and I might just have to pick up this London Underground Tea Towel to study beforehand while I’m waiting for my kettle to whistle.
Of course, neither of my “map towels” have touched a dish or seen the inside of a washing machine. They’re too pretty to use. Besides, I need them for research!
Images: The author, Google shopping