Cold Trail — Samurai Footwear

Writing historic fiction can be smooth and yet not. When the wind is in our metaphoric sails, we can dash out thousands of words until we come to a hiccup.

Tanith Lee spoke of this in an interview some years ago. She might write a hundred or two hundred pages … and then … in the plot of a story, a human becomes immortal! And she stops for six months to ponder what that would mean. (I believe she was speaking about her wonderful Flat Earth series.)

Straw snowboots of medieval Japan

Recently, as I was working on the opening of the third young Yamabuki book, Cold Trail, as stopped when I had to address the problem: what would Yamabuki wear when she crosses the passes where there is snow? It is said a samurai of the 12th century wore fur boots made of bear skin and lined with silk, but I think that might not be all that good as the snow piles up. Going outside, a mile high here in the Rockies, reminds me of the weather conditions the samurai in an earlier age had to overcome.

Like Lee, I stopped writing and started researching. Not six months, but still…

I found a photograph of the kind of boots that might have been worn by Yamabuki.

With the research done, back to the desperate chase and maybe a few thousand more words. You never know when the flow will come or go.

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0 thoughts on “Cold Trail — Samurai Footwear”

  1. Avatar
    Katherine M. Lawrence

    For me. half the pleasure of writing is in getting a glimpse, albeit small, into how people might have had to live in a less technologically advanced time.

  2. Avatar
    katherine@pingv.com

    For me. half the pleasure of writing is in getting a glimpse, albeit small, into how people might have had to live in a less technologically advanced time.

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