A day of research...
It's that time of year again when I research the characters and plot for the next work-in-progress, otherwise known as my WIP. Research into ancient times takes me to some interesting places. For this next book, I'm studying Isaac and Rebekah and today I spent hours creating a genealogical time line from the time of Noah's son Shem to Isaac's grandchildren. It's fascinating to figure out where people came from and how they are interconnected. I never did find a satisfactory answer on who the Horites where descended from or how many wives Esau truly had. For instance, in Genesis it names Esau's Canaanite wives as Judith and Basemath, and later says he took a third wife from Ishmael's tribe, a woman named Mahalath. But in Chronicles it says Esau's Canaanite (Hittite) wives were Adah and Basemath and that he had another wife named Oholibamah. Two of the women have the same father, so were they the same woman with different names or were they sisters? Unfortunately, the Bible doesn't give us more details on these women - at least not that I've found yet. Esau is not a main character in this book, though he may have a part, and certainly shows up in the next one. But the more I can learn about the side characters and the peoples around them, the better I will understand the culture. Still, after working all afternoon on the time line and driving myself crazy trying to figure Esau's wives out, I quit and read a book on deserts. I know...probably not the next book on most people's to-be-read list, but it was actually pretty fascinating. It was a book given to me by a friend, and it has lots of photographs. It's an Eyewitness book, and those are always interesting. Though I have already studied much of what it said, it is always good to refresh the memory. The photographs and accompanying text help me to see the Bedouin lifestyle. The next best thing to actually living it.
So the day was productive. I have my Idea Board created, my characters are cast, and now I'm studying the Scripture to get a good feel for who these people were. Then I can start to plot the story. I will continue to research even as I write, but I can't begin without being steeped in the biblical account of the story. I'm starting to see Isaac in a whole new light. Rebekah...still studying...and pondering.