"It was imprudent of us, in the first place, to become authors. We could have become something regular, but we managed not to.
We were lucky, but we were also determined." Roy Blount Jr

"I don’t change the facts to enhance the drama. I think of it the other way round, the drama has got to fit the facts,
and it’s your job as a writer to find the shape in real life."
Hilary Mantel

Saturday, March 29, 2008

My Hero

This is such a great conference that I haven't a lot of time for extracurricular activities--although that will change in 15 minutes time when we meet my actor pal for brunch.

One thing on my "wish list" for the trip was to view a portrait of the duke about whom I'm writing, the male protagonist of my novel. He's the husband of the lady whose face decorates my sidebar. It's not only her story I'm writing--it's his, too. And theirs.

I've got a black and white print of the portrait, painted by the same artist who did all three of those duchess paintings, which the Met kindly sent to me. But I'd really like to see the full-colour version in all its glory, showing the duke as a proud young man.

The Chap was planning to visit the Whitney Museum yesterday to look at their Hopper paintings. I said if was near the Met, and if he had the time, perhaps he might stop in at the desk and find out if my duke's portrait was on display and where it's located. That way, if I had the chance this trip (unlikely) or the next trip (quite definitely) I could pay his grace a visit.

My hero--my husband--not only went to the Met, he embarked upon a major search mission. He was told the painting was hanging, and where it was hanging. But he didn't find it in that location. So he returned to the desk to tell them. He rang up the curatorial department who gave him another location. He didn't find it there, either. Staff members were wandering the museum, as did he, trying to find my duke.

Eventually, on the fourth attempt to direct the Chap, the Information Desk got it right. After more missteps than you could imagine, the quest succeeded. The Chap made numerous photographs for me.

Here is one of them.

Needless to say, I'm thrilled.

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