ROW80 Check-in

Progress made as of ten minutes to midnight, Sunday, January 8:

– Posted a book review: Berlin at War by Roger Moorhouse;

– Revised about 10K words out of planned 20K. The 10k words shrank to about 7K after revision, and I re-wrote about 2k from scratch;

– Read about 1/3 of the book, Harvest of Despair by Karel C. Berkhoff.

Conclusion: I should not put off  my work on the novel until after dinnertime when my kid is most likely to ask for help with his homework.

The part I am working on involves a mouth organ, also called harmonica. A Wehrmacht soldier playing his harmonica is an age-old cliche in the Soviet WWII fiction. Still, I went for it because a harmonica works well for the suspense in my novel.

For the purpose of my story, the design of the harmonica needs to be flashy and easy to remember. After shuffling through pictures of 1930’s-1940’s harmonicas online, I came across this album of Art Deco harmonicas. My favorites in it are:

Rosenkavalier Luxe made by Hans Rolz, Germany

Dinora made by Emil Friedel, Germany

I am inclined to use a Rosenkavalier harmonica because the initial owner of it is anything but a chivalrous Knight of the Rose. On the other hand, the female character who sees the harmonica later is very likely to remember the word Rosenkavalier.

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12 comments on “ROW80 Check-in

  1. Kim Switzer says:

    Ooh, that darned waiting ’til the last minute! I fall prey to that one, too. Still, you got some good stuff done this week, and that’s good.

    I love the pictures of the harmonicas. So cool! I never realized they came in bright colors with designs like that.

  2. The Art Deco harmonicas were a discovery for me too. That’s why I love historical research!

  3. Those are both beautiful! Good luck on going forward with your goals 🙂

  4. Sony says:

    I love that harmonica album…it’s not something people often talk about or mention, so it’s a really neat idea. Looks like you’re really working towards your goals. Keep at it!

  5. Willowfaerie says:

    A Wehrmacht soldier playing on his harmonica is an age-old cliche in the Soviet WWII fiction.

    That just makes me smile. I had no idea. I think the harmonica is a cliche in American Westerns. LOL

    I’m so glad to see you making such excellent progress!

  6. Arnika says:

    I think the idea is great – a cliche is often a cliche because it has at least a grain of truth! After all, what instrum,ent would be as portable as a hamonica?

    In the early 1980s, my class teacher in 1st and 2nd grade was around 65 years old. He insisted on all of us buying a harmonica (or rather, a Mundharmonika, as a Harmonika would be a huge old thing in Germany) and for two years until our class was assigned to a younger teacher, we were playing/singing German folk songs. Every Single Day.

  7. Doug Dawson says:

    I am glad that you like my Art Deco harmonicas. I have about 1,000 harmonicas in my collection but the Art Deco’s are my favourites. They were originally produced around 1930 and made into the 1950’s. A WWII soldier would more likely have played a Hohner Marine Band or Hohner Piccolo as they were smaller and easier to store in a breast pocket as well as easier to play.

    • Doug,

      First of all, thank you for sharing your great collection online! I appreciate your tip on the brands popular with soldiers. Art Deco is one of my favorite styles too, and your album has such a great educational value.

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