I've been planting seeds and plants, too. It will take a while to see results from that, but it's another phase of the creative roll.
And then I spent over an hour on the phone with Bob last night, brainstorming the book. We both had arrived at the thought that it needs to go through 1779, maybe the winter of 1780, unlike the original plan. And he loves my new villain, Major Newell, and has been coming up with ideas relative to him. Newell embodies all the worst traits of manifest destiny and the arrogance of the British upper class. I gave Bob some of my thoughts on using Silas Talbot, and we ran through a lot of new angles. Captain Symonds, another real person, has emerged as one of the villains (and worthy of the role, to judge by Ethan Allen's accounts of him). And we scrapped one of Bob's characters as more than a walk-on. A lot of new pieces are falling into place. Our problem is being historical perfectionists, even if what we're doing is rewriting history. But I think we finally are starting to live and breathe the period and the real people enough that we can let them move on their own, rather than trying to force them to some notion of our own. If a character doesn't develop independant life, they need to get scrapped. It's that simple. A real story is a quantum reaction, that eventually explodes and creates a universe on its own.