Saturday, December 17, 2011

A New Project

So I'm researching a new novel.

I should be continuing the Hermit of Iapetus, but I got a feather in my ear about another book I got the germ for earlier this year: The Orderville Pants Rebellion.

This one focuses on a true story that took place in Orderville, Utah, in the early 1880s. Orderville, of course, is where members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints tried living the United Order, in which everyone held all their property in common and all received the same wage no matter what kind of work they did. Pioneer Communism, in other words. The pants rebellion comes about when a young man decides he can't wait for his pants to wear out before he gets a new, more fashionable pair and thus takes wool to the market to buy a new pair of pants.

I've been doing some reading of pioneer journals and other documents on the period and it's pretty fascinating. A lot of fodder for a good historical fiction novel, which I'll orient towards young adults, along the lines of Lloyd Alexander's books. I think this is a good niche for me.

Learnt some interesting tidbits:
  • Those who joined the order were re-baptized.
  • At the communal commissary, it was the men who baked the bread and bottled the fruit.
  • Only kindergarten-age kids went to school. The rest worked.
  • Side jobs were discouraged -- unless all the proceeds were given to the Order.
  • Pride did them in.
  • They moved about, leaving behind malcontents just like the Nephites did.
Pretty interesting stuff. Should make for a fun book.

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