Everyone seems confused for the first week or two after the beginning and ending of Daylight Savings time. What I felt was a version of that.
I had never thought about how I adapted to the period I was writing, and how hard it would be to re-adapt to another period. Apparently I have never written two time periods in one day.
Emily Lawrence exists in a word just on the edges of modern conveniences. She starts out with an ice box, oil lamps, hand pumps to bring water into the house, and wood fired stoves. At the end of the series she has electricity, flush toilets, running water and gas stoves. If Emily needs to travel, she goes by steam train, carriage, or steamship.
Iccarus Norton has none of that. Oil for lamps is expensive, so candles if you can afford them, and rush lights if you cannot, are all that is available. Wood stoves? No stoves at all, cooking is done on an open hearth or in a wood fired oven. Water is carried into the house from the well in wooden buckets, refrigeration is in spring houses, usually some distance from the house. Iccarus travels on horseback. The only other option is by stage coach, or private carriage. Roads are unpaved, and poorly kept.
But I am the writer, sitting in the comfort of a heated home. I can get up and pour myself a cup of hot coffee whenever I want. I can fix a quick meal and heat it in the microwave. Hey, I am writing on a computer instead of using Iccarus's quill pen or Emily's fountain pen. I have an automobile to take me to the store where everything is available.
Iccarus rides five miles to his new job along a road I traveled by car many times in my childhood. I have to change that picture in my mind. I have to make sure he doesn’t reach for a lamp when he would only have had a candle. He would be active during daylight and seldom worked into the night. I sent him out to question a man harvesting wheat. I saw in my mind a harvester drawn by horses. Wrong. Scythes and a wagon. The house I imagined was from a period half way between the two I was struggling with. Wrong. The store in the town was the one where I bought my school clothes. Wrong.
Once I have adjusted my own being to the time period I don't have problems with modern things popping up where they shouldn't, or with things from another period I have just finished writing about. Once I am in the time I am writing about, I make few (not none) historical errors.
Last night I had a dream in which I lived in a dwelling that paralleled the mill where I work. Each of the three floors of the house opened onto a floor in the mill, one in 1704 and the other now. I kept going back and forth from dwelling to mill. An allegory for my writing?