I closed the new document this morning at about 12:15am. I finished writing about a woman who has not yet given birth but her daughter will be an important character, later in the book. As I slid into bed, I was thinking of who she will be when she grows up and I thought she might be the first African-American nun. She has someone else to deal with by then though, so I knew she would at least be familiar with some Native American traditions. I got up and wrote it down, quickly before falling back into bed.
After being woken repeatedly in the early morning, I was delirious enough to even think I was still in a dream. Someone snuggled up on the side of me (the side with no real, physical child attached to me) and tapped me on the shoulder. She whispered a little of her story.
Too tired to wake up (still), I hit Google as soon as I had coffee. The first black nun in Georgia was born in New Orleans, daughter of a slave and a native American.
As a writer, it is a little like magic when your characters become your imaginary friends and talk to you. If you are writing a historical novel and real people (or people who used to be real, live people) show up and do it, that's just COOL.