Well, it turns out that faking it was the right thing to do. Apparently, just plunging my head into the bucket of icy water as if I knew exactly what I was doing was just what the doctor ordered. I am having so much fun just writing and taking things as they come. I took a few hours on Monday afternoon and sat down with my laptop to fool around. I didn't have any particular goal in mind, just surfing the 'net for things of interest and viola I ended up with three new interviewees and four websites that I never knew existed.
I interviewed one of the women last night and came away grinning and shaking. She was exactly the anomaly I was looking for: intelligent, thoughtful, armed with some historical perspective of her own actions and fully accepting of the choices she made in the past. We spoke on the phone for an hour and I was able to make a connection with her that I know will add depth to the story I am trying to tell.
So, for now, I'll keep dabbling here and there and pushing ahead when I get excited. I actually like the clear view from inside the ice-water!