Ezra Meeker And The Oregon Trail

Source: Ezra Meeker And The Oregon Trail

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Tide, Wind, and Timeline

A fascinating look at travel aboard ship in the 1800s, and the vast research needed to make it accurate.

History Imagined

The need for an accurate, believable timeline challenges any storyteller’s craft. Writing historical fiction makes this problem especially complex. A number of complicating factors can wreak havoc with the timeline, and my newest release has two of them, sea travel, and pregnancy. Unraveling their impact on plot proved difficult

Thank goodness the timing for carrying a child and giving birth has not changed. That part of the story had to be dated precisely, however, and charted out so that I could wrap the rest of the story around it. Two brave colleagues, Jude Knight and Kat Sheridan, read an early draft and helped me to adjust as needed.

800px-Michael_Zeno_Diemer_-_A_frigate_off_the_coast_near_Rio_de_Janeiro,_Brazil A Frigate Off the Coast Near Rio de Janeiro, Michael Zeno Diemer

Sea travel gave me fits. I once asked my brother, a former naval office, how long it would take to sale from Ostia, Italy to Genoa in 1820 for…

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Grand Celebrations: Recall, Retell, Reenact

A week of historic events encapsulated in this blog. Looking for something to celebrate? You’ll find it here.

History Imagined

Great events deserve celebration. Memorials and celebrations help children and adults alike learn from the past for the benefit of the future. With that in mind, this has been a great week for historic anniversaries.

Among the more minor of them were the mutiny on the Battleship Potemkin (June 14, 1905), the arrest of the Watergate burglars (June 17, 1972), the fall of the crusader stronghold of Acre (June 17, 1291), and William Penn founds Philadelphia (June 18, 1682).

Philadelphia 1682 Philadelphia 1682

Anniversaries help us recall events of the past, many of which impact us to this day. While I would just as soon forget the Watergate break-in perhaps we ought to remember if we don’t want to repeat. On the other hand I am grateful to Mr. Penn and would be delighted to celebrate what has become “my” city—if there were any celebrations planned. Of course three weeks from now…

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Final Weekend To Save!

Two historical romances set in America in the 1850s are on sale this weekend only, as part of Amazon’s Kindle Christmas Deal. For 99 cents each, you can own these two books about the turbulent times leading up to the Civil War. The Reluctant Debutante takes place in New York and St. Louis in 1855, and the heroine, Ginger Fitzpatrick, becomes a staunch supporter of women’s rights and Amelia Bloomer. When she falls in love with a half-Indian, she faces a whole new set of society’s challenges. Banking On Temperance is set in St. Louis, and features a family who are bound for Oregon, so the sons can avoid the upcoming Civil War conflict. The head of the family takes sick and they are forced to winter over in St. Louis, where the eldest, Temperance, falls in love with Basil Fitzpatrick. But he can’t help her fulfill her father’s dying request, to see the boys to the safety of Oregon. Image

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Everything I know about writing I learned from my dog.

I welcomed my dog, a pure-bred Havanese, into my home almost a year ago. She had been a puppy mill breed dog for five years, and was understandably frightened of everything. I spent months coaxing her into my chair and my heart would break when her muscles twitched as I stroked my hand over her body. As the months rolled on and she began to make small steps forward, I realized that Mary’s learning to trust was much like writing a story with a reluctant heroine. She didn’t want to reveal herself all at once. Rather, she toyed with me, letting me catch a glimpse of what was to come, but only if I handled myself well. Much like crafting a good hero or heroine. It makes the end resolution all the more sweet. The day she climbed into my chair all by herself and curled up in my lap brought tears to my eyes– like crying at the end of a good book.

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