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Archive for January, 2017

I’m still working on my historical novel, doing the research thing, and anguishing over every little detail while telling myself to stop being so anal. It does not have to be 100% accurate. I mean, it’s a story, a mash of mystery with disaster. Or maybe it’s more the other way around. But I do want to kids to get a feel of what it was like in the late 1800’s Charleston.

I recently read something from the same time frame, also set in Charleston. The story was interesting, but it was more a romance novel with a focus on the relationships than what was happening politically and culturally and I left feeling a bit disappointed. Maybe it’s because I’ve been reading so much about South Carolina history. Maybe it was because while I saw some parts that were accurate and I had my doubts in other sections such as how the whites interacted with their black servants.

So, how much accuracy should there be in a novel? Where does one draw the line between the story and historical info dump that could alienate your reader? I’ve another story that I’m typing into the computer that deals heavy with the third crusade led by Emperor Frederick of the Holy Roman Empire and as I retype I’m thinking: that can go, that can go. Maybe I find it interesting, but I don’t think everyone will. The trouble is I haven’t felt that way about the Charleston story. I’m going to have to do some heavy thinking on that one.

And more research. I need to know about funerals. Did you know they already embalmed people back then? I didn’t. That was new. The Pinkertons. Were there Pinkertons in Charleston? I might change that one. Or I won’t. I can be a little free and just mention something in the ‘what’s true and what’s not’ section. I just can’t quit the teacher in me.

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Snow

Snow.

The very word is magic. Of course if you get inches of it, feet of the stuff, you might not think so. But if you live in the south, southeastern U.S., the word brings a thrill up the spine. It’s rare. It’s amazing. And we go crazy in it.

A dusting can close schools, shut down roads, send hordes of people into panic. They run to the store to stock up on essentials. Public officials warn people not to go out and drive. Because we can’t drive in it. Like I said, people go crazy in the stuff.

Those of you in the north may laugh, and that’s okay, I think it’s funny myself. Those in the south or in similar climates know exactly what I mean.

When I worked at the school, the word of snow brought a smile to my face. I think I anticipated the possible holiday more than some of the kids. I’d wake up and turn on the local radio, keeping my ear glued for the weather and school closings. Upon hearing the district is closed for the day, I’m up and dancing. One time I went out and the logical and reasonable side of me wondered why we didn’t have a delayed start day. There was only a bit of white under the bushes and nowhere else. Then again, like I said, we go crazy in the snow.

There’s some heading our way now, snow. I’m all in a tizzy because I can’t wait. Mama is, of course, being a downer Debbie and saying it won’t. I have hope, though. I have hope. But I won’t be going crazy. I’ll be staying right here and only going out to build my snowman and take pictures.

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After Boston, Massachusetts, the town of Treverton can’t compare. Only Adam’s Common makes living there good for fourteen-year-old, Peggy. School’s okay, but she has no friends. When she finds out Adam’s Common will be developed, plowed under and houses put on, she tries to find ways to save it. With it gone, her life will be miserable.

The story is told from two points-of-views, Peggy’s and another fourteen-year-old, William. But he lives in 1849, 135 years earlier than Peggy. While I usually don’t like when books are set in two different years and you go back and forth, I found this one worked and I enjoyed it especially since it showed how the commons got it’s name. The conclusion was satisfying.

The book may be hard to find since the copyright is 1984.

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The ‘Angus Movie’ is officially out and playing near a sheep near you. If you live in Scotland that is. If you’re in New Zealand you’ll have to wait a few more weeks. There are two versions and unless you’re one of my kind, you’ll never see the second one. That version is ‘selling’ out quick. Of course since no one’s charging any fees no one is making any money.

My friends did a bang-up job on the movie. At the end of the week they had Angus’ approved video ready and only had to put in the audio. As long as Angus didn’t look in the camera he was okay so they just had him narrate off camera mostly and inserted the bits I did, editing out the ‘you silly ewe’ and other things Angus says to me when he’s annoyed. I heard the twins are bit disappointed. They wanted less pastures and more alligators, any alligator. They all got edited out.

The other version, the one Angus never saw, it a lot more exciting with alligators, Angus fainting, Angus running, Angus trying to wrestle the camera away from me, etc. I give my full approval for it, but if Angus ever finds out, I don’t know anything about it and nor does anyone else.

So, you didn’t hear it from me.

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Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to everyone.

I hope everyone has a good year and bounce back from the surprises that may come and I hope most are good ones. I’m going to be chugging away as usual this year although I’ve set myself a deadline to get a book ready to find a publisher. I’m hoping my Mom will be okay and the rest of my family. I hope the same for your family.

God Bless.

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