Posts Tagged ‘American history’

As a girl, I loved Little House on the Prairie, and other books by Laura Ingalls Wilder. And I still enjoy them today. The television series featuring Michael Landon, Melissa Gilbert, Karen Grassle, and others didn’t follow the books’ story lines all the time, but nevertheless remained faithful to the themes and spirit of Laura’s books (and life experiences).

Writer-reader geek that I am, I visited the Ingalls farm, school house, and the house that Pa built in De Smet, South Dakota. The area is still beautiful and wind-blown. It wasn’t difficult to image the Ingalls family riding in a buggy to town or to the store where Harriet and Nellie Oleson spent their lives annoying others (including Willie and long-suffering Nels). A bit “off the beaten path,” I’m glad we took the time to visit De Smet.

These memoirs, for that is what Little House in the Big Woods, By the Shores of Silver Lake, and On the Banks of Plum Creek seemed to be to me, breathe life into American history. And I think my enjoyment of history was helped along by Laura’s books (as well as family stories and my father’s fascination with history – especially American history).

Currently, I’m working on several historical projects. They will never obtain the readership or popularity of Laura’s books, but I hope to breathe life into the men and women dwelling in their pages – for history matters!

And these words from a tiny (4′ 11″) pioneer woman still ring true: “The real things haven’t changed. It is still best to be honest and truthful; to make the most of what we have; to be happy with simple pleasures; and have courage when things go wrong.” — Laura Ingalls Wilder.

For those who’d like to view some historical photos of Laura, and learn a little bit about Laura and her family, husband, and life – here’s a link to a wonderful article: The Amazing Life of Laura Ingalls Wilder Part I: Old Photo Archive. Enjoy!

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I’m a fan of history, especially American history. But I must admit never having heard of Sybil Ludington, who in April 1777 rode her horse across the countryside alerting the militia men that the British were coming. At age 16, she rode further than Paul Revere, and George Washington visited her to thank her for her efforts.

Here’s the link to a history minute with more information on Sybil Ludington.

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lesson1b Thanks to author JM Johansen for stopping by and sharing her experiences when working with another author on a collaborative project. Enjoy!

Writing Chesapeake Bay Karma – A Tale of Teamwork by JM Johansen

When Narielle Living and I started writing Chesapeake Bay Karma – The Amulet, we weren’t certain if it would be a viable project. After all, we have always written our own novels in the solitary life mode most novelists and authors use. I get up at 4 AM to write; she locks herself away. We had published an anthology earlier which was quite successful. However, they were individual short stories, not a novel.

I had just finished reading Nikoo McGoldrick and James A. McGoldrick book Marriage of minds: collaborative fiction writing. Heinemann.ISBN978-0-325-00232-3. It made me ponder the barriers in our work-style compatibility.

Narielle and I approach things quite differently. She is a “plotter” who creates an outline and works from it. I am a “flyer” who flies around by the seat of her pants and lets the voices in my head guide me.

How in the world were we going to work together?

We started with an outline and then I added a whole new character and wrote about thirty pages without much thought. It impacted Narielle’s character, so she wrote a section that connected my new characters with her pre-plotted one.

After that I stuck to the outline. Pretty much, anyway.

There was a lot of give and take in this process. I love the period in American history from 1910 – 1935. She loves the ‘60’s. So we wrapped our characters around those eras. We did tons of research and relied heavily on Narielle’s vast knowledge of the Karma viewpoint. It was an enlightening experience for me.

The book came together quite nicely and is selling well. We have followers – groupies, I guess you would call them – who like our work.

And we enjoyed the experience so much we decided to make it a three part series.

karmanojackie We hope you’ll read Chesapeake Bay Karma – the Amulet. Here’s the setup:

Chesapeake Bay Karma showcases the three lifetimes of one amazing woman through a 150 year span. With terrifying recurrent obstacles thrust in her path, and unimaginable devastation at the hands of powerful men and a dominating political system, her soul struggles to defend the ones she loves.

1829, Gloucester, Virginia. Battered and pregnant, Margaret flees Williamsburg to take shelter with her Uncle Mike and protect her unborn son from his politician father, Albert. When Uncle Mike dies eleven years later, Quincy inherits enough land to become a voting landowner. When politician Nathaniel steps into her life, Margaret is torn by desire and distrust. Will Albert find a way to destroy Margaret and Quincy, or will Nathaniel become their savior?

1917, Deltaville, Virginia. Forced into a marriage by her father in order to save his shipping business, Nurse Margene uses her husband Alfred’s money to fund her relationship with lover, Nathan. Spurred on by the Suffrage Movement, she faces the Night of Terrors, only to learn there are crueler realities ahead. Are her son Quinn’s nightmares about a fire that happened 100 years ago a forewarning?

1963, Williamsburg, Virginia. Maggie and Nate share a love that has transcended lifetimes of upheaval. In the summer of ’63, they find their happiness shattered by a threat from Nate’s childhood friend, Al. Will Al manage to perpetuate an evil that has followed them through the folds of time and threatens everything they want in this lifetime? Or, will they finally find a way to end the conflict that began in another era? With the clock ticking, Maggie and Nate struggle to save their son from a darkness that could destroy them all.”

For more information about JM Johansen, visit her website: www.jm-johansen.com or blog: www.jm-johansen.com/blog.html You can find her books at: www.barnesandnoble.com/c/jm-johansen and at Amazon: http://tinyurl.com/jm-johansen-amulet

Thanks again to JM Johansen for her guest post. Watch Whimsical Words for more guests, blogs from me, and Readers & Writers Recipes. Have a creative day! – Vonnie

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