RESEARCH: Tomatoes

I almost got tripped up by tomatoes. When I was creating the world of DIVIDED LOYALTIES, I thought I considered everything. I went through antique photos of clothes and uniforms. I drove through the countryside near Sharpsburg so I knew what Maureen saw as she marched from home to hospital and back. I read an article (thanks…

INSPIRED: Mom’s cherished moments

It was just a kelly green notebook, the kind I used for Math and Social Studies. But inside, day after day, for years, it served as my mother’s diary. Mom documented all kinds of things inside: births, deaths, new jobs, Easter brunch, the day she finished her hand-hooked rug (It took a year and a…

First steps in promoting my novel

I’ve done all the work to build settings that show how I think the countryside around Antietam Creek looked in 1862. I researched the Battle of Antietam, battlefield nurses and medicine (only enough; I’m squeamish). I’ve considered the clothes people wore then, the foods they ate, the names of the roads and churches and when…

INSPIRED: Poetry on a sea wall

You have to love a place that puts poetry on the town sea wall. Queenstown, a pretty resort town set on Lake Wakatipu in New Zealand, has a long stone wall that separates a tiny lakeside beach from the Marine Parade. (Isn’t that a great name for a walk beside the water?) The poem chronicling the…

WRITING: Go away, favorite words

It’s down to the wire for my first book. It’s been read, re-read, critiqued and a couple of editors have given it a quick look. Everyone has their favorite word, one editor told me. Mine is “felt.” So I’ve gone through my 70,000 words, changing or at least thinking about changing every single one of them. Most…