Sometimes Writers Have To Bond With Real Humans And Baby Animals

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I’ll be back in a few days. Enjoy our new goat kids . . . Holden, Francis and Kaitlyn and the little drake named Ferdinand.

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Sun Salutation

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Huckle chasing goat tail.

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Books I’ve Known And Loved

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When you write about post-Civil War America it’s impossible not to bump up against war wounds. John Weldon in The House on Tenafly Road is addicted to morphine, given his first dose in a Civil War hospital by well-meaning doctors trying to keep him comfortable before his eventual death–which never happens. He escapes in his best friend’s new boots with a stash of morphine, laudanum and some new British-made syringes.

Only one man, Doctor Graham Crenshaw with some hidden mental war wounds of his own (his family blames him for the deaths of his brothers) recognizes Weldon’s problems, but he’s a quiet man. I thought after so much medical research he’d eventually get a good medical novel of his own but it’s in his character to work quietly in the background, allowing others to form their misconceptions about him and the bloody work he did during the war as a brilliant young surgeon.

With a name like Graham Crenshaw he deserved fame but instead served a higher purpose–he had piles of children with his wife, one of them being Buck Crenshaw. I think I’ll still get more medical one day (most of the Civil War medicine was cut from the first two novels) and I look forward to it because blood and guts and misplaced emotions are what I’m about as a writer.

By the way, Civil War Medicine by Alfred Jay Bollet, MD is fantastic even if you don’t like blood and guts.

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Explore Your City with Bird’s Eye Maps

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Saratoga!

Saratoga!

The big picture!

The big picture!

This map is a dream come true for me. How lucky to have my character Buck Crenshaw visit Saratoga in the very year this map was published! Find your city and explore the way it used to be at the Library of Congress Panoramic Maps Collection! You can zoom in and out and have a whole lot of fun!

http://www.loc.gov/collection/panoramic-maps/about-this-collection/

Serial Monogamy Love Song

Ode to the significant serial relationship in  my life!

Ode to the significant serial relationship in my life!

I read somewhere that most people are serial monogamists. I’m not sure how I feel about it. I’m one of those people. It’s almost like being devoted to someone–but then not really. It’s almost like you play at sickness and health, but not so much.

I don’t think divorce should be illegal so don’t get any ideas, but I’m very much in awe of people who don’t play the serial monogamy game. There’s less of them these days but they populate fictional happy ending stories and love songs. Recently I read that Laura Ingalls Wilder’s husband of sixty years or so confessed to his daughter that everything in his life had been a disappointment. I thought–he better not have been talking about Laura!

Our neighbors are real farmers. The husband has a reputation for drinking–my sons even saw him crash his car in the driveway and with bleary eyes act as if nothing happened. His wife and adult son came out to inspect the damage with an air bemused resignation. But I always note the pride the husband has when he brags about his wife’s construction skills. He averts his eyes as if pained to talk to other women. I see him and his girl on warm afternoons sitting on their dilapidated porch together quietly enjoying each other’s company–smiling.

Serial monogamy stops short at the blood and guts of relationship. The battle scars you earn together when you dig in look something like character. For myself–I’ve been known to be flighty and reckless and I’ll confess that if I had to live with my mistakes for the rest of my life—well, I can’t even imagine it, really.

War Torn Lovers

War Torn Lovers

I believe in marriage, true love and commitment. I force this upon my characters all the time (though some of them are rebelling at the moment).  I’ve earned some battle scars in this present marriage of mine and I feel pretty good about it–I’m making progress. One day I hope to be a wreck, but still standing with serial monogamy long behind me. I hope my characters don’t bring home too many really nice significant others–ones I grow attached to–only to have the characters throw in the towel too soon. I’ll advise them to maybe have a thicker skin or maybe stand up for an occasional boundary or two. I don’t think I’ll force more that one morphine addict on anyone though.

When my father had a heart attack and the ambulance people wheeled him out to their truck, my mother who’d loved him for fifty years ran around looking for his watch. “He’d want to know the time,” she said. And it was true–a little quirk of his. Something stupid really that often times annoyed her–but she’d grown to love that about him.

No man’s life, liberty or property are safe while the legislature is in session. ~Author Unknown

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An argument fatal to the communist theory, is suggested by the fact, that a desire for property is one of the elements of our nature.” ~Herbert Spencer

Just as man can’t exist without his body, so no rights can exist without the right to translate one’s rights into reality, to think, to work and keep the results, which means: the right of property.”  ~Ayn Rand

If history could teach us anything, it would be that private property is inextricably linked with civilization.”  ~Ludwig von Mises

Who gets to decide who owns stuff?

Do people take care of stuff they do not own?

Do people who work harder deserve more than people who are naturally more gifted?

Quotes from quotegarden.com

“The aim for him [the artist] is to extract from fashion the poetry that resides in its historical envelope, to distil the eternal from the transitory.” Charles Baudelaire

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Books I’ve Known And Loved

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Reckless relative runs wild!

Reckless relative runs wild!

Oh, to write fiction as well as Geoffrey C writes non! Imagine, you ancestry.com enthusiasts, finding a fun, troublemaker great-grandfather. Now imagine one who took down Wall-Street with his shenanigans. A Disposition To Be Rich kept me up late nights delighting in the exploits of a man with no conscience, but a fair bit of style.

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