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On History and Life

Story Inspiration: Food, glorious food!

Story Inspiration: Food, glorious food!

Chocolate and strawberries. (Image from Canva.com) Author Joanne Harris spent her earliest years living above her grandparents’ sweet shop in Yorkshire. She spent her girlhood summers with her French grandparents in Brittany. Small wonder that she contrived a magical...

Encouragement on the road to publication

Writing and publishing a book can be a long road, a road scattered with doubts and fears, and rutted with the bumps of life going on as you write. I worked steadily for about three years to write the story of The Drive in '65, and a few months ago I entered a contest...

1965 lives on!

I've been immersed in the world of 1965, writing about a 22,000 mile road trip and journey of discovery from May to late August of that year. In the course of research (yes, writers do research their own experiences!) the cultural icons and events of that year have...

Encouragement on the road to publication

Writing and publishing a book can be a long road, a road scattered with doubts and fears, and rutted with the bumps of life going on as you write. I worked steadily for about three years to write the story of The Drive in '65, and a few months ago I entered a contest...

Story Inspiration: Food, glorious food!

Chocolate and strawberries. (Image from Canva.com) Author Joanne Harris spent her earliest years living above her grandparents’ sweet shop in Yorkshire. She spent her girlhood summers with her French grandparents in Brittany. Small wonder that she contrived a magical...

1965 lives on!

I've been immersed in the world of 1965, writing about a 22,000 mile road trip and journey of discovery from May to late August of that year. In the course of research (yes, writers do research their own experiences!) the cultural icons and events of that year have...

On the road again! Have you hit the road in 2020?

Vern and I made our first longish road trip in many months, to visit our son for a couple of days. Planning for the unfortunate necessity of limiting our contact with people, we filled a cooler with food for all our meals on the way down and back. At home, air quality...

Memoirs: Week 4

The memoir mine: spiritual experiences Put "spiritual memoir" in the Amazon search window, and you'll find more than 8,000 results. They cover a broad range of religious and spiritual experience, from stories of meeting Jesus to the spiritual journeys of Zen masters...

Story Inspiration: Music, the universal language

A Harvard study published last year in the journal Science concluded what many have long assumed to be true: music is universal. Every society uses music, and it may inspire us to dance, worship, relax, or cry.  But how can it inspire us to write? I turned to...

Memoirs: Week 2

The memoir mine: Social and cultural issues All of us grew up somewhere. That somewhere included a social and cultural setting. For me, the tiny berg of Moose Pass, Alaska deeply influenced my first dozen years. Insular, yet inherently limiting, Moose Pass was home...

4 ways to survive the perpetual disappointments of 2020

Yesterday I received another disappointment--an email canceling the last in a long string of events I planned to attend this year. Same for you? Only a family Christmas gathering was left. Then my daughter called in tears to let me know her husband could not travel...

Story Inspiration: Castles, Cottages, Cathedrals…

Castel del Monte, Apulia, Italy My inspiration Frederick II, Emperor and King in the thirteenth century, held a level of power and an attitude toward the church that earned him the title of Antichrist from Pope Gregory IX. Among his many gifts and accomplishments,...

What’s your road trip style?

What kind of road-tripper are you? Different people define ‘road trip’ in different ways. Whatever your definition, you’ll get no judgment from me. I support all kinds of road trips! Which of these road trip styles looks best to you? 1. Day trips from a vacation home...