Do Your Characters Talk to You?

 

Writers sometimes get intimately involved with their characters. We will be addressing the topic of author-character communication.  The “experts” tell you that you must know your characters when writing. That’s true, but how do you interact with them and do you talk to them? (There are doctors that treat people like us). There are a number of character trait forms to help you in most writing books, and there is also the back of an envelope. To be successful with your story you need interesting characters the reader can relate to and get behind. The characters must be believable, do things that are “in-character”, and right for that particular character, even if outlandish. It is a very good idea to really know your characters, especially the hero or protagonist. You need to “get into that characters head and live and see things through his / her eyes. Next, your characters need to talk to you as well. Have a dialog with your main characters to help drive your story. (I wouldn’t mention this conversation to too many people—they might outfit you with a new white padded jacket).

Below is a series of questions for consideration when working with your characters. I hope they make you think and consider how well you know your characters before you try and write them into situations they have to get out of.

When you write your characters, do you have a character profile and use it?

 

Do you talk to your characters when writing?

 

How well do you know your characters before and when you write?

 

Do your characters talk to you and if so, how?

 

Do your characters lead you in the story or do you have the story pretty well established and they follow suit?

 

If you talk to your characters, do you talk to them out loud or just in your mind?

 

During the writing process, stories sometimes change, do your characters drive this or do you just get other ideas?

 

Do your characters change during the story or just solve the mystery?

 

How do you develop your characters? Do they evolve or do you have a plan for them?

 

Does setting play a part of your characters personality?

 

Are your characters real people to you when you write?

 

We want the reader to like our characters, at least the good guys, how do you do that?

 

Do you think about your story and the characters when doing other things and not writing?

 

Have you ever been out in public and looking at a place or see something you could use in your story and start to discuss it with your leading character? Do people look at you strangely if you do this?

 

If your characters talk to you, what do you talk about?

 

Have you ever had an argument with one of your characters?

 

Do you take medication for this?

 

Remember, your characters work for you and they don’t cost much in pay and benefits, so treat them nice.

 

Remember: There are meds for this condition and doctors who treat people like us.

 

 

Have you ever rode the rails?

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Have you ever rode a long journey on a train? It’s a blast.

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My love for the train goes way back to my grandpa who had been an engineer for the Milwaukee Road and drove the Hiawatha from Minneapolis to Chicago and points beyond. My dad loved the train. He brought me twice to Chicago over the Thanksgiving long weekend when I was fifteen and sixteen years old.

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Dad with my boys. 1978

Looking out across the plains and watching the world go by will always be in my memory. I remember riding in the dome car and eating in the dining car as well as having a soda in the lounge.  Both trips, we spent two nights in Chicago. Dad knew his way around Chicago. We traveled all over the city via the L-train. It was so much fun to be alone with my dad.

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The old depot in Duluth, MN, also has train rides. One year for our anniversary, we rode the pizza train! It brought us to and from Two Harbors, traveling along the coast of Lake Superior. It came so close to the water, that I swear I saw fish swim.

When my husband and I went to Norway and Sweden, we took the train to northern Norway, transferred to a ferry and then enjoyed the fjords. The trip was marvelous.

Currently, my husband and I are planning a train trip across the Canadian Rockies in 2018 onboard a train. I’m excited.

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My next book is an historical mystery which is set on a Zephyr train during the fall of 1943.  A body is found in the Chicago rail yard. Come and ride along with the passengers and enjoy the dining car and lounge while my two characters, Brita and Ron, search for the killer.  It is titled, BODY ON THE TRACKS. It’s scheduled for publication by the end of the year. Please sign up for my newsletter on my website.

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Barb’s Books 

 

 

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I’m saying ‘thank you’ to all who post images online.

 

 

 

Some Thoughts on History

Post by Doris McCraw

Doris

I’m in the midst of writing a novel due to be released in January. I’m also writing a paper for the library districts history symposium. Additionally, I’m thinking of taking the nanowrimo challenge this November. 

So you may wonder why I chose ‘Some Thoughts on History’ as the subject of this post with the other projects on tap. Quite simply, I’m constantly in awe of what I find as I research and write. What history has to share with those who look is priceless. 

I’ve chosen to share the thoughts of thinkers who also have their own ideas on the subject. While we may not always agree, to know history is to know ourselves.

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“History will be kind to me for I intend to write it.” Winston S. Churchill

“If you don’t know history, then you don’t know anything. You are a leaf that doesn’t know it is part of a tree. ” Michael Crichton

“The most effective way to destroy people is to deny and obliterate their own understanding of their history.” George Orwell

“History, like love, is so apt to surround her heroes with an atmosphere of imaginary brightness.” James Fenimore Cooper 

“Study the past if you would define the future.” Confucius

“One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we’ve been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. We’re no longer interested in finding out the truth. The bamboozle has captured us. It’s simply too painful to acknowledge, even to ourselves, that we’ve been taken. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back.” Carl Sagan

“Remember, remember always, that all of us, and you and I especially, are descended from immigrants and revolutionists.” Franklin D. Roosevelt

“To be ignorant of what occurred before you were born is to remain always a child. For what is the worth of human life, unless it is woven into the life of our ancestors by the records of history?” Marcus Tullius Circero

“If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.”  Rudyard Kipling

“The farther backward you can look, the farther forward you are likely to see.” Winston S Churchill

“For the survivor who chooses to testify, it is clear: his duty is to bear witness for the dead and for the living. He has no right to deprive future generations of a past that belongs to our collective memory. To forget would be not only dangerous but offensive; to forget the dead would be akin to killing them a second time.”  Elie Wiesel

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Some quotes are funny, some were thoughtful and others somewhat controversial. All are important, for history is who we are, and to delve into that well of knowledge is something that is precious to ourselves and those who will follow after. 

Happy reading, and enjoy your own form of creativity for you are sharing your history with the world.

Doris Gardner-McCraw -Author, Speaker, Historian-specializing in
Colorado and Women’s History

Angela Raines – author: Where Love & History Meet

For a list of Angela Raines Books: Here 
Photo and Poem: Click Here 
Angela Raines FaceBook: Click Here

 

Pah! Too many characters?

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This post is by Nancy Jardine.

Yesterday I posted a question on two of my Facebook places where I appealed to those who are readers. I asked them:

“What would you consider to be the maximum amount of main characters you’d be comfortable with in a historical adventure novel?”  (NB I pronounce the ‘h’ so I don’t use ‘an’ before the word historical)

I had some excellent and varied replies, one from a fellow Wranglers who contributes to this blog. It might just be the friends who replied but I was delighted to find that, on average, they said they felt comfortable with at least 3 main characters and a few others who play minor roles. Since I’ve currently got a good cast of characters in my ongoing manuscript, I’m feeling totally relieved! What isn’t so easy for the author is to ensure that each character’s POV (point of view) is clear and not a dog’s breakfast.

Only one person categorically said they preferred a novel to have only 2 main characters. I wasn’t surprised by that response because I’m fairly sure that person tends to prefer historical romances which have a slightly different remit from general historical novels.

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http://www.123rf.com

Speaking broadly, I’d say Historical Romance needs to have 2 main characters, the whole story being constructed around their developing romance. Another element to historical romance is that it must have a happy ending and the expected norm is the happy ever after for those 2 main characters, who will love each other forever.

Historical Novels are something else and it’s a genre that’s harder to define. Again, this is a broad definition (and may easily be disputed by many) but I think a historical novel needs a setting that’s in a period of history (often no earlier than 50 years before the publication of the novel) and is a story which conveys the day to day elements of the political, social and living conditions of the time. It’s a story which has realistic detail, is credible and faithful to the era as is known. It’s often centred on identified historical figures, or a known historical situation. In many historical novels there are a lot of characters but that’s not the same as them all having their own POV as the story progresses because they might just be people who are mentioned as the tale unfolds. Wolf Hall by Hilary Mantel has multiple characters, and many confusing POV shifts, so and I found it quite hard to keep things clear as I read that story.

Historical Adventure is probably even harder to classify. Taking the ‘adventure’ part first—broadly speaking, it’s a series of events and challenges which happen out with the daily norm for the characters involved. The protagonists find themselves in unusual, sometimes unexpected situations of danger. There tends to be a lot of physical action involved as characters resolve their predicament. The historical context generally places the protagonists in a known era where they battle their wits against the conditions they find themselves in. This might make the elements of historical accuracy become overshadowed if the action happens to characters that are not known figures in history texts. I’ve also found that it’s perfectly possible to have many characters, though it’s all about whose point  of view is being presented by the author.

If I lined up my cast it just might resemble something like this image of the cast of The Three Musketeers  film of 1921. Thankfully most will just be ‘popping in and out’!

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Cast The Three Musketeers 1921 – Wikimedia Commons 

Then we come to Historical Fantasy Adventure. Those that I’ve read often have multiple characters inhabiting their version of a historical setting with similar characteristics and events as Historical Adventure. However, when it comes to POV what is the tendency? Is it for each character to have sections where they are centre stage and their POV is the ongoing one for that section? J.R.R.Tolkein’s Lord of the Rings has an enormous cast of characters but since it would have been an impossible task to present it in Frodo or Bilbo’s perspective then Tolkein opted for a Narrator and wrote in Third Person (Omniscient) so we get all thoughts and feelings from that one perspective. This can be odd at times!

Add a dash of romance into the historical adventure and it means you have to have at least 2 of your characters involved in their developing relationship alongside a whole gamut of people and other happenings.

I asked the question on Facebook because I’ve a lot of characters in my current writing—Book 4 of my Celtic Fervour Series- which is a Historical Romantic Adventure. In my series the initial main characters in Book 1 make reappearances in later books, though other family members ‘take their turn’ at being the main characters. As I write Book 4, I presently have 3 main characters and 2 others who have ‘episodes’ where I’m also writing in their perspective. Whether or not my final manuscript will be the same, is yet to be determined. What I’m trying very hard to avoid is a dog’s breakfast of points of view!

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http://www.123rf.com

In an effort to clarify characters for my readers, I intend to include a ‘cast of characters’ at the beginning of the novel, as I had in Book 3. I might even draw a family tree structure for my Garrigill kin for Book 4 as well as maps of the country as I did for Books 2 & 3.

Now I’m wondering what your answer would be to the question?  “What would you consider to be the maximum amount of main characters you’d be comfortable with in a historical adventure novel?”

(Mike Staton you are excused, if you wish,  since you’ve already commented.)

Nancy Jardine’s Celtic Fervour Series of historical romantic adventures is set in first century northern Roman Britain whereas her contemporary romantic mysteries are set in fabulous world-wide cities, Topaz Eyes being a finalist in The People’s Book Prize 2014. The Taexali Game, her Teen time-travel adventure, is set in third century Roman Scotland. She’s a member of the Romantic Novelists Association and the Scottish Association of Writers.You can find her at these places:

Blog: http://nancyjardine.blogspot.co.uk  Website: http://nancyjardineauthor.com/   Facebook: http://on.fb.me/XeQdkG & http://on.fb.me/1Kaeh5G

email: nan_jar@btinternet.com  Twitter @nansjar

Amazon Author page http://viewauthor.at/mybooksandnewspagehere

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.https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:The_Three_Musketeers_(1921)_1.jpg

A Little Bit of Why

Post copyright by Doris McCraw

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We all seem to have the Big Why in our lives. Why did I do this, or that. We tend to beat ourselves up over some mistake. Let’s take a look at the Little Why.

Why do I continue to comment on other people’s blog post even when they do return the courtesy?

I do so because I know people who write these post have something to say. It is a joy to see how they think, what’s important to them. By taking the time to comment, even if it is to say thank you, I acknowledge their efforts. Let’s face it, we all want to be heard.

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Why do I continue to write post that no one seems to read or care about?

This goes back to the comments in the first Why. As I learn new things I want to share. The world is a big place, we can’t all do everything, so if something I think about or research will make a difference, I’m going to share. It goes back to my days working with juveniles. A wise lady once told me, “just keep talking, you never know when something you said might make all the difference.”

Why do I continue my photo and haiku practice?

This one is easy. It has become a habit, and I plain enjoy the challenge.

happiness

 

Why write romance?

I want to tell stories, and if there is a bit of romance in them, I’m okay with that. One of my cover models said she loved my novella, but it didn’t follow the formula. That is what I aim for, a good story that doesn’t have to rely on formula to succeed.

 

Why is telling the story of early women doctors so important?

Why shouldn’t it be? Dr. Susan Anderson had Virginia Cornell to tell her story. While I do not aspire to the universal love that the Cornell book has, I do not want these women to be lost to time. They did as much if not more than the more ‘famous’ ones did. They may not be famous, but they are worth remembering.

                                          from en.wikipedia.org Elizabeth Blackwell, MD

Why am I doing history symposiums and speaking in public?

See the above answer. There is so much rich history to be shared. If I can add just one small part to the overall knowledge or get someone excited about a piece of history I am happy. Life is too short to be too afraid. No one really told me I couldn’t and if they did, I chose not to listen.

So there you have it, a little bit of Why.

For those who are interested you can stream the symposium on June 11. Here is the link: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/ppld-history  The program starts at 9am Mountain Time. The topic this year is Myths and Mysteries of the Rocky Mountain West.

For further reading on some of the posts that prompted the why, here you go: http://prairierosepublications.blogspot.com/2016/06/do-you-want-to-be-doctor.html

http://www.booksandbenches.com/2016/06/q-with-western-romance-author-angela.html

http://prairierosepublications.blogspot.com/2016/05/wanted-matrimony-mail-order-brides.html

http://annettesnyder.blogspot.com/2016/02/dori-mccraw-writing-as-angela-raines.html

Angela Raines is the pen name for Doris McCraw. In addition to Historical Romance, Doris also writes haiku, posted five days a week at: http://fivesevenfivepage.blogspot.com.  She has posted over one thousand haiku.“One Christmas Knight” Medieval Anthology
http://amzn.com/B017Z2BLH6

“Angel of Salvation Valley”  http://amzn.to/1P4JVV8

“A COWBOY CELEBRATION”  http://amzn.to/1GzwJhw

HOME FOR HIS HEART  http://amzn.to/1GJhpSu

Author Page:http://amzn.to/1I0YoeL

 

 

 

 

Important Books

Kate 2Kate Wyland

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A few days ago I was challenged to come up with a list of ten books that have stayed with me and changed my life. Initially I was nonplussed at the request, wondering how to winnow the thousands of books I’ve read down to just ten. I also realized I had to create categories to provide a focus.

Not to make a big deal out of a Facebook challenge, I finally decided on Books That Influenced my Writing Life. And I also noticed that often it was not individual books but authors or topics that have been important. So here is my idiosyncratic list.

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Black Beauty. I was born crazy about horses. My favorite toys as a kid were a mismatched family of stuffed horses that I slept with every night. So of course my favorite book would be about the wonderful animals. Anna Sewell’s plea for better treatment of horses was contained in a sentimental story and proved quite effective in changing people’s ideas at the time it was written. The specific things that bothered her are no longer applicable today but Black Beauty remains a childhood staple.

Smoky the Cowhorse. Like a lot of young girls I avidly read the Black Stallion and all its myriad of clones and loved the stories. At the same time I knew they had little relation to real horses. Not so the Newberry Award book by Will James. It gave a great picture of how a horse thinks and reacts to things. And what made it even better were the true-to-life illustrations by James.

http://www.amazon.com/Smoky-Cow-Horse-Will-James/dp/B001B0WHQS/

Tales of the Knights of the Round Table. That probably isn’t the correct title but I loved the stories about the brave and noble knights of Camelot. I adored fairy tales and fantasies and gladly charged into battle with Lancelot, Gawain and Galahad. And I’m afraid I look for similar real-life heroes.

Johnny Tremaine. I’m not sure if Johnny or Little House on the Prairie came first but I became addicted to historical fiction—all eras, all places. I loved reading about how characters lived and worked in past times. As I got older I transitioned to more adult fiction such as the stories of Anya Seton, who wrote lovingly researched historical romances, although she considered them biographical novels.

http://www.amazon.com/Johnny-Tremain-Novel-Old-Young/dp/B0000BI4XV/

Lord Peter Wimsey books. Oddly enough I never particularly cared for mystery stories until I discovered Dorothy Sayers’ tales of an insouciant, aristocratic sleuth and his super-competent manservant. Prompted by the original BBC series, I looked up the books and fell in love. Then I discovered Brother Cadfael by Ellis Peters and I was totaled hooked. Historical mysteries. What could be more fun?

Romance novels. I came somewhat late to the romance genre—not counting the Seton books. The early stories with the brooding, domineering hero and the subservient heroine were not my cup of tea, but when the stories changed to more realistic characters I became interested. Nora Roberts wrote stories I could get into. I particularly liked the ones with a paranormal theme—witches, Irish fairies and such. I could believe her characters. Since then I’ve discovered many wonderful writers, too many to mention. But one of my particular favorites is Jayne Ann Krentz. I encountered her via her Arcane Society novels and fell in love.

http://www.amazon.com/White-Lies-Arcane-Society-Book-ebook/dp/B000OZ0O0C/

So that’s my odd list of books, authors and themes that have stayed with me and influenced my writing life. I written about horses and noble heroes, paranormal, mystery and romance. The only thing I haven’t yet done is something historical—which my husband keeps bugging me to do. Who knows I may have an American Revolution mystery waiting to emerge.

What about you? What books have been important in your life?

 

photo credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/59296518@N05/25025405093">Book Buzz: Presented by Booklist</a> via <a href="http://photopin.com">photopin</a> <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/2.0/">(license)</a>
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Forewarning Cover

FOREWARNING
Healing is her life. Will it be her death?

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Wyoming Cover - 4x6 - #2.

Wyoming Escape
Two dead bodies. One dirty cop.
Is she next?

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Cover - Images - 2.

 Images – A Love Story
She’s learned to hide from life.
Should she hide from him?

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Connect with Kate Wyland:
Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/AuthorKateWyland
Twitter:  https://twitter.com/katewyland
Website : http://katewyland.com

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Delightful Details

Post copyright Doris McCraw

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As I work to complete my short story for a Medieval Anthology, along with a Western one and a proposal for next years History Symposium, I am having fun with those delightful details. In the midst of preparing this post, the link for a music video came through. Talk about details. So folks take a listen, then read on for some delightful details from history. https://youtu.be/Wgm9gZs1hYw

I’ll start with the Symposium. If I my proposal is accepted I shall be expected to present a detailed story defending my position on the myth of women doctors. I spent time wondering how I would cover such a large subject, then a friend gave me an idea for the hook. How the story of one created the myth we now believe to be true of the women doctors in Colorado. It is the true details of her story and that of others that will bring the story of those early women doctors life. Yes, some women doctors lived and worked in large cities, but even those larger cities were not without their dangers. Just because Leadville was one of the largest towns in Colorado in the 1870’s, there were still shootouts, killings and mining accidents. Even Doc Holliday made his home there awhile. Some women were reported to carry a gun when out on a call in the country.

Image result for leadville colorado
http://www.leadville.org During its peak, Leadville bragged over 30,000 residents and at one time was slated to be the capital of Colorado.

A Western Romance at Christmas, ah the possibilities. Of course there has to be conflict between the man and women. Most of the time, these stories involve young people. But what about the older widow, the man who has been footloose and fancy free. There is a story, whether true or not, of a woman who bought property in Denver, then found out it was a brothel. Since she had invested all her money, she did what any respectable women would do, she became the Madam, and with the money earned sent her daughter to boarding and finishing school. Delightful details like that add a hint of mystery to what could be challenging romance. We will see what my characters decide will work for them.

Eibingen Abbey

Now to a new arena for me, Medieval romance. Yes, I read a few when I was younger, but how was I going to make this one work. Okay, I set it in 1151, during the time Hildegard of Bingen created the first stand alone convent ever. Now I have done a lot of research on this amazing person. Women were seen and not heard during that time, I think not. Hildegard wrote music, books, and traveled and preached, when women were not allowed to do so. She corresponded with popes and kings. If you want to learn more about her, you can start here. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hildegard_of_Bingen you can also read more at:http://www.hildegard.org/

To add more detail I studied books on the life of people during the 1100’s.  A cookbook was a great read. Everyone eats, so adding food to the story helps to make it real. It is in those details that our narratives come alive, whether fiction or non-fiction. So the next time you’re telling a story, include those details that bring the reader or listener into the world you’re describing. Until next time, happy researching and writing.

Doris McCraw specializes in Colorado and Womens History. She writes fiction under the pen name Angela Raines. Join her on facebook and her Amazon author page.

Product Details
“NEVER HAD A CHANCE” , second in the Agate Gulch stories, in the Prairie Rose Publications “A COWBOY CELEBRATION” anthology http://amzn.to/1GzwJhw

Product Details
HOME FOR HIS HEART the first in the Agate Gulch stories. http://amzn.to/1GJhpSu

Author Page: http://amzn.to/1I0YoeL

Photo and Poem:http://bit.ly/1dVnNwO

WHY

Post copyright 2015 by Doris McCraw

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I think two-year olds are on to something. Why? Why! Why.  Why is why so important? For someone like me, when I ask the why I am able to focus on the stories. I also share some of the whys that create the content on this blog.

Why do I not always post my photo? Sometimes my words are more important than someone seeing what I look like. I want the words, the topic, to be the focus, not my cute blond face. As an actor, my face has been plastered all over, it’s not that important. Secondly, after spending twenty years working with the criminal element, I like to keep my identity my own.

Why do I write mainly about women and history? The stories are too important to be lost. We tend as a society to focus on what the men did in creating this country. I’m not saying they didn’t do wonderful things, but you know what, so did the women. I also would prefer that history treat women based on the time they lived in and not try to put our concepts on their lives and lifestyle. Instead of saying Ann Bassett was a wild woman, it might be better to say she wasn’t going to fit the norm of what ‘Victorian’ women were. She lived on a ranch for heaven’s sake. (If you want to know more : http://bit.ly/1FIrStP )

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Why do I use a pen name for my fiction? As a writer, I don’t care if people know my pen name is Angela Raines. I do care about my non-fiction and want my readers to know what they are getting when they purchase one of my works. To me the way to keep the Historic Romance Fiction separate from the True History, is to have two names. For my latest fiction work, you can pre-order at Amazon – http://amzn.to/1cVsncT

Why do I write haiku? It started as a writing practice to put the seat in the chair and get the creative vibe going. What I found was, I love the practice of putting a concept into a structured form, and adding my photography. What started as a practice has become a deep fondness for the process. I would say it has to be, I about one hundred short of a thousand. To read a few and take a glance at some of the photos – http://bit.ly/1C7PPKA

Now you know why the word why is a big part of my life. For someone who is in the public eye almost all the time, I am a private person and like it that way. Why? Maybe for another time.

Take some time to answer your own whys. You may be surprised and what you find.

home for his heart angela raines

HOME FOR HIS HEART
http://amzn.to/1GN4EYU
also available as an ebook on Barnes & Noble and Smashwords.

Doris Gardner-McCraw/Angela Raines
Author, Speaker, Historian-specializing in
Colorado and Women’s History

Author Page: http://amzn.to/1I0YoeL

Photo and Poem: http://fivesevenfivepage.blogspot.com

Settling West of Pikes Peak

Post copyright by Doris McCraw

Doris

 

 

 

 

Despite the 1859 Pikes Peak or Bust gold rush, the area up Ute Pass and the west side of Pikes Peak had no settlements until you reached Fairplay in the South Park area. The town of Colorado City, founded in 1859, was one of the last stops before heading up to the gold/silver fields on the southern route.

The Fremont expedition traveled through the area between 1842-44 and in the 1870’s there was the Hayden survey. Around 1870 the Costello family moved from Fairplay and set up ranching near the Ute pass route. The Welty family also started ranching in 1871 south of the Costello ranch near what is now Cripple Creek Colorado.

Hayden Survey 1873- South Park area
Hayden Survey 1873- South Park area

By 1871 the Costello Ranch was a stopping off point and place to replenish supplies for the miners heading further west.  Soon the elder Costello had set up a hostelry and general store and in 1873 a post office located there. Costello named the town/post office, Florissant in honor of his home back in Missouri.

This was still an untamed land and the Ute Indians would stop by the Costello’s, sometimes as many as thirty would join the family for a meal. There were still some conflicts, which most tried to avoid, but the clash of cultures was to be expected.

Chief Ouray and wife Chipeta. Ouray was known and possibly visited Costello’s Ranch

Others had joined the small community almost from the beginning with ranches being located close by. With abundant forest nearby, a sawmill was constructed. One ‘story’ is that Mary Reynolds, knowns as ‘Dirty Mary’, along with a husband, if the history is correct, had a ranch and sawmill, and Mary was also the local mid-wife.

In 1878, Adeline Hornbeck bought/homesteaded the area between Florissant and the ranches to the south. Her property was the first to locate on what is now the National Florissant Fossil Beds, which were created during the volcanic period that created the Cripple Creek/Victor gold mine district. This same volcanic activity may also be responsible for the gemstones located north and a little west of the area. (If you watch the Weather Chanel’s “prospectors”, some of the claims are in this area.)

For more information on Adeline, here is the link to the post I wrote about her: http://prairierosepublications.blogspot.com/2014/10/adeline-hornbeck-early-pioneer.html

This area is the eastern most of the region where my novella, “Home for His Heart” takes place.

Home for His Heart:Will Clara be able to escape her past and can Sam find her before it is too late.

“Sam! Sam, saddle up!” shouted Paul. “All hell has broke loose. Where are you?”

“I’m here, by the barn,” answered Sam. “What do you mean, all hell broke loose?”

“Saddle up and I’ll tell you on the way.”

Riding toward town, Paul explained. “Shortly after you left, this man came rushing into town. How he managed to stay on his horse, I don’t know. He was talking about dangerous men…warning…fire. It was hard to understand what he was saying. He was in bad shape.”

“Any idea who he is or where he came from?” asked Sam.

“No, and that isn’t all. It may be coincidence, but as we were taking him to Sally’s, Fred came staggering out of Clara’s house. Said someone hit him when he went back for his pipe, and Clara’s gone missing!”

“What do you mean, missing?”

“Sam, I mean Clara is nowhere to be found.” Paul stated. “I headed to Clara’s and the house was in shambles, as if there had been a fight,” said Paul.

Sam felt a crack in the fence of the prison he had put around his heart; the heart he had been protecting all these years. If he’d turned around when he thought of Clara, she might still be in her house. She would be safe. Like usual, he hadn’t been there when he was needed.

Paul must have seen what was going through his friend’s mind. “Stop your beatin’ up on yourself, and let’s find Clara,” Paul demanded.

“What about the man who came riding in? Can he tell us anything?” asked Sam.

“He’s out of it. Someone has gone to get Dirty Mary. She may just be a midwife, but the nearest thing we have to a doctor. Hopefully she can help,” said Paul. “I was planning to backtrack him and hoped you could try to track where Clara had gone.”

“Of course,” Sam said. “I’ll do my best.”

“That’ll be good enough, my friend. I know you’ll find her,” Paul said with conviction.

 

Until next time, see you in the library!

“Film and Photography on the Front Range” (Regional History Series): Colorado Springs, CO. Pikes Peak Library District 2012
Product Detailsavailable on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Smashwords

Actor/Writer- How They Relate, Plus A New Release

Post written and copyright by Doris McCraw

Doris

 

 

 

 

 

As most readers of this post know I have researched the women doctors in Colorado prior to 1900 for some time now. During that time, I have also been pursuing other avenues of creativity. Since the release of my most recent work of fiction “Home for His Heart” is due on July 17,  I thought I would let you all know what’s been going on and why I felt the need to add another piece of pie to my plate.

Everything I attempt is really related. Although I had a mystery short story published about twelve years ago, I had not attempted historical romance. I spend a lot of time researching the past, so it seemed like a logical progression. But having written the piece and gone through the edits, the nervousness has set in.  Will readers like it? Did I tell the story well, and so on.

So many have been incredibly encouraging and it’s done a lot to bolster my confidence. It’s also allowed me to reconsider and compare this new venture with my past experiences.

I have performed in public for well over fifty years. I started when I was two and half. There is no worry about walking in front of five or five thousand. The comfort in my talent sees me through. I even have ‘groupies’ who come to see me  in the Murder Mysteries (improvisational at that) and when I am Helen (Hunt) Jackson, Katharine Lee Bates or the other historical personages real and fictional.

Murder Mystery Dead Body?
Murder Mystery Dead Body?

Why is it that I can do this, yet worry about my writing? I have performed longer, but I think it goes deeper. I’ve great confidence in my abilities when it comes to being on stage or writing a murder mystery script.  If I extrapolate out, I should have the confidence that my writing is also good.

Now here is the clincher: When performing you do the best you can at that moment and don’t worry about whether folks like you or not. That is when the great performances happen. I also think that happens when you write the story you want to tell. Now I just have to convince myself ( and I am already working on that) that I don’t have to please everyone, I just tell the best story I can and the readers who will like my work will eventually find me, with a bit of promotion of course.

Here is to the great performances and the stories we have to tell!

Cover for Home For His Heart
Cover for Home For His Heart

 

 

 

 

Can Sam find the courage to face his fear and save Clara when her past catches up to her?

 

 

HOME FOR HIS HEART by Doris McCraw,  Prairie Rose Publications due July 17, 2014

Follow my haiku post five days a week at: http://fivesevenfivepage.blogspot.com

Below is the link to my non-fiction piece on the first state film commissioner in the United States included in this book.

“Film & Photography on the Front Range” : the stories of the people who made film and photograph history on the Colorado Front Range. You can purchase online at: http://www.amazon.com