The Power of Poetry

Post (c) Doris McCraw

Doris

What is it about poetry that touches the soul? What makes certain combinations of words haunting, happy or beautiful? This poem by Helen (Hunt) Jackson may help us understand the power of words.

Glimpses

As when on some great mountain-peak we stand,

In breathless awe beneath its dome of sky,

Whose multiplied horizons seem to lie

Beyond the bounds of earthly sea and land,

We find the circles space to vast, too grand,

And soothe our thoughts with restful memory

Of sudden sunlit glimpses we passed by

Too quickly, in our feverish demand

To reach the height,–

So darling, when the brink

Of highest heaven we reach at last, I think

Even that great gladness will grow yet more glad,

As we, with eyes that are no longer sad,

Look back, while Life’s horizons slowly sink,

To some swift moments which on earth we had.

From the book “Poems” by Helen Jackson

Little Brown and Company 1908

First appearance in publication September 19, 1872, New York Independent

One thing I love about the poetry of Helen Hunt Jackson is the musicality it has when read aloud. Not read as one usually reads poetry, with the breaks and breaths at the end of the line, but read as prose. If you read this poem aloud, reading through the complete thought, its true beauty comes through. Try reading it through more than once. Try different combinations of breathes and thought combining. The beauty of this poem; each time you read it something different blossoms into being. I believe that true poetry never has the same story, same meaning twice. Each it will touch a different chord.

As you read this or any poem, keep an open mind and heart. Helen was favorably compared to many of the poets of her time. For some she was actually considered the best; male or female. It is interesting that Helen was so popular during her lifetime. With her poetry, essays, and novels she able to make a living as a writer. Emily Dickinson, a childhood friend who lived down the street from Helen in Amherst, did not become popular until her death. Now the tables have turned, Emily is now the more well know of the two. Each had their own style, and each wrote beautiful pieces of work.

The next time you are looking for something do to, search online for some of Helen’s poetry, or better yet, find a book of her poems, and start reading. To me the gift of the poet, and for me that is Helen, is the joy of finding something new every time I read their work. Give poetry, especially Helen’s, a try.  For me, poetry, especially Helen’s will never grow old.

 

Doris Gardner-McCraw –

also writing as Angela Raines
Author, Speaker, Historian-specializing in
Colorado and Women’s History

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The Many Names of Helen Hunt Jackson

Post (c) Doris McCraw

Doris

Helen Hunt Jackson is not a well-known name to many. This of course is partially due to the fact she died in 1885. Additionally, she had many names during her lifetime, one of which was not Helen Hunt Jackson.

She was born Helen Maria Fiske in 1830. She carried this name until her marriage to Edward Bissell Hunt on October 28, 1852. At that time, as was the custom, she assumed her husband’s surname. It was not until after Edward’s death and Helen started writing for publication that we begin to see use of the many names now associated with Helen Hunt Jackson.

One of the first pseudonyms she used was the name Marah. In the Hebrew tradition the name Marah means ‘bitter’, which fits Helen’s life at that time. She had already lost her first son at eleven months in 1854, and then her husband, Edward in 1863. The final blow was the death of her remaining child, her second son, in 1865. According to the biography “Helen Hunt Jackson” by Ruth Odell, the name Marah appeared in 1865, the year of Rennie’s death, with the first poems published by Helen and continued throughout that year. 1865 was also the year H.H. appeared.

Of all the pen names used by Helen, H.H. was probably the one most frequently used by Helen. Of all her works H. H. is the one most commonly seen. Still as an author who was writing to be published at a time women were not using their ‘real’ names, Helen made use of additional pen names to increase her options for publication.

In 1867 and again in 1868 Helen made use of the name Rip Van Winkle for at least two of her prose works.

Helen briefly used Helen Hunt and Mrs. Helen Hunt in 1868 and Marah showed up again in 1870. There is also one instance where she used the name ‘Justice’.

After her marriage to William S. Jackson in 1875, Helen then used the name Helen Jackson in her correspondence but continued using H. H. in her writings. Helen had said she did not use the name ‘ Hunt’ because there was no reason to constantly remind William of Edward. Also, in that time, women used the last name of the man they were married to.

11-13-11 book signing 123
Gravesite- Helen – Wife of William S. Jackson, 1885 ‘Emgravit’ (As per her instructions)

For her novels Helen used H. H., No Name, and Saxe Holm. If you were to read her ‘romance’ stories they would probably have the name Saxe Holm. For many years there was a question as to who the author really was, for Helen had made her publisher swear to tell no one.

In her autobiography Francis Wolcott (Mrs. Francis Bass when Helen knew her) states that ‘she figured out who Saxe Holm was from the various things Helen had said, and Helen did not deny the assumption’.

After 1879, when Helen heard Standing Bear of the Ponca tribe speak, her focus became the plight of the Ponca Indians and from there the plight of all Native people. She was still using H.H., when her non-fiction work a “Century of Dishonor”, was published. There is some discussion that she may have used her real name Helen Jackson on “Century of Dishonor”, but instead it was used for her “Reports on the Conditions of the Mission Indians”. This was a report for the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and also may have been published for the public.

The only work other than the above mentioned report that was published under her real name, Helen Jackson is “Ramona”.

It seems that the use of Helen Hunt Jackson for Helen’s works occurred after her husband William married her niece, also named Helen. This change may have been to avoid confusion between Helen Jackson the author, who died three years prior to William’s second marriage, and Helen Jackson the niece.

During Helen’s lifetime, it was normal for female authors to use pseudonyms which Helen did. Still with the use of H.H. it was obvious to those who followed her work, who this really was. According to the same biography by Ruth Odell, Helen wanted people to know who she was. If you look at the work with all the ‘names’ used by Helen you will find a substantial body of work. Helen excelled not only at poetry, but also essays, novels and short stories. She wrote for children and adults, both with equal skill.

If you get the chance, check out the works of Helen by any of her names. You will not be disappointed. Many of her works are in the public domain, but the one most might enjoy is “Nelly’s Silver Mine” Google Books, Nelly’s Silver Mine, one of the first children’s book to make use of place as almost another character.

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

For a list of Angela Raines BooksHere 
Photo and Poem: Click Here
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Five Poets You Should Read

Post copyright by Doris McCraw/Angela Raines-author

edit hhj spc

April is National Poetry Month. In honor of that I am sharing five different poets that I love and poems I believe important works. I posted some or the links. I strongly suggest you give these poets a try. Most are easily read, but oh the ideas they convey. Also, if anyone wants to do more, here is the link from poets.org on thirty ways to celebrate the month. https://www.poets.org/national-poetry-month/30-ways-celebrate-national-poetry-month

My first choice is HH, or Helen Hunt Jackson. The reason is probably obvious, but her work stands out in many ways. In her lifetime she was considered the best female poet of that time. Her poem “Last Words” always hits home. I post it here for you:

Last Words
Dear hearts, whose love has been so sweet to know,
That I am looking backward as I go,
Am lingering while I haste, and in this rain
Of tears of joy am mingling tears of pain;
Do not adorn with costly shrub, or tree,
Or flower, the little grave which shelters me.
Let the wild wind-sown seeds grow up unharmed,
And back and forth all summer, unalarmed,
Let all the tiny, busy creatures creep;
Let the sweet grass its last year’s tangles keep;
And when, remembering me, you come some day
And stand there, speak no praise, but only say,
” How she loved us’! ‘Twas that which made her dear! “
Those are the words that I shall joy to hear.

Next is Alfred, Lord Tennyson. Poet Laurette during Queen Victoria’s reign, there has always been something in the way he tells the story I respond to. Here a link to one of his shorter works, but a favorite:
http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/the-brook-2/

Has anyone read Lawrence Ferlinghetti? His work can be a bit hard to handle, but again, his magic with words has never failed to surprise me. I will give to links to two of my favorites:
http://www.poemhunter.com/poem/the-world-is-a-beautiful-place/
and http://www.blogcitylights.com/2012/12/17/a-coney-island-of-the-mind/

As I move on, my forth poet is Edger Lee Masters. Many people may wonder why or if he is a poet. You have only to read his masterpiece “Spoon River Anthology” to know. His epitaphs of the citizens of Spoon River will stay with you many years after reading. I recommend everyone spend some time with this book. May I be remembered as someone like Lucinda Matlock: Her epitaph I give to you here:

Lucinda Matlock
I went to the dances at Chandlerville,
And played snap-out at Winchester.
One time we changed partners,
Driving home in the moonlight of middle June,
And then I found Davis.
We were married and lived together for seventy years,
Enjoying, working, raising the twelve children,
Eight of whom we lost
Ere I had reached the age of sixty.
I spun, I wove, I kept the house, I nursed the sick,
I made the garden, and for holiday
Rambled over the fields where sang the larks,
And by Spoon River gathering many a shell,
And many a flower and medicinal weed—
Shouting to the wooded hills, singing to the green valleys.
At ninety-six I had lived enough, that is all,
And passed to a sweet repose.
What is this I hear of sorrow and weariness,
Anger, discontent and drooping hopes?
Degenerate sons and daughters,
Life is too strong for you—
It takes life to love Life.

My fifth and final poet for this post is Robert Frost. Many know his poems, Road Not Taken, Stopping by Woods, but for me his poem Fire and Ice is classic. I share it here:

Fire and Ice
Some say the world will end in fire,
Some say in ice.
From what I’ve tasted of desire
I hold with those who favor fire.
But if it had to perish twice,
I think I know enough of hate
To say that for destruction ice
Is also great
And would suffice.

 

Join me later this month as I share more poets you should know. In the meantime, please enjoy my haiku and photos at: http://fivesevenfivepage.blogspot.com

Angela Raines is the pen name for Doris McCraw. Originally from the mid-west, Doris now calls the Rocky Mountains her home. Doris is a writer, historian, actor,and teacher. An avid reader Doris loves to spend time in history archives looking for the small, unknown pieces of history. Many times these pieces end up in her stories or poems.  Like her author page to stay on top of her work.  http://amzn.to/1I0YoeL

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INFLUENCES

Post copyright 2015 by Doris McCraw

Doris

As writing takes a bigger role in my life, I wondered where my influences come from. I’ve always loved telling stories, especially on stage. The actor in me loves bringing life to words on the page. As a writer, I want my words to come alive for my readers.

Upon further investigation, I realize there are so many that to name them all would be far longer than this post should be. In the interest of brevity I’ve limited it to either a book, or author that I still remember after all the years of reading.

The Black Stallion series by Walter Farley. It was one of the first series I read as a young girl. Of course who doesn’t love horses? This link will add more about the series, in the interest of brevity of course. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Black_Stallion

Phyllis Whitney was the next author of note that I started reading at about twelve years of age. It was her adult novels that captured my imagination and developed my love of mysteries. She along with Mary Stewart’s strong women characters and Merlin series, did much to add to the independent person my mother was raising me to be. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phyllis_A._Whitney https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mary_Stewart_(novelist)

Later in life I started reading the work of Louis L’Amour and Dean Koontz. Both writers would spin a tales that read like you were hearing them speak. Their characters continue to live on in your life long after you put the book down. Watchers by Dean Koontz is still my favorite in that genre and Flint by Louis L’Amour I’ve read many times. Each time I read either of these books, I find something I missed the first time.

The book that I still remember like it was yesterday, which I read shortly after arriving in Colorado is Calico Palace by Gwen Bristow. It introduced me to the West and how history would add so much to a story. If you get a chance, read it! https://historicalnovelsociety.org/reviews/calico-palace/

I could not write a post about influences if I didn’t include Marcus Aurelius and Alfred, Lord Tennyson:  http://www.biography.com/people/marcus-aurelius-9192657 http://www.iep.utm.edu/marcus/  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alfred,_Lord_Tennyson. Their works and thoughts are another source of reading for me.

Finally, I must include Helen (Hunt) Jackson. Her poetry, essays, novels and life have become so much a part of me, I do believe I might be much less had I not started reading and studying this author.  I have written of Helen and shared her work with you on the post in the past and will probably continue to do so in the future.

So when you read my haiku, my novels and my non fiction writing, you will see and probably feel the influence of the above authors along with many others I didn’t have room to mention. We all are what we experience, whether as ourselves or through the words of others. I am thankful for the works of such amazing people along with that of my mother and father and their parents. Although most have already passed from this world, their influence is still strongly felt by myself and I would add others also.

Originally from the mid-west, Doris now calls the Rocky Mountains her home. Doris is a writer, historian, actor,and teacher. An avid reader Doris loves to spend time in history archives looking for the small, unknown pieces of history. Many times these pieces end up in her stories or poems.

A photographer, Doris also writes haiku and combines them with her photography.
In here spare time she writes/casts and performs with a local murder mystery company.

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Two Truths and a Challenge

hhj spc 3

Post copyright 2015 by Doris McCraw

I’m adding something new this time around. It has been awhile since Helen (Hunt) Jackson made an appearance in my blog post. Since I’m reviewing her life and work for an upcoming presentation in Castle Rock, Colorado at their library, I thought I would share my thoughts on one of my favorite poems of hers.

In November 13,1873 Helen had her poem “Two Truths” published in the ‘New York Independent’. The publication came out shortly after Helen had arrived in Colorado Springs for her health.

There are many things I like about this poem. Firstly, I enjoy the dialogue that composes most of the poem. It’s like you are overhearing a private conversation. Those first lines feel like a scene in a movie. You see the errant husband coming through the door, contrite for some offense. The wife, happy to see him return, immediately absolves him of any crime. Then the meat of the piece comes in the final sentences,  overhearing the wife’s private thought.

Helen (Hunt) Jackson en.wikipedia.org

Secondly, there is a greater depth to the piece than the few short lines would indicate. Taking the ‘lovers’ out of the occasion and we see a deeper insight into human nature. There are in fact two truths in almost all human interaction. The truth we tell the world and the truth that lies beneath.

Although at first reading, Helen’s poems are beautiful and her use of language amazing. When one takes the time to go beyond the words to the meaning, there is a greater depth than most would take the time to see, but time that would be well spent.

Two Truths

by H.H. (Helen Hunt Jackson)

“Darling” he said, “I never meant

To hurt you;” and his eyes were wet.

“I would not hurt you for the world:

Am I to blame if I forget?”

“Forgive my selfish tears!” she cried,

“Forgive! I knew that is was not

Because you meant to hurt me, sweet-

I knew it was that you forgot!”

But all the same, deep in her heart

Rankled this thought, and rankles yet,-

“When live is at its best, one loves

So much that he cannot forget.”

I would also challenge you to write a story or similar poem from these wise words that Helen wrote so long ago. If you take this challenge, share them on the Writing Wranglers and Warriors Facebook page or send to my email: renawomyn@gmail.com

home for his heart angela raines

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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

Balancing The Scale

Post copyright 2015 by Doris McCraw

Doris

I am going preface this post with: I love men, men in history and the contributions they have made to our world story. Having said that, this post is about balancing the scale. History has made a practice of telling the story of our lives from the male perspective, and justifiably so, but they have failed to include the story of the females who did as much if not more.

You may ask why I’ve decided to go on this journey? It has brewed for some time. I write about the women who came before. I also write about the men. There needs to be that balance.

Don Moon as Theodore Roosevelt speaking at the Stewart House on Colorado College Campus

I give you a conversation I had with my friend Don Moon, who is brilliant as President Theodore Roosevelt. We were talking about Chautauqua performances and he mentioned that women just were not as ‘popular’ as speakers, and he is right. My point is, they will never be ‘popular’ if their stories are never heard. Who remembers Jane Adams, Mary Cassat, Lucy Stone, Catherine Brewer or Gertrude Stein? In the West, how about Polly Pry, Eliza Routt, Julie Penrose? How about Virginia McClurg?

Eliza Routt

My personal favorite is Helen (Hunt) Jackson. Not only was she a writer of extraordinary talent, she made an impact on the West and the World that many have forgotten. Her writings on the beauty and people of Colorado brought many to the areas she wrote about. Her work for the Indians and their right to be recognized as human beings in the law is almost forgotten.

So to answer the above questions: Jane Adams- Social Worker in the Chicago area. Mary Cassat- Artist. Lucy Stone- First woman from Massachuettes to earn a bachelor degree. Catherine Brewer- first women in the United States to earn a bachelor degree. Polly Pry- newspaper reporter for the Denver Post. Eliza Routt- wife of Colorado’s first state govenor, and the first to register to vote when Colorado passed sufferage in 1893. Julie Penrose- wife of Spencer Penrose whose work after her husband’s death solidified the El Pomar Foundation and Broadmoor’s future. Without Virginia McClurg we might not have the history and beauty of Mesa Verde.

Julie Penrose Fountain in America the Beautiful Park, Colorado Springs, CO.
Julie Penrose Fountain in America the Beautiful Park, Colorado Springs, CO.

In this month of March, National Women’s History month, let’s balance the scale. When we honor the men in our history, and we should, let’s look further and see the women who also contributed. Look at John Adams, then deeper into the life he had with Abigail. None of us live in a vacuüm. There is always more than one side to the story. Let’s look for the whole story, both the men and the women. The good and the bad sides of each piece of history. We not only learn from the successes, but we can learn from the mistakes also.

For those interested:

http://www.usnews.com/education/articles/2009/03/11/historic-firsts-in-womens-education-in-the-united-states

http://www.biography.com/people/lucy-stone-9495976

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polly_Pry

http://theautry.org/explore/exhibits/lodo/mcclurg.htm

http://www2.lhric.org/pocantico/womenenc/timeline.htm

So when I talk about the women doctors, know it is my way of balancing the scales. I have always wanted to know the ‘whole’ story. Until next time, happy writing and researching. I wish you the realization of your dreams.

home for his heart angela raines

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

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The Other Half

Post written and copyright by Doris McCraw

Doris

 

 

 

 

 

This past weekend I spent time with some amazing women who write about the experience of women in the West. The organization was celebrating its twentieth conference.  It began when women authors wished to be acknowledged as writers of western fiction. The group grew and we are the recipients of their vision.

Some have called me a feminist. While not offended, I consider myself a historian who wants to have a more complete picture of what really took place as we grew as a nation. The energy I received from being around others who also tell the story, both as fiction and non-fiction spurs me forward in that quest.

Mule drawn supply wagon

This in no way is discounting what history has told us about Kit Carson, Red Cloud, Custer and any of the other figures in our history. This is about telling the other half of the stories, Helen (Hunt) Jackson, Isabella Bird, Nellie Cashman http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nellie_Cashman  and other women who also were part of the westward movement.

EXPLORATION: United States Geological and Geographical Survey of the Territories (Hayden). In Bear Canyon near Boulder City. Colorado Territory, July 1869.
EXPLORATION: United States Geological and Geographical Survey of the Territories (Hayden). In Bear Canyon near Boulder City. Colorado Territory, July 1869.

When I write of the women doctors, it is no way discounts Gardiner, Solly, Goodfellow http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_E._Goodfellow, but also adds Avery http://vcencyclopedia.vassar.edu/faculty/original-faculty/alida-avery.html, Preston, Spencer and others who worked at the same time as their male counterparts. I guess you could say I’m wanting to balance the scale, show that is took all people, to make the West, in fact all of what is our history.  So was the 20th anniversary of the Women Writing the West http://www.womenwritingthewest.org conference a success, for me it was.

So until next time, here is to history, all of it.

“Film and Photography on the Front Range” (Regional History Series): Colorado Springs, CO. Pikes Peak Library District 2012
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Writing the Human Condition

Post copyright Doris McCraw

Doris

 

 

 

 

 

 

Writers write about the human condition. We tell stories about falling in love, solving mysteries and defeating evil.  Still at the heart of every story is the joys and sorrows of our heroes and heroines. Each person tells the story as they know it, but where do we turn when we want to understand the condition? For myself, it is some of the old and new classics.

Who doesn’t respond to the speech in Shakespeare’s Macbeth:

Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow,

Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,

To the last syllable of recorded time;

And all our yesterdays have lighted fools

The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!

Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player,

That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,

And then is heard no more. It is a tale

Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,

Signifying nothing.

It is probably one of my favorite of all the lines Shakespeare wrote and there are many.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Helen (Hunt) Jackson poem Two Truths speaks of the dichotomy of love

Darling,’ he said, ‘I never meant
To hurt you;’ and his eyes were wet.
‘I would not hurt you for the world:
Am I to blame if I forget?’

‘Forgive my selfish tears!’ she cried,
‘Forgive! I knew that it was not
Because you meant to hurt me, sweet-
I knew it was that you forgot!’

But all the same, deep in her heart
Rankled this thought, and rankles yet,-
‘When love is at its best, one loves
So much that he cannot forget.’

 

SpoonRiverAnthology.JPG

For the sheer pleasure of reading and hearing life stories about the human condition,  you have only to read Edgar Lee Masters “Spoon River Anthology”.  A classic when published in 1915. To me it still has the power to make me laugh, cry, and be angry. It tells the tales of a small town through the epitaphs of the inhabitants. http://spoonriveranthology.net/spoon/river/

Who hasn’t felt the pain of not being loved like Mabel Osborne as she says at the end of her story?

I who loved you, Spoon River,And craved your love,
Withered before your eyes, Spoon River--
Thirsting, thirsting,
Voiceless from chasteness of soul to ask you for love,
You who knew and saw me perish before you,
Like this geranium which someone has planted over me,
And left to die.

Or the joy of living like Lucinda Matlock at the end of hers:

At ninety--six I had lived enough, that is all,
And passed to a sweet repose.
What is this I hear of sorrow and weariness,
Anger, discontent and drooping hopes?
Degenerate sons and daughters,
Life is too strong for you--
It takes life to love Life.

Who inspires you? Who do you turn to when you want to delve into the human condition?

Until next time, here is to writing that gives us joy, teaches something and brings us together in a common understanding of what it is to be human.

 

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Details – A Key to the Story

Post written and copyrighted by Doris McCraw

Doris

 

 

 

 

 

We write stories, we tell tales, our imagination runs wild. Well, even when we write non-fiction, the stories are still there. But what makes a story one that keeps the reader engaged? My thought- details.

As most of you know, I have researched and been writing about the early women doctors in Colorado prior to 1900.  I can write about when they were born, where they lived and where they died. Basic information. But will that keep the reader engaged? To ‘create’ the story of their lives it would be the details that add the joy and sorrow to what these women did.

Alida Avery

When Alida Avery left Vassar to move to Denver, Colorado in 1874  she probably came by train. To add details to her trip I could talk about train travel at that time.  Fortunately for me, Helen (Hunt) Jackson wrote about just such a trip.  Below is an excerpt from her essay, in Bits of Travel at Home called ” Chicago to Ogden”.

Next morning, more prairie,-unfenced now, undivided, unmeasured, unmarked, save by the different tints of different growths of grass or grain’ great droves of cattle grazing here and there; acres of willow saplings pale yellowish green and solitary trees, which look like ‘hermits’ in a wilderness. These, and now and then a shapeless village, which looks even lonelier than the empty loneliness by which it is surrounded,- these are all for hours and hours. We think,”now we are getting out into the great spaces.” “This is what the word “West” has sounded like.”

Karol Smith day 094

Would I use all of the above when telling Alida’s story? No, but the details of the endless miles of prairie, the solitary towns, that is a commonality that everyone traveling west would have seen. There are such wonderful resources to add the details to your story, you just have to find and use them. By adding the details the reader can see what your character sees. The details help them understand how your character may have felt. To me it helps make them human and relatable.  It brings their journeys into a sharper focus.

9-10-2011 end of season trip 054

How do you find details for your work? What does your character see? Does their environment play a major role in their story. One of my favorite stories, and it was a children’s story by Helen, is “Nellie’s Silver Mine”. This story was one of the first, if not the first children’s book to have setting be a character in the story.

If you wish to read the Guttenburg projects ‘Nellie’s Silver Mine’, below is the link:

http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/34430

Here is to story, both fiction and non-fiction and the details that bring it to life! Happy writing!

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

 

 

 

To Live History

This post written and copyrighted by Doris McCraw

Doris

 

 

 

 

 

What is it like to live history? There are numerous ‘towns’ and ‘ranches’ that allow visitors to watch living history. Some of the more famous are Colonial Williamsburg and Plimoth Plantation. In Colorado there is  Rock Ledge Ranch. There are those who recreate historic battles from the Revolutionary War on.

then there are people who take on historic character. I know Ben Franklin (Christopher Lowell), Theodore Roosevelt (Don Moon) and Franklin D. Roosevelt (Richard Marrold). Of course there are those who are unique to Colorado history.  Pearl DeVere, the Cripple Creek madam who died of an overdose of laudanum, Poker Alice, a poker player  in the Old West, Wm. J. Palmer founder of Colorado Springs and his wife Queen and James Burns, the Cripple Creek magnate who was one of the owners of the famous Portland Mine on Battle Mountain near the town of Victor, Colorado.

Theodore Roosevelt The Bad Land Years

All the people who have this passion to pass along history, to create characters as in the living history sites or to research and bring to life people from the past, do so to keep the stories alive. From the period correct costume to having the facts straight, to them the best way to remember the past and learn from it is to relive it and share it.

I too have this passion for history, be it the early women doctors, the labor wars in Cripple Creek/Victor or the founding of Colorado Springs and Colorado, I want to share the wonderful information I find. I also have made it my mission to bring the life of Helen (Hunt) Jackson back to public consciousness. For over twelve years I have researched and performed as this amazing woman. For me and those others who have this passion it is not an option to not do this. We live history because we don’t want to lose history. History is the stories of our lives. As writers we tell stories, as historic characters we do the same. As I prepare to take part in the “Think You Know History” series, I want to share the passion to live history.

 

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” can be purchased online at: http://www.amazon.com