Some Thoughts on History

Post by Doris McCraw


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


July Fourth Quotes and Thoughts

Post by Doris McCraw

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Today is a National Holiday in the United States. I thought this time around I would let you read and hear what others have to say about our Holiday and Freedom.

Let’s begin with Home Free and their latest video.


This quote may be obvious, but how many of us think of July 4th this way?

The United States is the only country with a known birthday. ~James G. Blaine

Of course we all salute those who created this democracy and have kept it going. That means we can also salute ourselves. Every time we take part in the choices and governing of the country, we keep the idea of democracy alive. That means voting, engaging in discourse, but leaving anger and hate outside.

We must be free not because we claim freedom, but because we practice it. ~William Faulkner

Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom, must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it. ~Thomas Paine

Where liberty dwells, there is my country. ~Benjamin Franklin

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Mark Twain supplied an interesting piece. Written near the end of his life, it puts another face to what we call our country’s birthday. I’m sure not all will like it, but the wonderful thing about living here: we may not agree, but we cannot control another person’s thoughts, nor should we. We can only see where we need to improve by allowing all discourse. Was Twain being serious of just very cynical? I leave it to you to decide.

To-morrow is Hell-fire Day, that English holiday which we have celebrated, every Fourth of July, for a century and a quarter in fire, blood, tears, mutilation and death, repeating and repeating and forever repeating these absurdities because neither our historians nor our politicians nor our schoolmasters have wit enough to remind the public that the Fourth of July is not an American holiday. However, I doubt if there is a historian, a politician, or a schoolmaster in the country that has ever stopped to consider what the nationality of that day really is. I detest that English holiday with all my heart; not because it is English, and not because it is not American, but merely because this nation goes insane on that day, and by the help of noise and fire turns it into an odious pandemonium. The nation calls it by all sorts of affectionate pet names, but if I had the naming of it I would throw poetry aside and call it Hell’s Delight. ~Mark Twain, 1908


I will leave you with some additional words to challenge your thoughts.

Freedom is nothing but a chance to be better. ~Albert Camus

For what avail the plough or sail, or land or life, if freedom fail? ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Those who won our independence believed liberty to be the secret of happiness and courage to be the secret of liberty. ~Louis D. Brandeis

Wishing everyone a wonderful July 4, filled with joy, peace and love wherever you live.

Of course I would be remiss if I didn’t tell you about my newly released story in the anthology “One Hot Knight” a collection of five Medieval Stories.

BUY LINKS  B&N     Smashwords     Kobo     iTunes

Angela Raines is the pen name for Doris McCraw. Doris also writes haiku posted five days a week at – and has now passed one thousand haiku and photos posted on this blog. Check out her other work or like her Amazon author page:





Let’s Talk Passion

Post copyright Doris McCraw/Angela Raines-author

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According to Merriam-Webster a simple definition of passion isa strong feeling of enthusiasm or excitement for something or about doing something. 

Can you imagine living with enthusiasm and excitement for everything you do? It would be fun doing the dishes, cleaning house, visiting a sick friend, gardening or just plain being. Perhaps over time, we’ve become frightened of passion, of giving something our all. Maybe we’ve been burned too many times.

The key is, it is our passion and what other people say or do has nothing to do with how we feel inside. If we are frowned upon when we laugh out loud, who ultimately loses if we bow to peer pressure? I’m not advocating doing things that harm others. I’m talking about the reason we get up in the morning, the things that make us happy. Telling the story of the women doctors is a passion. I love speaking and writing about them, and the research is a passionate challenge to me. March 19, I’ll be in Victor, Colorado sharing my passion with others about these women.

I don’t have children, I don’t like snakes, but that does not mean I should keep someone else from being passionate about them. Maybe they don’t like cats. That’s okay. Some people love to sing, others to write music or jokes or books. If we don’t enjoy what we are doing, if we can’t find the passion and excitement, why do we continue? Life is precious, don’t waste it. I’d like to share some of my favorite quotes about passion:

There is no passion to be found playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living. Nelson Mandela
Passion is one great force that unleashes creativity, because if you’re passionate about something, then you’re more willing to take risks. Yo-Yo Ma

Great dancers are not great because of their technique, they are great because of their passion. Martha Graham

and perhaps one of my new favorite:

There isn’t any great mystery about me. What I do is glamorous and has an awful lot of white-hot attention placed on it. But the actual work requires the same discipline and passion as any job you love doing, be it as a very good pipe fitter or a highly creative artist. Tom Hanks

What we are passionate about, I think, helps define who we want to be and our ability to try and get there. So here’s to a life lived with passions, following dreams and sailing our own ships.  I will leave you with a link to a song I’m passionate about. Listen to the words, be inspired and follow that passion.

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. also make sure to check out her haiku and photographs at

“One Christmas Knight” Medieval Anthology

“Angel of Salvation Valley”





I am Not a Procrastinator by Cher’ley


This blog by Cher’ley Grogg

Or What to do When Life Gets in the Way!

I chunk it out–doing as much as I can in one setting, and then returning as often as necessary. Admittedly, I procrastinate, which drives me crazy. I AM NOT A PROCRASTINATOR. I Am Not a Procrastinator. I am not a procrastinator. I like to have everything done ahead of time, but life happens.

If I were not a procrastinator, I would not have almost 2000 emails in my email InBox, and none of them are spam. Maybe I will get some of them sorted later tonight. After I … But, on more important issues, (like writing a blog post), I typically do not procrastinate.

A farm boy accidentally overturned his wagonload of corn on the road. The neighbor who lived nearby came to investigate. “Hey, Willis,” he called out, “forget your troubles for a spell and come on in and have dinner with us. Then I’ll help you get the wagon up.” 

“That’s mighty nice of you,” Willis answered, “But I don’t think Pa would like me to.” 

“Aw, come on, son!” the neighboring farmer insisted. 

“Well, okay,” the boy finally agreed. “But Pa won’t like it.” 

After a hearty dinner, Willis thanked his host. “I feel a lot better now, but I just know Pa is going to be real upset.” 

“Don’t be foolish!” exclaimed the neighbor. “By the way, where is he?” 

“Under the wagon.”.


Ways to Overcome Procrastination

1.-Set Goals -A necessary component of effective goal-setting is to choose a goal that is challenging enough to be interesting but not so difficult as to be unattainable. There is a risk of fatigue through time invested or effort expended toward your goal, and disappointment if the goal is too challenging and or not met.

2.- Plan for Interruptions-One of the easiest ways to do this is to plan breaks. Only check Facebook or Twitter when on a break. (Set time for your break-15 minutes, ½ hour, all day), whatever, but stick to your goals. Unexpected interruptions- regroup. Make your next project shorter so you have more time to finish the one you’re on.

3.-Set deadlines for at least a day ahead of time, perhaps 2 days or a week. (I always figure this blog is due at least a day before it actually is due–then I post it early and set the scheduler)

Here’s a link to 15 more ways to help with Procrastination.

 Linda's book  Here’s a book by our very own Linda Leander that I found helpful, and it’s only 99 cents!

13 Extreme Tips to Self-publish (Extreme Tips for Writers) by Linda Leander

I didn’t procrastinate on “All About the Girls” 5(3), but life happened. Del’s surgery, my surgery, a new Great Granddaughter, our move to Florida, another Great Granddaughter, more medical procedures for me, and in my spare time I drove and 18 Wheeler. Regardless I got it to print in less than 7 months, and this included including some extended deadline stories. 

I love this quote that is included in the anthology: Quote

Every chapter has at least one recipe. I submitted one for my Mom’s potato salad, and a story about when she made it during my childhood years.

***Do you say, “I am not a Procrastinator”? Then… you end up being late on your projects or deadlines? How do you handle Procrastination or Interruptions? ***

Cher’ley’s Books are listed below and on sale at Amazon and local bookstores. And she has a new one that is freshly published with 11 other authors. 

Stamp Out Murder”.
 The Secret in Grandma’s Trunk” This is an especially good book for your Tween Children and Grandchildren
The JourneyBack 3The Journey Back-One Joy at a Time and the B&W Edition of The Journey Back
Boys Will Be Boys   The Joys and Terrors of Raising Boys-An Anthology
 Cowboys, Creatures, and Calico 

All About the Girls 5(3)

Fans of Cher'ley Grogg,AuthorAnd please join me on my Facebook Fanpage, that’s managed by one of my most faithful fans: Cindy Ferrell
Here’s a link to Cher’ley’s WEBSITE


LABOR DAY, Labor Day

Post by Doris McCraw


I wondered what I would write about this Labor Day. There have been many post about how it began, etc. I also thought about writing additional information about the Labor Wars in Cripple Creek in 1894 and 1904. What I have decided, due to some time contraints…well read on.

From George Washington we have:

Labor to keep alive in your breast that little spark of celestial fire, called conscience.

James Whistler said: An artist is not paid for his labor but for his vision

I do like the one from U S Grant: Labor disgraces no man, unfortunately, you occasionally find men who disgrace labor.

One of my favorite actors, Bette Davis had this to say:

To fulfill a dream, to be allowed to sweat over lonely labor, to be given a chance to create, is the meat and potatoes of life. The money is the gravy.

Even Aristotle had something to say about labor: The end of labor is to gain leisure.

Of course there are those humorous concepts also.

If you want to kill time, try working it to death.  ~Sam Levonson

“I have no more than twenty acres of ground,” he replied, “the whole of which I cultivate myself with the help of my children; and our labor keeps off from us the three great evils – boredom, vice, and want.”  ~Voltaire

When I work I relax; doing nothing or entertaining visitors makes me tired.  ~Pablo Picasso

Genius begins great works; labor alone finishes them. ~Joseph Joubert

What the country needs is dirtier fingernails and cleaner minds. ~Will Rogers
People love chopping wood.  In this activity one immediately sees results.  ~Albert Einstein

I hope everyone has had a wonderful holiday weekend. We have our annual Balloon Lift off. What a sight to see! I will leave you with this image.

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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

Product Details
HOME FOR HIS HEART the first in the Agate Gulch stories.

Author Page:

Photo and Poem:

Writing Prompts

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This post is by Doris McCraw


I love writing prompts.  I confess they have gotten me out of many a jam when writing.  Sometimes I use photos, sometimes I will look at quotes.  For me there is a prompts for any problem I have.9-5-2012 055When I am writing my haiku the ideas may come from one of my photos or perhaps I have read something that grabs my attention. It could be a first line of a poem or a random sentence from a book that I open.  The point is, when I  have a ‘writers block‘ there will be a way to kick-start my writing.

When I was working on my novel, my character would not always give me anything to work with.  Since I was on the clock to get this written, I would go to a daily horoscope and see what should be happening that day.  True to form, I would find something that would set the juices flowing and create more conflict.

Sometimes I just need a little extra color to a piece.  My favorite go to is the old newspapers.  They are gold mines of information that could be just what I need to add just that extra something to bring the world to life.  I remember reading about a gentleman who would try to find gold by using a metal divining rod. What a great add to my short  story set in the gold fields of the 1890’s.

There are also great online sources for prompts. The following are some of my favorites and you can easily access them also.

Since committing to writing and posting five days a week, prompts have been a major part of my writing life. There are times when just a word or idea is enough, other times I need a little extra push.  When that happens a writing prompt will show up and save the day.

Here is to all the writers out there, happy writing and don’t forget to use the tools that the world has to offer.