The Case for Research…

I want to start out this blog post with the premise that research can be fun! (Trust me for a minute here!)

You just have to make like Sherlock Holmes and repeat over and over to yourself, “Elementary, my dear Watson!”

Just kidding. 🙂

Please don’t tell me that I am the only one out there that absolutely loves research for my novels, stories and short stories. My family laughs at me when I am researching because I have so many eureka moments! 🙂 Enthusiasm is definitely key to enjoying the research when you would rather be writing. But if you like what you are writing about, the research can be nearly as fun as the actual writing!

my all time favorite detective:

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What would they have thought?!

Sometimes, when I am discouraged with my writing, to distract myself, I like to think about what a famous author of the past would have said if they were alive today and could see how we write now days.

George Washington: What do you mean you no longer practice penmanship in schools? How can one even think of doing away with such an important accomplishment?

Jane Austen: Emails? But what about love letters?! *Gasp*

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Book Review: Ivanhoe

For the last two years or so, I have been on a quest to read some of the classical literature that I missed reading when I was in high school. I took two years of literature in high school and really enjoyed it, but I felt I missed some of the other great stories out there. Yes, I made it through Dickens, but David Copperfield was not the best one to read of Dickens, I would say. And I missed half of Jane Austen’s fabulous works in there somewhere! Needless to say, I decided to try and dig a little deeper into the amazing world of classical literature.

Ivanhoe had been on my TBR list for some time before I finally got the enormous book from the library and started in. I had pretty much no idea about what I was getting myself into except that it was set in England.

When I got done, I was more than pleasantly surprised with the story! I loved it!

Image result for ivanhoe cover

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The Things that Inspire Me: Bookshelves

I have always loved bookshelves. Partly because of the treasures they hold in the form of the books on their shelves, but also because of the beautiful way they beckon to explore other worlds.

This imaginative homeowner made good use of some unused space in his Kennebunk, Maine attic. Creating a library/study using old furniture, simple bookshelves, oriental rugs and other items to make this space a cozy and interesting place to read or just hang out and relax. Sometimes it doesn't take much, just a little creativity.:

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Literary Foods: A Cottage Picnic on the Moors

literary-foods_-currant-buns

“From that time the exercises were part of the day’s duties as much as the Magic was. It became possible for both Colin and Mary to do more of them each time they tried, and such appetites were the results that but for the basket Dickon put down behind the bush each morning when he arrived they would have been lost.

A Childhood Classic That Should Be Read Again and Again | Off the Shelf:

But the little oven in the hollow and Mrs. Sowerby’s bounties were so satisfying that Mrs. Medlock and the nurse and Dr. Craven became mystified again. You can trifle with your breakfast and seem to disdain your dinner if you are full to the brim with roasted eggs and potatoes and richly frothed new milk and oat-cakes and buns and heather honey and clotted cream.”
The Secret Garden, Chapter 24

 

I don’t know about you, but roasted potatoes with butter, oat-cakes and buns with clotted cream and honey and with milk to drink sounds like a wonderful picnic to me! Perhaps a breakfast picnic. Especially on the windswept, foggy moors of an English manor house.

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A Few Minutes or an Hour?

How much time should you spend writing each day? That question is something that I have asked myself over and over again so often. Finally, it got to be where it wasn’t funny anymore and I needed an answer to that annoying little question.

You see, several years ago, I was only working part time and so I had several hours on my hands each day to plot, write, dream and research. I wrote my first full length novel during that time and though it still sits as a rough draft, I actually wrote it all in about two years time. (I am not including the year or so that I spent outlining and telling myself that, yes, you can do this!)

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