Category Archives: Historical Fiction

Still Here…

You’ll be happy to know that the rumors of my demise are greatly exaggerated.

Seriously, though, I’m a bit confused about myself, which, at my age, is troubling indeed.

You see, I’m a teacher. You know, one of those people who take summers off, right? Yeah, well, I have never taken a summer off in my adult life. I always work summer school to stave off poverty, and as a way to teach English now at then instead of my usual history classes.

This year, though, everything changed.

First, I changed jobs, to a district much closer to home, and I teach English for special needs students. Since I changed districts, my old district decided they didn’t need me for summer school.

Wow, a summer off! Lots of time to write! Get that second novel done while I wait for the first one to be edited! Blog like a mad woman!

Yeah, no.

I turned into an absolute slug. Proving, I’m sad to say, that I have no self-discipline.

So now, I’m just finding my groove again, starting to write with some regularity, and getting back into shape, mentally and physically. Because slug.

All that to say, hey, I’m back. And one of the things I really want to do is to start monitoring all the research I’ve been doing. Which, as it turns out, was the one way I was productive all summer.

That and gaming. Sigh . . . I’ve all but left a trail of slime behind me.

So, you may notice a new page on my site called Bibliography. I thought I’d go ahead and keep a running bibliography online of the research I’m doing. Hopefully it will become a decent resource for those of you looking at the same eras as me. And you can get an idea of just what goes into the preparation for writing historical fiction.

I feel pretty bad about wasting a summer off like that. Maybe I needed it, I don’t know. But for some reason, the less time I have to write, the more time I actually spend writing.

And if that’s not confusing, nothing is.



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Filed under Chatting with the Readers, Historical Fiction

D is for Drabble

Sounds like what I do to my shirts when I try to eat crab legs with drawn butter.

No, it’s actually a writing thing. A drabble is a microfiction story of 100 words. It tests a writer’s sense of brevity and ability to use words that bring the biggest impact.

Considering I’ve just written a 132,000 word novel, I have apparently lost that ability.

However, I’m in a Facebook group called 10 Minute Novelists, and they have recently started doing a weekly drabble challenge. Katharine Grubb, our fearless leader, provides three random words (drawn from her kids’ Apples to Apples game), and we develop a drabble.

Unable to pass up a challenge, I make it even harder for myself. My drabbles have to be historical fiction.

So far, I’ve only done a couple, but now that I’ve handed off my novel (Lord have mercy), I think I’ll keep trying this. It really does build the important skill of making every single word count.

You want me to do that, trust me.

So, for your drabbling pleasure, allow me to share a couple that I have written. I’ll move these over to its own page on my website when I have a bit more of a collection. Your challenge is to try and guess what the topic is for these drabbles. Yes, they are based on historical events. Let me know if I did a good job providing clues in the story.

The Crown

The storms of three springs cleansed anew these fields once baptized in the blood of men and horses. Today, the fields are a maiden’s shortcut home after charming the mother goats of their milk. A gilded glint gives the maiden pause. Kneeling, digging, she unearths a broken filigreed crown.

Should she give it to the leaders, to have this royal remnant interred with its rightful king, secretly buried in Leicester village? Or worse, given to the Welsh usurper as a trophy?

No. Kings, dead nor living, need no artifacts that could feed her family for many stormy springs to come.

Forty-Six Seconds

The newsboy emerged from his hiding place behind the tavern, tripping over the bumpy cobblestones that made up the dark alleys of San Francisco. He took off his cap and dusted himself off, particles of concrete and fallen buildings floating and covering his knickers and jacket. Peering through the destruction, he could make out the Pacific Ocean, like a streak of blue sky on a stormy day, at the bottom of the hill. He clutched some newspapers under his arm, which he had used to protect his head. It was, and would remain, the longest forty-six seconds of his life.

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Filed under #AtoZChallenge, Historical Fiction