Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Geared Steam Locomotives

Dear Readers,

Yes, I am still researching the perfect train for my character to ride on. I am having fun looking at different kinds of trains in our country's history.

I love this Shay Geared Locomotive.  It's haunting whistle echoes through the countryside bringing the listener back to an earlier era.  I can just picture this train in one of my novels.

"In the Cass Scenic Railroad in West Virginia, some Shay Geared Locomotives are still in use in excellent condition. Everyone must be impressed by enjoyable train and scenic beauty." Click here to learn more.

It is worth the hop over to the site just to hear the whistle.


NaNoWriMo Tips

Dear Readers,
In the month of November, I plan on participating in NaNoWriMo for writers.
So, you plan to engage in NaNoWriMo this year. Good for you! Might I offer a few tips to lead you to succeed in this noble novel endeavor?
Each day, we’ll post a tip to help you complete the task.
On or before Oct 31: come up with an idea for the book. Figure out who your characters are. You don’t need their entire backstory. Leave yourself some leeway to learn about them. Look at your calendar and honestly decide how much time each day you can give to writing. Just because you can’t sit and write for eight hours or two hours or even one hour is no excuse to not sit and write something.
Happy writing,

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Steam Locomotives in Denver

Good Day,

I have enjoyed watching videos on steam locomotives. I am trying to pinpoint an exact train for one of my characters to ride to a certain destination in one of my novels.

I found this link that shows a historical steam locomotive in Denver.

Click here to view.


Monday, October 29, 2012

Union Pacific Steam Locomotive


The Union Pacific Railroad used steam locomotives in it rich history. I found this link and video fascinating. I can imagine some of the characters in my novels riding trains like these.

"Departure of Union Pacific Steam Locomotive No. 844 from the Great Overland Station in Topeka, Kansas. Easter Sunday, April 4, 2010. Steam Locomotive No. 844 is the last steam locomotive built for Union Pacific Railroad. It was delivered in 1944. A high-speed passenger engine, it pulled such widely known trains as the Overland Limited, Los Angeles Limited, Portland Rose and Challenger.

Hailed as Union Pacific's "Living Legend," the engine is widely known among railroad enthusiasts for its excursion runs, especially over Union Pacific's fabled crossing of Sherman Hill between Cheyenne and Laramie, Wyoming."

Click here to read the article and watch the video.



Sunday, October 28, 2012

1925 Ford

Good Day to You,

One of my novels is set in the 1920's. In order to write my story better, I needed to research what the cars were like during the mid-twenties. I found this link that shows a beauty of a car that has been preserved in all of its vehicle glory.

It is sure a beauty.

Click here to view.


Photo Technology

Good afternoon,

The advancement of photo technology can enhance a writer's research. Today's featured link depicts President Lincoln in three portraits. The first in each series shows the presidential photo with color enhancement. The second photo shows the original.

One thing I noticed is how the style of the clothing had changed. One photo shows the president wearing a narrower lapel on his suit jacket and the last series, President Lincoln is wearing a much wider lapel.

Click here to view the series.


Thursday, October 25, 2012

Tips for Writing Historical Fiction

Dear Readers,

Today's post will feature tips on how to write historical fiction. Some of the ideas included in the linked article include: characters, historical era, fashion, architecture, warfare, economic status, and dialogue. It is worth a hop over to the website to read the full feature.

"The hardest part of writing historical fiction is authenticity. These tips on how to write a book set in the past will help you write a historical novel that readers (and editors!) love.
Before the tips, a quip:
“It’s not a documentary. It’s a historical fiction. But we have attempted to make the world, the background, the detail of that world as authentic as possible.” ~ Jonathan Stamp."

Click here to read more.


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Wallpaper in the 1860's


I love researching old houses. Today's post will feature wallpaper found in homes in the 1860's.

"By the 1860's, in America, it may be safe to say that almost all paper used to print newspapers on was machine made. One notable exception is when newspaper editions were printed on wallpaper. Wallpaper, while a percentage was machine made in this period, the majority of it was handmade. The initial steps to produce sheets for wallpaper were much the same as in the making of other paper." Click here to read more of the article.

Making wallpaper in the 1860's was a lengthy process. I hope you enjoyed the article as much as I did.


Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Public Hospitals from 1860-1930


I love research and writing historical fiction. Part of that research entails many hours on the Internet reading and looking at articles that will enable me to write with enough knowledge on a topic so that my readers can picture the story easily.

I needed to verify some facts about medical care for my historical novel. I found this article on the emergence of public hospitals from 1860-1930.

"The American hospital as we know it today emerged over the course of about 60 years, beginning around the time of the Civil War. Physician-staffed hospitals, with professional nursing and specialized departments and services, were products of urbanization and economic expansion during the Second Industrial Revolution—together with massive immigration and rapid strides in medicine itself. About 1880, asepsis (sterilizing) opened broad new horizons for surgeons. As physicians looked to the future with a new sense of hope, hospitals became symbolic of their new optimism and authority."  Click here to read the rest of the article and view a photo of the men's ward in a public hospital during that time period.


Saturday, October 20, 2012


Dear Readers,

Have you ever wanted to write a novel in a month? NaNoWriMo is a tool to help writers write a novel in a month. The challenge starts on November 1 and ends November 30.

"National Novel Writing Month is a fun, seat-of-your-pants approach to novel writing. Participants begin writing on November 1. The goal is to write a 50,000-word (approximately 175-page) novel by 11:59:59 PM on November 30.
Valuing enthusiasm and perseverance over painstaking craft, NaNoWriMo is a novel-writing program for everyone who has thought fleetingly about writing a novel but has been scared away by the time and effort involved.
As you spend November writing, you can draw comfort from the fact that, all around the world, other National Novel Writing Month participants are going through the same joys and sorrows of producing the Great Frantic Novel." Click here to find out more.


Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Victorian Women Cycling a Course

Hello Readers,

Today's clip shows women in the Victorian era riding their bicycles in a slalom course. They are quite good. The gals weave through a course and circle back around. The video features women who are old enough to put their hair up and young ladies who are not old enough to do so.

I love the styles of clothing they wore. Notice the man at the end of the clip who walks in front of the camera. He is dressed to the nines, top hat included.

Click here to watch the 36 second clip.


Thursday, October 11, 2012

Writing Contest Needs Your Vote

I  entered contest recently where the first round will be determined by number of votes, and she needs folks to vote for her entry TODAY.

Click on this link and when you come to the contest page, type in SCHLACHTER in the SEARCH box.

You should come to my submission, “Christmas Under the Stars”. Scroll to the bottom of the page and click “Vote for this entry”.

Feel free to read the description and the first chapter, of course, and read the rest of the entries as well, if you like, and vote for the story you like the best. J

You can only vote once per day, and today, October 11th, GMT is the final day of voting.
Remember the deadline is TODAY at 11:59 p.m. Greenwhich Mean Time, which could be 5:00 p.m. or earlier depending on your time zone.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Historical Wedding Dresses in Australia

Good day to you readers,

While researching for a book that I am writing, I ran across this link that focuses on wedding dresses from Australia. It features dresses worn by brides from the 1800's until 1999. The styles have changed over the years but the brides looked radiant on their special days.

Click here to view.


Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Texas and the ACFW Writers Conference 2012

Good Day,

I have a few more photos of my trip to Texas for the ACFW Writers Conference, 2012.

Our group enroute to the Grapevine. It was a fun trip.

Crit Group 14 is my online ACFW Critique Group: in no particular order: Kim Sayer, Margie Vawter, Eileen Key, Connie Stevens, Darlene Wells, and me.
My crit group has challenged me to grow as a writer and encouraged me when the journey was hard.

I had a great time at the conference making new friends, attending workshops, and classes.


Monday, October 8, 2012

Digging The Past


As many of you know, I am a writer and a history buff.  One of the winners of my blog contest has a historical blog that might interest some of you.

It is called Digging The Past by writer Wesley Harris.

Here is an excerpt from one of his posts.

By Wesley Harris

Near noon on January 8, 1874, five masked men swooped down on an eastbound stagecoach about three miles west of Arcadia. While the robbers searched for valuables among the mail bags and the passengers’ pockets, the westbound coach of the Monroe & Shreveport Stage Line approached. Forcing it to stop as well, the robbers added to their bounty. The evidence points to members of the infamous James-Younger gang as the likely culprits.

Click here to read the rest of the story and to see who hid in the trees.

Digging The Past has some great historical accounts. Be prepared to spend some time over there reading. It's worth the stop.



Wednesday, October 3, 2012

More Conference Photos


The ACFW Conference in Texas was one of my writing highlights this year.

Mingling at the conference.

My writer pals, Bonnie and Megan before the banquet.

Table setting at the banquet.

 Beverly Varnado and Christen Morris were my roommates. Christen was a finalist in the Genesis Contest.

Anita Mae Draper, Mary Davis, and me -- 3/4 of our Pony Express group.

May your weekend be blessed,


Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Winners of the Blog Contest


The winners of my blog give away were Wesley Harris and Diane E. Tatum.  If both of you would please leave email me your mailing information, I'll make sure I get your prizes out as soon as possible.

Thank you to all who entered.


Feature Photos of the Writers Conference

Dear Readers,

I recently attended the ACFW Conference for writers. Today I would like to feature some photos of my time in Texas.

This is the view of the hotel.

The crowd at the conference. I love writers.

The Texas sunrise at the airport.

I hope your day is blessed.