Monday, August 30, 2010

Pumpkinis, or a Practice Contest

Okay, when I start marketing my novels, I need to sponsor some contests. Here is a trial contest. It has nothing to do with any of my novel ideas, but it sets a precedent. To qualify, those who want to play will need to answer a question correctly.

So, here is the question:  How many pumpkins in this picture?

Answer:  Three that I can be sure of. Three are what are better known among some of my friends as "pumpkinis" -- the result of my volunteer squash plants that were pollenated last year by a "tree bee" that did not discriminate between my pumpkin blossoms, zucchini blossoms or my yellow straight-neck squash blossoms. The tall, skinny yellowish one may be a pumpkin-yellow squash baby or it may be an anorexic pumpkin--not sure which. What it is now is part of some pretty tasty squash bread. Then, of course, there are the three tomatoes for color and contrast.

Oh, there is no prize if you guessed right -- this was a test, only a test.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Ever the Optimist

I already have a blog for the first novel I wrote, Aurora Rescue. However, I am ever the optimist. I expect that novel to be published along with many more.

So, I have started this blog for the intent of having a centralized place to discuss all of my writing projects.

As I just wrote in my Aurora Rescue blog, I was a in a quandary for several weeks about my next step. Here is what I did about it. (Do I now seem a little bit like Cy Riverton in Aurora Rescue? Read the book when it comes out and decide for yourself.)

1. I started working on another novel. It is not part of the Aurora series. In fact, it could fit into the series I considered before Aurora Rescue. I wrote a vignette as part of my Jennie Graves series of novels which for the most part I have since converted to the first chapter of the book I have titled Armitage. However, in a three-day time span, I wrote four more chapters of the book (okay, one chapter was real short.) I very much want to focus on this novel and complete it, but I knew I had to get Aurora Rescue on it way go being published first.

2. I started researching the Civil War and Reconstruction eras like crazy. It was information I need for both the Aurora series and Armitage.

Exactly what have I been reading? Here goes:

Actually, I checked out about seven books from the county library. One of them happened to mention an aurora seen by the Civil War soldiers the night after the Battle of Fredricksburg. That was a very nice detail I need for a future novel in the Aurora series. I have not found that information anywhere else, so far, so I was happy to read about it. I also purchased these Civil War books for a reasonable price at the local book store.

I made a point to read The Widow of the South by Robert Hicks which is based on  a real life experience from the Civil War and after.

The local library has shelves of books on the Civil War but I did not find even one on the Reconstruction period. So I purchased this one. I love the Remington artwork on the cover. You can see how I tab pages that contain information I want to refer back to and take notes of later.  

To double-check some facts for Aurora Rescue, I reread parts of Crucible of War  by Fred Anderson. I also went back to my well-worn edition of Empire of Fortune by Francis Jennings.