Sunday, October 11, 2009

an 18th-century weekend

This was a perfect weekend. Combine a little sun, some research books, a bit of fiddling, and lots of writing and I'm happy. I fell in love with the photo at left, taken at Colonial Williamsburg in a silversmith's shoppe. I'm studying trades of two hundred years ago for an upcoming novel. This picture tells a story all its own.

Books I fell in love with this weekend:
George Washington, Spymaster by Thomas B. Allen
Eyewitness Books/American Revolution by Stuart Murray
Welcome to Felicity's World 1774 by Catherine Gourley

Yesterday Paul and I went to Old Time Fiddlers and he played a lively Celtic tune called, "Britches Full of Stitches." He was the youngest player there. The oldest? Ninety-three! This senior member has never had a lesson and doesn't read music but plays anything and everything extremely well. When he was a boy his mother threw his trumpet down an outhouse hole so he took up the violin. And he's been thanking his mother ever since:)

Now back to that colonial battlefield scene...


  1. I just ordered the American Revolution Eyewitness Book for Peter for Christmas! I also bought him a book about the Swamp Fox, Fracis Marion, our local Revolutionary War hero. Mel Gibson's character in The Patriot was based on him. Peter loves The Patriot---his first R rated movie---We did mute the sound and make him hide his eyes during a few of the scenes.

    Glad you had a nice time this weekend! Mine was busy, busy, busy and I am ready to crash!

  2. Oh, that's so funny about the trumpet and the outhouse. It should find it's way into a novel. I have a small tidbit like that from my family history I've worked into my current novel. Fun!

    Your weekend sounds wonderful. Wish I'd gotten more writing done this weekend, but life intruded in the form of a huge sprawl of ivy that needed to be battled, and a MIL who ended up in the emergency room, all while my husband was out of town at a mountain man rendezvous. I think he had all the fun this weekend!

    MIL is fine now. The ivy got a trim, and I did get a little writing and research done.

    I'll have to check out the Eyewitness Books. Laura, would you consider posting your research bibliography for TFD? I'm always on the hunt for good 18C and frontier sources. I'm still reading TFD, and learning some good stuff. Your details have really brought the setting and time period alive.

  3. Lori, I always enjoy hearing from you - another 18c. soulmate:) I'd be happy to post my bib. for TFD. Just give me a few days to get a list together. I may have some gems for you:) And I think you could say the same. In future, let's trade good books!

    I hope your MIL is much better - always a scare but glad you were there. And glad you battled the ivy and won:)

    I think what I love most about the Eyewitness books are all the pictures taken straight from the Smithsonian, etc. You really SEE the artifacts of battle and life 200 yrs ago. I'm a bit visual that way and appreciate a living photo. I could do without repeat photos of Geo. Washington's dentures but hey...

    I sure hope you're enjoying Lael's journey. When you're done I'd love to hear, writer to writer, what worked for you. You've trumped me on one count already. Scottish speech patterns! Bless you and hope you get lots of writing and research done this week!

  4. Mary, Peter will LOVE his book!! I'm going to order one myself as I'm coveting my library copy so heavily. Books are my weakness, esp. research books. Interesting that you'd mention The Patriot - we just watched it with our boys last week and they loved it (bloody battles and all)though I did the hide my eye thing:) The Swamp Fox is certainly a hero. I'm embarrased to say that this Eyewitness book just informed me that the sinister Banastre Tarleton was the real deal and he did just what he did in the movie, etc. I think parts of The Patriot was filmed in your neck of the woods!? A friend of mine on FB just posted pics of it and I think they're a historic site in SC.

    Hope you have a great week to make up for your busy weekend:) Love hearing from you here!

  5. Glad your weekend was wonderful! I would love to hear Paul play his fiddle so maybe he will have to bring it to Gatlinburg next year to play for everyone! And the books you are reading sound so very interesting too! I love history and the Revolutionary War era....I need to pick up on my reading.....finding the time is the hardest part for me, ha. :)

  6. I know you are beyond busy, Rhonda! Zach's sports keep you hopping, I know. It's fun to read about him on FB. I'm sure Paul would love to bring his fiddle to TN next year:) Can't believe we're all getting together! Can't wait!

  7. Mary, while I own a copy of The Patriot, and have watched it many times, I still mute the sound and hide my eyes during certain scenes. :)

  8. Laura, I've posted my Kindred bibliography on my blog. It's in the archives under August of this year. Maybe you'll find something useful there for 18C research.

    I'm savoring my way through TFD. I'm excited to have found both you and your writing, Laura. Many times I've read over a passage with that little tug of writerly jealousy--that "Oooh, wish I wrote that!" feeling. Finding an author that stirs that in me doesn't happen frequently, but you are one.

    I got my Scottish speech patterns from two sources, mainly. Diana Gabaldon's books (and her guidance on the Books and Writers forum), and watching a BBC program called Monarch of the Glen. My library carries Monarch, so maybe yours does, too, if you haven't already seen this quirky show. It's got some of the flavor of Northern Exposure, but set in the Highlands.

  9. Lori,
    That is so funny you'd say that as I have done that many times when reading your work - I actually think you are a better writer than I am. So that little tug works both ways:)

  10. Can't wait to see what you write next to go with the photo! I just love the 93 year old fiddler's story about his mother. So funny, and fortunate for him! Enjoy your week, blessings,Kathleen

  11. Bless you, Kathleen! I'm always dreaming of that next book but am sorry to say goodbye to my characters in The Locket. Colonial days were never dull, huh?

  12. that is funny!! i suppose there are alot of moms who would love to throw a musical instrument down an outhouse hole!! ha ha

  13. Ain't that the truth:) I'd gladly chuck the trumpet and drums. And when a violin screeches it makes good outhouse material!