Thursday, November 11, 2010

somewhere it's spring...

It's springtime in my novel - the first book of The Ballantyne Legacy. Somehow that helps as I move into winter with all its raining, blowing, and cold. I do love sitting by the fire and writing. I hope you'll like this next story. It's certainly full of interesting twists and turns. And a hero I'm dying for you to meet:)

Thanks to Heather here, I've discovered a new historical site. It's The Country Diary of a New England living history reenactor, and a love story. Heather always finds the most delightful places on the web despite being so busy with her family and her art. I wanted to tell those of you with history-loving hearts like mine.

Isn't this dress and hat lovely? And the way her hair is done up like that, with those curls spiraling down the back. So feminine and romantic! Speaking of spring, I'm always wondering if heaven will have seasons ~ and which ones...

Winter is an etching, spring a watercolor, summer an oil painting, and autumn a mosaic of them all.
~Stanley Horowitz


  1. That's a fun site, Laura. Did you click on any of the pics in the sidebar and tour their house? Amazing! . . . We've already had a smattering of snow here in upstate New York. Nothing "stuck" to the ground. It was just enough to remind us what's around the corner! . . . So looking forward to your new book. Is the anticipation an enjoyable part of the journey for you? Or do you wish the intervening months would pass quickly? I guess you need time to find your authentic colonial dress for your book party!

  2. Renee Ann,
    So glad you visited! Isn't it like stepping back in time? She's living my dream in that beautiful house. And those dresses and hats of hers - not to mention the shoes and garters:) Makes me want to hurry up and rustle up mind, like you said:)

    It's wonderful to know you're in upstate NY! I know it's an inspiring place. I've heard great things about the Adirondacks, etc. My editor is in NYC. Enjoy that snow. There's something magical in that for me. Maybe you, too?

    I'm really so thrilled to be back to creating a story again after long months of editing and marketing, etc. I actually wish I had more time though the anticipation is very enjoyable with lots of bumps and surprises along the way! So glad you're along for the journey with me!

  3. Considering we're having a string of 70 degree days, one would almost thing it's spring here in Kentucky. Although I guess the correct terminology would be Indian summer. It's been absolutely beautiful the last few days.

    I will have to check out the historical site. Sounds like something I would love.

    Seasons in heaven, that's a very interesting question which I'm going to have to ponder for a bit.

    I pray your writing is going very well!

  4. Whoa -- did you see the close up of the dress on the blog? I love yellow and blue together! Sigh. Women knew how to dress back then, didn't they? Except for the whole underwear thing...

  5. Great site! Thank you for sharing. I've just been thinking of you and how you have such great historical detail. If you don't mind answering sometime, I would love to know how you evaluate sources...its hard sometimes when I seem to find conflicting opinions in what seem to be reputable books.

    @Renee Ann, I was just excited to see you're an upstate NYer!!

  6. Lovely picture! And I can't wait to meet that new hero of yours. :) Happy writing, my friend!

  7. Oh Michelle, I so covet your springish-Indian summer days:) Here it's just raining buckets but that is so usual. We did have on record-breaking 70 degree day last week! But I don't expect to see the sun again till June... I'm coming your way for a family reunion in the Smokies the first part of December. Reckon the weather will hold?

    Thanks for the good writing wishes. I love this story but it's always hard letting go of the others. Stranger still, when people are buzzing about one book, you've moved on to the next and then the next:o No complaints, though!

    Hope your fall is going very well ~ every aspect!

  8. LOL, Kav!
    I can always count on you for a good chuckle:) YES, the color combo enlarged is just stunning! There IS something magical about yellow and blue. She has other dresses, too, but I think that's my favorite (and probably yours). I'm trying to work up the nerve to ask her where she bought her shoes - those 18th-c. ones with the bows:)

  9. Julia,
    I'm so thrilled to know another New Yorker (other than my editor, of course)! I didn't know if you knew that about Renee Ann or not ~ I didn't till now:)

    Love your question about research. There IS a lot of conflicting information, especially on the web. My primary sources (those that are most reliable) come from diaries, letters, and first person accounts back then. If I need to check accuracy, I try to hunt for a 2nd and 3rd confirmation of a certain historical fact, etc. Sometimes you just have to go with whichever one seems the most reasonable as not all history is readily available or leaps out at you. A LOT of digging is involved, one of the reasons why many of my writer friends say they would never write historicals.

    Hope that helps. Every writer is a bit different in how they approach research/history. If I ever encounter a boo-boo, I plead literary license:) It's not a bad thing!

  10. Ruth,
    You always inspire me to write harder and be my best:) I am trying to get a handle on my Silas Ballantyne. Prayers appreciated!

  11. Hehe, well, you're ever so welcome! I find that visual stimulation is the best medicine for my painting muse. I'm constantly on the lookout for something that will ignite an image in my mind and send me to the painting table. This blog is no exception! And readers can also find a story about her and her home in the latest issue of "Early Homes".

    Finding places like this where people are able to do this things is just marvelous. I hope these images help you find words just as much as they help me find pictures! Anything to help you get the writing process going so I can read what you've written, haha. See, I have ulterior motives ;)

    I'll keep you posted on prettiness...

  12. Thank you, Laura, for the link to that great blog! So many wonderful, interesting things to find there! I love the music feature in the sidebar, too- which I'm currently listening to as I write this :D

    And, that dress, and that hat, and that hair is SO very beautiful and romantic! OH, just to go back in time for one day and look like that!!

    So happy to know you have the colors of spring to keep you warm as winter approaches :) Praying for you as you continue to write The Ballantyne Legacy! I'm sure it will be absolutely wonderful, with many more dear friends to soon meet :) And, I'm dying to meet you hero, too!!

    Amanda Stanley

    PS- LOVE that quote! How very true it is! Thank you so much and it's going in my journal right now :D

  13. Heather,
    You are SO right about drawing inspiration from these wonderful places! And if it helps me to write better books for you, then please keep passing them on:) I really get a feel from her site for the period in a different way, particularly since I don't know as much about New England in the colonial period as the southern states. Her house is so lovely. She probably wonders about the spike in her blog traffic with us visiting - lol - but it's a gem of a site. Bless you, bless you, bless you! And happy creating to you!

  14. Dear Laura,
    I am the girl in the photo you have put on your site! Thanks for mentioning my blog, ( and giving credit for our photo. My husband took that picture of me when we were in the gardens at Tate House in Portland, Me.

    I guess you have not read ALL my posts from the past yet---I gave the source for my fantastic shoes! Aren't they grand! I told everyone about my new friend Joanie, in Minnesota and her little shoe business! You can scroll the posts on my blog to read more, but yes, I am most happy to share the source for the BEST, most delightful 18thc. style shoes! I got my them from Joanie is wonderful! You order the STYLE you want in ANY color of leather or fabric that she has, and with any one of several heel choices! I got the 'tongued court shoe' in CREAM PEARL leather, with the 2" louis heel. (I also got the same in black). I drew a tracing of my foot and contacted her, and she called me. I had my shoes in 2 weeks! I felt that for the quality, comfort, and investment, they were a bargain at around $200. Please read my post on her on my blog. (I think it was in June). Email her and ask her to call you, and please mention me, Mary Spencer. If you email me personally, I will give you her email address.
    Thank you again for the compliments on my blog.
    With warmest regards,
    Mary Spencer, aka 'An Historical Lady'

  15. I've always pictured heaven as being one continuous spring, and of course we will never tire of it! Ever since I was a little girl, when I think of heaven, I think of sunshine and meadows of wildflowers.

  16. Its frustrating to study history of a people that just "rewrite" their history...

    I think I finally found a journal that took place during the 1950s though.

    I'm also researching revival in upstate NY (the 2nd great awakening) just for fun...but I think it may be fodder for an idea I have for someday.

  17. Amanda,
    I always think of you when I find or post quotes:) Here's another that is beautiful and touching and thought-provoking, so much so that I put it in my journal...

    "For every person who has ever lived there has come, at last, a spring he will never see. Glory then in the springs that are yours."

    Yes, Mary's site is amazing and restful, beautiful and inspiring! The music is a lovely touch and I wish I could do that, too. Can't wait to wander leisurely through her archives and soak up all that history and inspiration:) She is a lovely lady as she emailed this morning!

    I so appreciate your prayers as I write. I pray for each of you, too. It's a joy to connect here like we do! I'm constantly coming across things to share with you. Just this morning, I read the most incredible devotional and hope to post it next week or so. Plus I'm having a guest author on next week that I'm sure you'll enjoy meeting.

    Blessings to you today, dear Amanda!

  18. Dear Mary,
    Welcome to my blog! We are celebrating yours! I had such a lovely time visiting you and can't wait to go back and wander through the archives and linger over all your photos. I think it's wonderful that your husband loves history like you do. And your house! Oh my...

    I can't tell you how much I appreciate the shoe info. I also need to find out how you do your lovely hair. Mine is very long but I've never dressed it like you do. Maybe I should find a wig?! Also some stays... But I have till next August, thankfully.

    You mentioned the Tate House in Maine. I have a dear friend, Carla, who stops by here sometimes and I hope she reads this as she is from Maine and loves history and historical places there. I'll have to give her a jingle:)

    I'm so delighted I can keep up with you this way. I'm sure you have lovely times approaching as the holidays near. Bless you, Mary!

  19. Mary,
    YES! You said something that really resonates with me - that you envision heaven as eternal spring. Me, too! Maybe partly because of Easter but mostly because I associate our Christian life with new birth, spring, new beginnings, etc. I can't imagine fall and winter in heaven, or even summer. Spring seems to embody so much that is "over there." Thanks so much for that...

  20. Julia,
    It IS frustrating! I'm so glad you found a journal from your time period. It will hopefully give you a real "flavor" for that time. The 50's were so interesting and so much change was going on.

    You've touched on another love of mine - the great awakening, etc. I've been studying in Bible study with our pastor's wife the Welsh revival! WOW! There were so many converts in Wales that they had to retrain the animals/mules/horses there to obey to something other than curses! It was truly an amazing Spirit-filled time...

    As usual, I digress...:)

  21. That is such a beautiful imagine! I love the thought that it is Spring somewhere, even if it is in a fictional world. This new story has me so excited. :)

  22. I can almost smell the spring!
    The dress. Sigh. Like Kav, I have a thing for yellow and blue (must be the Swede in me) and that dress is gorgeous. I can just picture your long blonde locks done up like that! What a beautiful scene with Mary Spencer walking through the gardens at the Tate House in Portland, Maine. I haven't visited there, YET, but I was researching the 18th century mast trade last week and discovered Mr. Tate and his lovely home. I must visit in the spring and take a stroll through those very gardens! Care to join me?

    I'm so excited that you introduced me to Mary Spencer's website! I'm thrilled to be able to attend her presentation in Feb. on Dressing A Colonial Lady at the Old Berwick (Maine) Historical Society. I've already been in touch with them for details and asked some questions about my ancestors from the area for my colonial novel research (based on my 9th great grandmother).

    Mary, it's a pleasure to visit with you here today and I look forward to meeting you in person in a few months in Berwick.

    Have a wonderful day, Laura, and thank you for sharing a touch of spring with us!

  23. Your family reunion sounds great! Maybe we'll have another shot of Indian summer then. I hope you have a wonderful time! My favorite place in Gatlinburg is The Village. If you're not familiar with it, The Village is right in the center of town, and is made to look like a European village. They have some wonderful shops there!

    Here's the website:

  24. Laura,

    I love how writing can transport you to different places--even different seasons! :D Thank you for sharing about your writing process and for getting us even more excited about your upcoming novels!

    That picture is so lovely, and I LOVE that quote you shared!!! Thank you, Laura, for brightening my day! :)


  25. I love you site Laura so much that you have been tagged go here to accept


  26. Casey,
    Yes, there's something about spring that is so special no matter where it's happening:) I'm thrilled you are excited about my book. That spurs me on! I am going back and reading through the first chapters and editing as I go. BLISS! Amazing what you catch on yet another reading...

    Have a wonderful weekend!

  27. Carla,
    Thanks so much for coming by and meeting Mary! I thought of you immediately when visiting her wonderful site. With your rich family history, I knew you'd love it, too. If only you and I could attend one of their presentations. Sigh... In costume:)

  28. Michelle,
    The Village is great! Especially that one candy shoppe:) I'm looking forward to Randy and the boys experiencing it. His greatgrandma used to own a store right downtown 70 or so years ago. Recently we saw an old photo and that was sure neat. Not sure how they ended up in TN and then WA state!?

    Enjoy that beautiful weather. Wish I was attending the KY book fair tomorrow as I'd look you up!

  29. Amber,
    So glad you like quotes:) And spring! There are so many good ones out there and I'm always jotting them down on scraps of paper or in my journal. BTW, was just over at your blog but my browser isn't cooperating so I didn't leave a comment. Looking forward to your pages! And now am wondering if I could do that with mine here! Let me know how it goes! I can't even get my widget to work where you can upload posts to FB, Twitter, etc. If someone has any clues, please help!

  30. That's neat...sounds like your pastor's wife is a reader, too. The lady who leads my women's study is a big-time reader and so its always neat to talk books with her. I've heard of the Welsh revival, I think on Nancy Leigh DeMoss' radio show. I hope you are having a wonderful weekend!

  31. Edna, Always a pleasure to hear from you! I'll be right over - thank you!

  32. Laura, I finished putting together my book review and movie review pages. :) It took quite a while to go back through all of my old reviews and provide links (and organize...), but I hope it turned out alright! :D

    If you have time, I'd love to hear what you think! :) I really enjoy having separate pages for different features, so I recommend them!

    I deactivated my Facebook page about a year ago (six months was enough for me--I'm a bit obsessive and it caused too much drama in my life...), and I don't have Twitter, so I don't know if I'll be any help for those widgets right now. :( Sorry!

    Hope you are having a great weekend!


  33. What a beautiful dress and hat. So very femine looking.

    I am so excited - your new book (the Coloner's lady) is now on Christian Book store website for future ordering (7/11 - oh so very long to wait), I have placed my order and look forward to the summer breeze while reading your new book.

    have a blessed Thanksgiving.

    S Davis from Freehold, NJ

  34. Oh bless you for taking time here, my dear NJ reader:) And I'm so excited to hear TCL is up on CBD! I checked the other day but didn't see it so hearing it from you is a real treat! I'm off to look now myself. Love the mention of summer breezes. I've been missing those myself now that we've officially entered our rainy fall season. Bless you!

  35. Thanks for the visit, HIB! Blessings to you today!

  36. Sheryl, That IS you:) Bless you for ordering my book (again)! I hope your NJ fall is a lovely one and you have a basket of good books by your side as winter approaches. Wish I could have one of my own every month for you. Thanks for being such an encouragement and support. That sure blesses me. And happy Thanksgiving to you, too!