Journaling

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My sister gave me this journal with a photo she took!

Do you keep a journal? Oh, I do. I have kept a diary or journal since the fifth grade when my teacher in England encouraged his students to journal. I loved the idea and latched onto it with a relentless grip. My sisters wish I would desist especially when I write down expressions and conversations from our sometimes outrageously funny and amusing adventures together. Why do I do this activity when no one will ever read them while I am alive? I am addicted! It is part of my day, just as reading my Bible, praying, and writing. I wouldn’t say I put the same emphasis as my devotional and Bible time, but I do feel I have to enter something about my day.  IMG_9764

I have boxes of journals stored in the top of a closet. Oh those dramatic days of my teenage years–I don’t think I ever want to look at those again. What about my college years or early marriage? The years of infertility, then days with young children. Financial difficulties and career changes. The travel ones hold a special place separate from the boxes since I use them for research. My journaling is not necessarily exciting. Sometimes, I record the weather and the price of gas. Well, hurricane Katrina stands out as an exceptional weather and life changing situation. Answered prayers and major life events like weddings, births, and deaths fill the pages.

 

IMG_9758I find keeping a diary brings a calming element to my reality. It might be strange to some, but I can’t stop now….

How do you keep records of your personal life? Photos? Videos? Letters?

For the love of Research

Do you like to read historical fiction? I learn so much from a good novel that is well-researched. I didn’t realize, until I started my novels, how much time went into research before the first words are written in a novel. Now I know. All the tidbits of information popping up on the pages continue to spark my interest in historical accounts. Although I am a history lover, I like my doses of history sprinkled in the lives of fictional characters.hold me close cover 3

In my Revolutionary Faith series, set in Charles Town, South Carolina from 1772-1778, I chose historical characters that I thought my fictional characters might have had the opportunity to meet and interact with on a regular basis. One historical character is Christopher Gadsden, a citizen of Charles Town when my character Louis Lestarjette arrived. Gadsden was a dynamic leader in the fight for independence. The organizer of the Sons of Liberty, he was involved in every aspect of forming a platform for political advancement against the British Parliament. Uniting merchants, planters, and farmers with lawyers, political agents, and influential leaders, Gadsden played a unique role of bridging the gap between diverse groups in order to accomplish great feats that helped mold a new nation.img_9693.jpg

I read many books in my research phase. By far my favorite is Christopher Gadsden and the American Revolution by E. Stanly Godbold, JR. and Robert H. Woody.  With the information, I found a friend for Louis as well as a business partner. Gadsden and Louis share many fictional adventures throughout all of the books in the series. Gadsden becomes a mentor, a friend, and an influence in Louis’s life.  My thinking is perhaps Christopher Gadsden really was a friend or at least an acquaintance of Louis Lestarjette since Louis was a real historical character too.

I have plans for Gadsden in Book Four. A hint is the bright yellow flag below. It hangs in my office, reminding me of  the goal of the Patriots in Charles Town and all the colonies. I hope you join Louis Lestarjette and Christopher Gadsden on their journey through the series.img_9694.jpg

Do you have a favorite historical character that you have read about in a novel?

 

 

TBR and current reads

As you know, I love to read almost anything–historical, contemporary, mystery, suspense, romance.  And I do love to read new authors. Actually, all three of the books I am reading now are by new to me authors: Healer of Carthage by Lynne GentryCallum’s Compass by Sara Foust, and Heart of Stone by Jill Marie Landis. All are historical fiction, my favorite genre.

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On my shelves I have about 50 To Be Read books. I’ll share my next six novels with you to give you some ideas. All of them come highly recommended. I even have three contemporary selections from authors I love. Take a look: The Patriot and the Loyalist by Angela Couch,  A Dangerous Engagement by Melanie Dickerson, The Redeeming by Tamara Leigh, Returning Home by Toni Shiloh, To Be Where You Are, by Jan Karon, and What God Brings Together by Melissa Wardwell. So excited about each one!

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And then there is what I am currently writing: Draw Me to Your Side Book Four in the Revolutionary Faith Series.  I have lots of plans and more books to publish, so stay close and connected.

Have a great weekend. Leave comments about what are you reading?