Friday, August 31, 2012

Courting With A Bicycle

Yes Readers,

Courting with bicycles was a very popular custom over one hundred years ago. Groups of young men and women would bike for miles and pack their lunches. They would stop by a river or a nice spot and have a picnic.

The clip featured today even speaks of one-hundred mile Sunday rides. Now that's a long ride.

Click here to watch more.


Tuesday, August 28, 2012

What Are Drugstore Show Globes?

Hello Readers,
I found this post and read through it. I thought it was fascinating. The post features drugstores in the 1800's and a bit of history before a license and a pharmaceutical education was required by the government. It's worth the click and time spent reading the article.

Drugstore Museum Show Globes In the past, apothecary Show Globes were the symbol for pharmacy much like the barber pole was for the barber. From the early 1880's until the 1950's most pharmacies would hang or display a show globe to identify their drugstore.

Inside the show globe the pharmacist would add colored water by mixing chemicals together to give the globe great beauty. Back then, every pharmacist had his own special colaration formula to color the water inside the show globe. they took great pride in creating and showing off their ability to mix the perfect color.
Click here to read more.


Friday, August 24, 2012

H.G. Ferguson Author of New Blood: Book 1 of The Calling of the Blood

Happy Friday Readers,
Today is the last day of our series by published author, H.G. Ferguson. It has been a fast week. I hope you have enjoyed his posts as much as I have.
Since I signed, the journey continues. 

          Why a vampire?  And why a Christian vampire?  Isn’t that a contradiction in terms?

          If I were dealing with the supernatural in this mythos, yes, it would be.  But Rebecca is not supernatural.  The only thing supernatural about her is the power of her Lord Jesus Christ in her life.  Rebecca is a human being, albeit a very unique one.  A mutant, if you will.  She is driven to drink human blood because she has to.  It’s her physiology.  It is her affliction.  It is her “infirmity,” as she calls it.  How can a Christian live with this?  Read the book. 

          Today’s vampire lit and movies present vampirism as something cool.  Being a vampire is cool.  Being a vampire makes you powerful. Don’t you want to be a vampire too and embrace the darkness?  In my mythos, there’s nothing exciting about being a vampire.  Rebecca does use her “powers” to help others, but she always pays a price, for when the Blood calls, the Vampire must answer.  Being a vampire is an affliction she must live with every single day of her life.  There’s nothing cool about it.  And it isn’t something she can pass on to another person unless she bears a child and that child is born like her.  In fact, she never wants to bear a child.  She wants this THING to die with her.  She will not get that wish, however…  Nor would she ever desire to make ANYONE what she is, even if she could.

          I’ve taken the traditional vampire mythos and turned it on its ear.  Rebecca doesn’t fear the cross – she loves the cross, and wears one over her heart, because upon it her Savior died.  For her.  I have returned God to His rightful place in all this mythology, i.e., that in ALL things HE may have the pre-eminence.  But, like the “traditional” vampire,  her senses are enhanced, along with her strength.  Sunlight will destroy her because she is extremely PORPHYRIC, that rare allergy to sunlight that can be life-threatening to those suffering from it.  She does regenerate injuries because of her metabolism, but she can drown, be strangled or smothered.  She is not “undead.”  She is not “unholy.”  Her affliction is the source of all vampire folklore in the world.

          As far as influences go, there are five movies and one book.  The movies are the 1992 Last of the Mohicans, The Pirates of the Caribbean Trilogy, the 1974 forgotten gem Swashbuckler, Franco Zeffirelli’s masterful 1972 Brother Sun, Sister Moon (the story of St. Francis of Assisi -- because Rebecca is Franciscan in her Christian expression),  and the most original vampire film ever made, Near Dark .  Rebecca is far closer to the vampires in that movie than any other.  The only book that fed into Rebecca’s tale is The Autobiography of Mary Jemison, the 15-year-old farm girl who was taken by the Seneca during the French and Indian War, adopted into the tribe, and lived to be 93 years old as a clan mother revered by both whites and the Seneca alike. 

          Even Rebecca’s Christian heritage and spiritual makeup is as out of the box as possible.  I wanted her to have a connection not so much with the Roman Catholic church as with the Ancient church.  Her faith is what we would call the Protestant, Biblical faith, but her expressions are Ancient and yes, some of those are more Roman Catholic.  But the Gospel is presented twice in the story.  It’s the Gospel of Grace.  Period.

          I stand in awe of what God has done, is doing, and will do.  My desire and prayer is to be a servant and a channel through and of His Grace.

          I am working on the second story now.  More on that later.

          And as Rebecca would chant:  “Christus vincit, Christus regnat, Christus imperat! Soli Deo gloria in excelsis!”

    Here are the links for H.G.'s information.



Thursday, August 23, 2012

Part Four, New Blood by H.G. Ferguson

I hope your Thursday is a good one. Today we will enjoy the fourth installment of H.G. Ferguson's journey to publication. I sure have enjoyed his posts this week.
To shorten things, in March of 2010 another good friend of mine, fellow Christian writer Donna Schlachter, came down here to the local ACFWA chapter and spoke.  I went with her.  She had read the Jezebelle story (!) and gave me some good critical feedback on it.  She had also told me she knew a Christian EDITOR, not agent, who was forming a new company in Colorado Springs and was looking for “edgier” stuff.  I promised Donna I would make a submission.  Donna gave herself as a reference.

          On March 31, 2010, I sent a query email to Kristine Pratt of Written World Communications re Rebecca.  I fully expected, indeed, was dead certain to get a nice GO AWAY response the next day.

          The next day I did get a response.  Kristine was “personally delighted” because she loves both history and vampires and was intrigued with the story premise.  And she was handing it over to the editor who handles the “weird stuff,” i.e., Other Sheep.

          After I picked myself up off the floor and stopped gibbering and drooling, I again began pounding on God’s door.  Two weeks later I was asked to send a proposal and three chapters.  I did.  The next day the editor, Dale Hansen, asked to see the entire manuscript.  I sent it.  Two days after that, or thereabouts, he told me he was taking it to their editorial board.

          And so, again, I waited and I prayed.  I nagged.  I pounded.  And so, after a long period of silence broken only by my ceaseless pounding on God’s door…Dale Hansen contacted me.

          They offered me, a total unknown, never been published before, on the strength of the writing alone…A CONTRACT…

          That was in February of 2011.  I signed the contract.   And on December 20, 2011, Book One of the Calling of the Blood: New Blood was published.



          LORD, MAKE ME A WRITER!   

          Come back for the conclusion to this riveting story of one writer’s journey.
Here are the links for H.G.'s information.



Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Author H.G. Ferguson, A Writer's Journey Part Three

Hello Readers,
Today we are treated to part three of author, H.G. Ferguson journey to publication.
H.G. has worked hard and learning the craft of writing and his book, New Blood is now available online. I hope you all have enjoy reading H.G.'s story as much as I have. Now for Part Three.

When I first saw Jezebelle in 2007, I felt the Lord speaking to me.  It was like the sound of the “gentle blowing” Elijah heard, that still small voice.  The Lord was saying to me, I want you to commit this to me.  Follow me.

          That’s one of the reasons writing that story was so hard and took so long.  The Enemy fought me every step in ways you won’t believe.  But by His grace, I persevered.  I kept on the path.  I stayed on the journey.

          Just before Christmas 2007 a good friend of mine sent me a digital calendar.  She meant well.  She’s a New Ager with eclectic beliefs but she’s had a long-time interest in my writing.  Her gift was a calendar with the thoughts of the DALAI LAMA.  I accepted it, thanked her, looked at it.

          I don’t remember what month it was or the picture, but one thing he said struck me like a crowbar in the teeth:  SOMETIMES THE JOURNEY IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN THE DESTINATION.

          And for me, no truer words have ever been spoken.  I KNOW the Lord sent that to me, because it’s this journey that’s made the difference.  I’m not the same person I was when it began.  No one can remain as they were and take this journey of obedience and perseverance.

          In January of 2009 I sent both stories out and both were politely rejected.  I did not despair, but I seriously wondered if the Lord meant the journey to end here.  I meditated upon the words of Psalm 73:  “Whom do I have in heaven but Thee?  And besides Thee, I desire nothing upon earth.”  So I went to the Lord and I told Him from my heart I desired nothing on earth but Him.  And for the first time in my ENTIRE life, I meant it. 

          I fully expected Him to tell me writing was over.  And I was okay with that.

          But almost the instant I told Him it was okay, immediately a strong conviction came.  God wanted me to seek Him –- to believe – to cry out to Him – day and night, night and day.  I remembered the story of blind Bartimaeus:  JESUS, SON OF DAVID, HAVE MERCY UPON ME!  WHAT DO YOU WANT ME TO DO FOR YOU? Jesus asked.

          “Lord, that YOU make me a writer!”

          I remembered the parable of the unjust judge (it should be called The Nagging Widow), the parable of the man banging on the door of his friend’s house asking for bread, Jesus’ miracle performed for the Canaanite woman’s daughter because SHE WOULDN’T SHUT UP AND LEAVE HIM ALONE ABOUT IT! Of Jacob who seized the angel and declared I WILL NOT LET YOU GO UNTIL YOU BLESS ME!

          For two full years I nagged the Lord to death.

          From 2009 to the beginning of 2011, I cried out without ceasing JESUS SON OF DAVID, HAVE MERCY UPON ME!  WHAT DO YOU WANT ME TO DO FOR YOU?  LORD, MAKE ME A WRITER!    

          I told the Lord, “Lord, I do not want to be in this same place a year from now.  But not as I will, as You will.”

          On the edge of your seat? Part 4 is not to be missed!
Here are the links for H.G.'s information.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

New Blood by H.G. Ferguson Part 2

Good Evening Readers,

Yesterday we began our five-part series by author, H.G. Ferguson. You can read about that interview here.  Today we are going to hear from H.G. in the second installment in his writing journey towards publication.

After writing Jezebelle - I finished it about a year later, it was a tough, tough project – I felt so polluted inside from making the main character SO THOROUGHLY EVIL I had to write about someone the total OPPOSITE of the vain, cruel, selfish, proud, life-annihilating MONSTER I had created. 

          And then another image gradually came into my mind – about February/March of 2008.  This time instead of a voluptuous beauty I saw a slight, pale, petite young-looking woman in a black cloak and hood also walking through the night – lifting up a voice that rivals the angels in Latin Gregorian chants of praise to God.  Sweet, gentle, humble, selfLESS, no great beauty, with haunting eyes, pale complexion – deathly pale – speaking in the musical tones of the Welsh – and her name came to me, almost as if I heard it spoken:  REBECCA.

          And after this image, I remembered an idea I had BACK IN HIGH SCHOOL WHEN I WAS 17 YEARS OLD – and virtually THE ENTIRE STORY FLASHED BEFORE MY EYES.  I knew where it was going and what its elements would be.  I wasn’t exactly sure how it would end, but I knew the story from that very moment.

          Every single thing just fell into place.  The most important thing – the central character – crystallized like ice.  I knew who this woman was before I ever wrote a word.  It was easy.  She was the opposite of Jezebelle.  In every way.  Jezebelle is an unclean spirit of the dead.  Rebecca is alive, alive in her Savior Jesus Christ.

          Rebecca is also…a vampire.

          The idea I had when I was 17 is WHAT IF what we call vampirism is in reality an extremely rare GENETIC DISORDER, like MS, with certain specific characteristics which account for all the vampire folklore in the world.  And what if one of these people comes to America in the colonial period?

          Almost immediately I knew it had to be during the time of the French and Indian War.  The Revolution has been done, and redone, and done again, but apart from the works of James Fenimore Cooper and his Hawkeye and the Last of the Mohicans tales, this period of American history – with its inseparable ties to FRENCH CANADA – is largely forgotten and untapped.  So I set out to do research.

          When I sought out our local library, I searched for COLONIAL AMERICA online at their website and a book popped up:  OUTPOSTS OF EMPIRE – WESTERN PENNSYLVANIA 1754-1763, the time of the F&I War.  So I checked it out.  It was a goldmine.  It told me everything, and it became clear to me the story MUST be set in Western Pennsylvania in 1755, the year the war actually began there.  Other pieces of information came together.  Everything I needed fell into my lap.  I spent two months researching and in July of 2008, I wrote the first chapter.  In the last week of November after Thanksgiving I wrote THE END.  5 months writing.

          This was only the beginning, as I was to discover.

          Don’t give up – join us tomorrow for Part 3.

Here are the links for H.G.'s information.

Monday, August 20, 2012

New Blood: Book 1 of The Calling of the Blood


Hello Readers,
This week I'll be running a series of posts by published author, H.G. Ferguson. He wrote New Blood: Book 1 of The Calling Of The Blood.
I enjoy getting to know the story behind the story and H.G. has agreed to share his thoughts on his writing journey.

It’s important to me personally that I recount my journey in writing this first Rebecca story.  I will try to be terse, but it is not exactly a short hop.

After we moved to Arizona in 1986, I toyed with some ideas for a long time, tried a few, none of them; went anywhere.  In 2001, I decided I was giving up and not trying anymore since nobody wanted to hear from me.  That sounds pretty bad, but that’s precisely how I felt.

          In February, 2007, that changed.  One evening an image just popped into my head.  A stunning, statuesque, raven-haired beauty with piercing blue eyes, dressed in an antebellum South gown and hat, walked in the darkness through a grove of pecan trees in the area where I had grown up.  Cold, unearthly, with a beauty rarely seen in a woman, this person just kept walking, searching for something.  An aura clung to her – an aura of sadness, of hopelessness – but out of those eyes radiated an evil so deep and all-consuming it terrified me.  And I “heard” a voice whisper her name:  JEZEBELLE.

          A ghost.  I had always wanted to do a ghost story, a real ghost, the spirit of a dead person trapped here via black magic in this world, in-between this life and the life to come.

          What does all this have to do with Rebecca?  Before Rebecca, there had to be Jezebelle.  I understand that now.  The Jezebelle story’s theme is that of Proverbs: there is a way that seems right to a man – or woman – but its end is the way of death.  Jezebelle is the story of a lost soul, a damned, evil, horrible lost soul.  The only thing left of her world is her little porcelain doll Rachel, safely on display at a local museum.  When a northeastern crime lord who collects antique dolls has Rachel stolen, Jezebelle goes on a road trip to recover her Rachel.  “I WANT MY RACHEL!”  Pursued by FBI agents who are NOT clones of Scully and Mulder, Jezebelle leaves a trail of carnage and death in her wake.  At the end, she pays for her sins – finally.

          Join us tomorrow for the story of what happened after I finished this manuscript.

Here are the links for H.G.'s information.

Ride a Trolley in 1900


Today's featured clip is from the perspective of a trolley car in New York City. This must have been filmed during the cold part of the year. Everyone is wearing winter coats and the ladies have muffs. The adults wore hats. One can even see the police on the streets doing their jobs.

There were some good views of different styles of buggys and wagons. Note the buildings and the store fronts. Very interesting to see it from the trolley car's perspective.

Click here to watch the clip.


Friday, August 17, 2012

Bicycling in Denver in the Victorian Age


Today we will take a trip down memory lane and watch a movie. This clip has a  lot of pictures of cyclists from the 1800's. It even mentions the first cycling club in the Denver area. I love research.


Click here to watch the short clip.


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Historical Markers

Good evening,

Today I was a guest author at American Christian Fiction Writers. My post was about researching historical tidbits during a road trip.

There we were, hurtling down the road at about seventy-five miles an hour at ten o’clock at night, when I uttered those words my husband has come to dread: “Oh, look, a historical marker one mile ahead on the right.”
He sighed and nodded. We paced off the mile and watched for the next sign. He slowed the car and pulled off the highway. I focused my camera in the general direction of where I thought the marker stood, and finally located the sign. Click! went the camera, and we were off again, racing down the road in the pitch darkness.
As we traveled along, I retrieved the photo and read what text. In this case, it was the story of a small town in Texas that lasted only about five years because the townspeople couldn’t get title to their land.
Hmmm – might make an interesting plot for a book. Click here to read the rest of the article.


Saturday, August 11, 2012

Women's Fashions in the 1880's

Hello Readers,

Today's feature is on women's fashions in the 1880's. It sported straighter skirts at the beginning and end of the decade. In the middle of that time period, bustles were all the rage. Some of the ladies pictured in the article wore large bustles. Perhaps they never sat down all day.

The form of the skirt again changed dramatically in the 1880s, with new arrangements of folds, drapes, and pleats, and a reappearance of the bustle. Both skirts and bodices continued to receive a lot of trim and frill, and the styles remained quite exuberant. At the same time, clothes were designed for women to wear in the workplace and to accommodate an increasing interest in outdoor activities for women.   Click here to read the rest of the article and view the pictures.


Thursday, August 9, 2012

Writing Inspiration

Dear Readers,

I found the following post inspiring. Just what I needed for my writing today. I especially found the quotes by Ray Bradbury encouraging.

B.J. Bassett has written a nice article about Mr. Bradbury.

Ray Bradbury died this year at the age of 91. He was a writer’s writer. I remember many years ago when he gave up his monthly column in a magazine so an aspiring writer could publish his work instead. That act of generosity instilled in me an admiration for Ray Bradbury that over the years has never diminished. Click here to read the rest of the article and to munch on a quote or two.


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

One Hundred Years of Toys

Yes Readers, one-hundred years of toys.

Today's link shows toys from 1880-1990. The faces of children in 1880 depict the same chubby cheeks and cherub grins as the children in 1990. It is fun to go back and see the styles of clothing, homes, and toys change over time.

Which toy picture is your favorite? Click here to see more.

What a fun link,


Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Medical Care in 1880

Dear Readers,

Medical care in the 1880's did not include the sterile practices we are used to today. I found this article about the care that President Garfield received when he was shot. It includes information on doctors who examined the wounds the president received, but they did not wash their hands or use sterile equipment.

It is a very interesting read. Click here to read more.


Friday, August 3, 2012

Pocket Folders for Research

Dear Readers,

We just returned from seventeen days in Texas, the longest trip we’ve taken since our honeymoon thirteen years ago. This trip was a combination of business and personal, as most of our trips are. We attended a Gideon convention in Dallas, did some research in the Dallas/Fort Worth area, then visited friends in south Texas about halfway between San Antonio and Corpus Christi.

The research portion of our trip focused on ranching and farming, mostly for the current book I’m writing, but also in preparation for future books. I always seem to have at least one project in process and several stories circulating in my head at any given time.

I love to ask the What If questions: What If cattle rustlers figured out a way to change the brands? What If my heroine came to work at the district court this morning and found a body in her chair? What If my hero’s prize bull stampedes through my neighbor’s yard and kills her prize cow?

Click here to read more.


Thursday, August 2, 2012

Combating Writer's Block

Dear Readers,

What should we do when our writing seems stalled or boring? I like to take a long walk or try writing some where other than my office.

Recently  I ran across this article. The author shares some valid points on writers block and how to overcome it.

The ebb and flow of our creativity—as well as our connection to inspiration, writing in general, or a specific piece—is as natural as breathing out and breathing in. Losing our passion for a piece can happen for any number of reasons from feeling tired or overwhelmed to approaching the edge of our comfort zone and being afraid to cross over into new and unknown territory. The only problem comes when after a creative exhale we fear we may never feel the inflow of creativity or passion for our writing project again. While there’s nothing we can do to “prevent” our passion from ebbing and flowing, we can remember and eventually come to know that as natural as it is to lose our sense of creativity and connection every once in a while, it’s equally as natural for it to return.

Click here to read the rest of the article.