"Roundheads and Ramblings"
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My Love-Hate Relationship with NaNoWriMo
Let's Take the Survey One Step Further
A Question about a New Book -- or Two
My Favorite March Column
Scammers and Trolls Are Alive and Well Today

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"Roundheads and Ramblings"

Travelog

"Yankee Reconstructed"--The Pinterest Connection



I have spent this weekend putting together two Pinterest boards to provide a visual element for my newest book, Yankee Reconstructed. One of them contains some random images of various topics that arise in the unravelling of the story. Among them are political cartoons and pictures of early Ku Klux Klanners, a map of the Low Country, pictures of the Marsh Tackies being raised by two of the characters, some odd pieces of 1870's furniture from the Charleston Museum, and several views of the Old Sheldon Church whose ruins play a crucial part in the story.

The other board is set up to help you imagine what the characters might have looked like. Some of them, of course, are real people: Robert Smalls, Wade Hampton, Laura Towne, and Rufus Saxton all have their own portraits here. The other characters are fictional, but I found it useful to have concrete images in mind. So as I wrote, I looked for pictures of real people from the same time period -- people who looked the way I thought my characters might look. Their clothing and hairstyles are authentic. Some of them even bear a slight family resemblance to one another. They are as close as I can come to bringing my fictional characters to life.

I hope you'll enjoy taking a virtual trip into the setting of Yankee Reconstructed. Click on the button below to be whisked to the Pinterest boards.


RBOTT -- Exhausted

After. . .

  • 17 days on vacation
  • 3434+ miles on the road
  • 8 different hotel rooms
  • 3 suitcases
  • 6 states
  • 8000 ft. of elevation

. . . We're home, unpacked, reorganized, and exhausted. Gonna stay put for a while.


RBOTT, Day 16

We're in Texarkana tonight, on the long road home.  Today was a rough drive through El Paso, Fort Worth, and Dallas. And then, just 20 miles from our stopping point, there was a abad accident in a construction zone. After sitting in traffic in 95+ heat for an hour, we managed to get turned around and head back up an exit ramp on the shoulder, where we joined a long line of others creeping through back roads and small towns on two-lane paths.  Happy to be safely settled now.


The day did bring us a lovely surprise, however. We learned that we have been chosen as one of five couples who will be honored during pre-homecoming festivities at a ceremony known as "The Kiss on the K."  We can't actually be there next weekend, but it comes with some other lovely prizes. We had entered our story about how we met at Kent State, just as a lark.  You can read it here if you are interested:

Vacation: Animal Edition


When we arrived at our condo, we were surprised to see signs about not disturbing the wildlife. The emphasis was on the "wild", and I was reminded of that welcome sign that warned of poisonous bugs and snakes. One sign in the condo herb garden showed a picture of a bobcat, which I found tempting. Unfortunately we haven't met him.  Nevertheless, we discovered that we are surrounded by unusual wildlife.

  The condo managers have a pet "bearded dragon" named Gonzo, who lives in a glass box in the clubhouse.  Every morning she entertains the residents who drop by to feed her worms and lettuce. She's gorgeous in an odd sort of way.



To top off the animal experience, we can look down and spot a family of white-tailed jackrabbits and a flock of Gambel's Quail who share a small clearing just below our balcony.  These pictures are borrowed because, while we see them frequently, they all move too fast to catch on camera.














We start home tomorrow.  Going to miss these scenes -- so different from Memphis!

Vacation Is Another Word for Goofing Off

Goodness! I just checked the site activity for this website, and I see that some of you have been coming back day after day looking for a new post.  Sorry! We've been kicking back and relaxing in a timeshare villa in Phoenix after the MWSA Conference.  I can't claim to have accomplished much, but it's been a great week.  Here are some of the highlights.

On Tuesday, we drove up to Sedona to see the red rock country. Gorgeous views, although the air gets a bit thin for me up there. No rock climbing, either. We just stared in awe, took pictures, and then did a little shopping and had lunch in a lovely open air cafe, where dogs were treated like any other customer and were served their own dishes.  Loved it!

Driving through this countryside still amazes me. I never expected to see palm trees (tropical!) and giant saguaro cactus (desert!) growing side by side.  From our villa balcony we have great views out over a golf course, and if we look carefully, the cactus giants are there, too. 

While I was in a picture-taking mood, I couldn't resist getting an unusual selfie. We were having a drink on the balcony as evening set in, and I suddenly realized that we made a perfect picture in the reflection of the sliding glass doors. (If you click on this one, you can see the mountains on our horizon.


We start home tomorrow. We're going to miss this countryside, although I can't get used to seeing yards with sand and rocks rather than grass and flowers.