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Posts from the ‘research’ Category

Write our story as we lived it.

This particular moment in the year is hard on me.  I, and many others in my profession whom I consider my closest friends, are drawn up in remembrance of those whom no longer dine with us, save in spirit.  This period of reflection (with its accompanying vigils held), is never easy, but it is our responsibility.

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What’s the Point?

I think we’re back into routine. And I’ve got my head wrapped around it. Which is nice. Feels good. Of course, Mrs. Dave heads off again in a couple weeks, and then there’s LibertyCon, and the littles will be out of school for the summer. Which means and entirely *new* routine to which I’ll get to adjust. Joy. Seriously, I think I’m going to lose my preferred hermitliness method of existence through sheer chaos of life. Which is a little strange, as that’s how I’m going to finish all those books I’m not currently writing.
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Local Stories – Universal Stories?

David McCullough is one of the popular historians working today in the US. He’s a leading voice for keeping history where people can read, discuss, and enjoy it. He’s released a new book about what used to be called “the Old Northwest,” Ohio, Indiana and Illinois, and the stories of the frontier days there.

It’s gotten a mixed reception from professional historians, in part because McCullough calls the stories “untold.” People who spent their careers writing about that same region chided him for that.

Recounting the Untold History of the Early Midwestern Pioneers

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/history/recounting-untold-history-early-midwestern-pioneers-180972095/

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Do Your Homework

I’ll admit right off the bat, this post was inspired by the title of a post over on The Passive Voice. But it veers off the path immediately from the Publishers Weekly article that was the basis for the PV post. If I try to write about “cultural appropriation” this morning, the post would wind up being nothing but a string of curses. Not because I believe we should never write anything we don’t know or aren’t a member or part of but because of all the wonderful book that will never be written because authors are afraid of writing a book with characters that don’t look like them, don’t believe like they do, etc. Okay, stopping there before the cursing begins.

Instead, I want to focus on how you have to do your research if you are writing about people, places or things you aren’t very familiar with. For example, some years ago, I was in Philadelphia for a business conference and contacted family friends in New Jersey. We arranged to meet at their home on Sunday. Since I hadn’t been there since I was a child, Ruth gave me directions and told me to look for the simple cottage with hollies out front. Simple enough, right? I mean we all know what a cottage is and what hollies look like. Read more

Anatomy Lesson

Talking about swords is kinda difficult. Case in point: last week I tried to give a definition, and ended up skewing off into the weeds of history almost immediately. In discussing this very difficulty with Tom (who has just founded the Albany Study Group of Schola Saint George) he suggested I leave you with the definition with which I started last week, and tell you to go an prosper, under the assumption that suffering produces better art. Now, I didn’t tell him to get bent (I figure his mettle is better than *that*) and I’m not going to let him know his oh-so-clever japes actually helped. Read more

What Makes a Blade?

We’re still alive, here at Caer Dave. The last assault was repulsed with a barrage of cupcakes. It was close for a bit, there, but one of the battle pucks managed to turn on the television, and the Horde is nothing if not easily distracted by the sweet and the shiny. Unfortunately, the ongoing vegetal threat has brought us all a great deal of discomfort. Wee Dave’s cough has been mistaken for the cry of the hunting hellhound. Wee-er Dave’s sinuses are an ever-giving wellspring of life-giving fluid (well, it’s fluid, and stuff can grow on it *shudder*). And me? Dave is fighting off a full-blown sinus infection through frequent application of saline wash, pseudoephedrine, and that wunderdrug: Afrin. With some success, I’m pleased to relate. Read more

We Continue

It’s been an entire week since Mrs. Dave left us. Food stocks are low. I have part of a jar of olives, two meat sticks, some salt, and a jar of Luxardo cherries, left. The Barbarian Horde ransacked the refrigerator almost immediately, and have begun waylaying passing stroller-pushing Military Mommies and ransoming them for candy. The ravening howls are indescribable, and I’ll hear them in my sleep until the day I die. I’ve built myself a barricade of books and cookware. If I don’t survive this, tell Mrs. Dave I tried.

Oh, no. I hear the patter of ‘orrible, little feet … Read more