Hello everyone and happy last day of August! Back in May of 2017, I posted an article about the main family in The Battle For Heritage Series, the Mason family. I told y’all some random facts about the family and how the family had changed from my original plans. If you would like to read that post, click here 😉
Today, I’d like to share a few more facts about this family, or more specifically, about Dixie and how she got her name. It’s an interesting twist of events.
Writers Tip: When writing a story set in a historical time period or a different country…do your research before getting to attached to the names you’ve chosen for them. It will save you heart break later on, trust me. 😉
When I had my cousin, Travis Stevens, proof The Land of Cotton for historical accuracy, he told me the only thing that he found that wasn’t right was Dixie’s name. Dixie obviously wasn’t a name back then, at least not for a girl her age. (She was born in the 40’s; The song Dixie’s Land was written in the 50’s).😐
He told me not to change her name though. It had the appeal of the South to it and is easy for people to connect with. It sets the tone for the book: sweet, Southern, country and genteel. That classic Southern flavor. She’s easy to like, I hope.
But there is a bit of a story behind her name.
I love the name Dixie. I would love to name one of my daughters Dixie someday. So naturally, I had to name my main girl character Dixie. But I also wanted to have something with a Southern Belle edge. So, Dixianna. But to get around the time-period issue, I formed a bit of Mason Family backstory to explain her name, though this didn’t make the final cut of the story. ☺
After studying some etymology, I found out that the name Dixie used to be a boy’s nickname for Richard. Don’t ask me why! But anyway, I decided to have Dixie named after her two Grandmothers, Dixianna Mason and Susan Rains. The elder Dixianna, who went by Anna, was named for her grandparents, Richard and Anna MacIntyre. Problem solved, right? Well, at least it sounds good!
I considered changing Dixie’s name when I found it wasn’t accurate. But, like I said, Travis thought it would actually be a good thing to leave in. And I think her name will endear her and her whole family to the reader, even if they don’t realize it.
Oh, and the modern meaning of the name Dixie? A Lady of the South. Fitting, huh?
Something to think about: Do names in books or of people you know have a special meaning to you? Take a look at a baby book and find out what the name actually means. Does it align with your thoughts on the name or are they totally opposite?
Have a lovely day, and I'll see you tomorrow!
*Emoji art supplied by Emoji One
Before we get into the post, I wanted to clear something up. I mentioned in my book tag that I was looking forward to reading a book called The Baker's Daughter. I am sorry to say that this book did not meet my expectations and I cannot recommend it. There were a few things that I didn't know when I bought it and if I had, I probably wouldn't have purchased it. First, the author is apparently Catholic as the book only talks about Jewish and Catholic faith as if they are the only ones out there. Second, the book was a romance...not my genre. Aside from that, the writing style was difficult to follow for me personally and many questions remained unanswered. Perhaps the author plans to make this into a series? I'm not sure.
It is not my intention to tear down another author in any way. These are my personal opinions and I thoroughly enjoyed my conversation with the author when I bought the book. But I must say that this is not the kind of book that I can promote.
*Dramatic Radio Voice* I now return you to your regularly scheduled program 😉
Good morning, good afternoon, good evening, whichever suits you! I hope wherever you are that you are having a lovely day! Welcome back to my series on writing! I am no expert on writing, but since it is something I do, I am constantly learning new things and I love sharing them with you! If you’ve missed the first three installments of this series you can find them here, here and here. Let’s begin, shall we?
You’ve drafted your story from start to finish! Good job! Give yourself a reward and breathe a sigh of relief. You’re ready to head to the press! *Grins* Okay, so not quite. I don’t care who you are, there is only One who ever had their book ready on the first draft and that was God. Sorry, first drafts, except the Holy Bible, are TERRIBLE! I smile when I look over my original drafts of my books, but I cringe at the same time. They are awful. So, here are the steps I take to get my book ready for the next stage. Note: Bathe every step in prayer! That is the key to success!
1. Take a break. After drafting my story, it’s tempting to jump right into revising the story. But I need a break. I need to catch up on other projects, take time to relax a little and make sure I’m not taking too much time away from my family. I like to take a minimum of one week away from my story, but two or more is ideal. This way when I get back into the story, I’m looking at it with fresh eyes. I’ll catch my plot holes easier this way 😊
2. Remember, I’m not editing. It’s tempting to want to go through editing the story, fixing all the little grammatical things that catch my eye. If it’s a spelling error or a wrong word, I go ahead and fix it, but I try not to be too picky. I’m revising, not editing.
3. Read the story and take notes. I’m watching for unanswered questions, scenes that need more information, not as much or that just need to be scrapped altogether. I also note ideas that I’ve got that I want to add, such as a whole new plot line or a different outcome for a certain character. For example, in my second book, Our Heritage to Save, I originally had Dixie and Lana at Fredericksburg, Va. for the battle and getting trapped in the town when the Federals took over. I changed it however and the girls were not there at all. Instead, I decided to make one of my soldiers, Alvin Willis, the main focus of the overthrow of the town. This actually caused many people to become attached to him in ways I couldn’t have imagined. I accidentally made him an important character! But it’s been good though, for I myself have gotten to learn more about him while writing my other books. 😉
4. Revise. I take all my notes and go through fixing the things I’ve found. Sometimes, I make a whole different document and copy the story into it, just in case I don’t like the changes. That way, I can start over if I need to.
5. Repeat Steps 1-4…as much as needed. For me, I repeat the process about three times 😊 This allows me to get pretty much satisfied with my story and prepare myself for editing. But that’s another post in itself. And to be honest, a lot of the time, I end up doing some revisions while I edit. *Sighs* Writers are never 100% happy with their work 😊 But that’s the beauty of being a writer. If something in the story isn’t working for you, you have the power to change it! But don’t worry. At some point, you will hit that point of “This is how this story was meant to be. This is the way it needs to go,” and when you do, you know it’s ready 😊
So, those are my steps for revising my stories! Next time we talk about writing, we’ll be talking about the Self-Edit! Stay tuned!
Hello everyone! I don’t know about the rest of you, but when I was in school, I loved starting school. As a homeschooler, member of a large family, and serving in our family ministry, each day was an adventure! Would I be doing school in my room or the kitchen table, or would we be balancing our books on our laps as we drove out of town for a meeting? Or would today be an out of book school day, taking a field trip to Ft. Macon, the Zoo or volunteering at a special event at a church?
Something I enjoyed doing when we were traveling was to double up. To those who don’t know what that means, doubling up is simply doing two or more days’ worth of school in one day. Since we have less distractions learning at home than in a class room, we were able to finish our school earlier in the day, which allowed us the time to double up. The reason I would double up was because…I am a lover of books and never go on trips without bringing a stack along. While I do write up the road as well, reading is still a favorite pastime on hours’ long trips. With the school year upon us, I thought it would be fun to give you a few musts for your reading list 😉 I hope you enjoy!
1. Autumn with the Moodys and Autumn Days with the Moodys by Sarah Maxwell
Yes, I will count this as one, since they are book in the same series 😊 Part of a 10-book set (plus 2 amazing Christmas novellas!) book #2 and #6 give readers a nice peek into the lives of a homeschooled family during the beginning of the school season. Add in the wonders of Autumn, my favorite season, and you have a pleasant read, for any time of year, really. I recommend the whole series! Please note that this is a story of one family’s homeschooling experience. Every family is different, and every method doesn’t work for every family. But Ms. Maxwell paints a beautiful picture of a family perusing home education. Click here for more information!
2. Where was Patrick Henry on the 29th of May? by Jean Fritz
Ah…my favorite founding father and protector of religious Liberty! Who can forget his marvelous “Give me Liberty or Give me Death!” speech? He was truly a Patriot to be admired…but what else is there to know about him? This book answers that questions, sharing his highs and lows, his greatest moments and a few things that remind us that we are all human and make mistakes. Regardless of age, this book is a must read! No school reading list should be complete without a book about our Nation’s founding! Pick up this one today! Click here for more information!
3. The Willow Valley Kids Book #1: The Treasure Hunt by Jean Pennington
Any Patch the Pirate fans out there? How about Patch the Pirate Club members? What does this have to do with this book? Mrs. Pennington for years now has dedicated hours of work, creating material for the Patch club literature. And as of the last few years, she has started righting these amazing series of children’s mysteries. Remember how I told you we got to see a Patch the Pirate play last month? Well, we took a chance and purchased this book and the next two in the series. We were a little nervous…but we needn’t have been. These stories are so sweet, mysterious and filled with biblical lessons for the children. These are probably supposed to be for 8-12-year-olds. Ignore that! I loved them, and I’m an adult! My mom just read this book out loud to the family and we all loved it!
This first book is set on the first day of school and continues through the entire school year! It all starts with five kids hearing about Redcoat treasure buried in the valley where they live. Can they do what no one has been able to do in over 300 years? What is at stake if they can’t find the treasure? Is it even still there? The clock is ticking…and that’s all I’m going to tell you 😊 Click here for more information!
4. A Dozen of Them by Isabella Alden
If you’ve never read Mrs. Alden, you must start today! She’s that good! This book is part of her darling Golden Text Series. Each chapter begins with four or five scriptures. One of the scriptures will be used in the story. Our family likes to assign a verse to each person and wait to see who got the “Chosen Verse”. These stories encourage Bible memory, Character building and scriptural application. This particular story is about a young man named Joseph and how the verses that he selected, one for every month, changed his life. Click here for more information! *Note, this link will show you a three book set. We recommend all three!
5. Recollections and Letters of General Robert E. Lee by Robert Edward Lee Jr.
If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time, you’ve probably noticed that I really enjoy the 1860s-time period. The War Between the States has always fascinated me, and I know write books on that topic. I read this book last year, a gift from my uncle (who is an Air Force and Police Force Veteran! Love you, Uncle Paul!). He had no idea how much I would enjoy this book. Who better to write a book about Gen. Lee, beloved to the South and the North alike, than his own son? This book is recommended for older readers, simply because it’s written on a higher reading level. Oh. Please, no matter where you are from, no matter what side of the war you side with, please, pick up a copy of this book. It will get you acquainted with this dear, Christian man on a personal level. The author even gives us a peek into his own life in one chapter, which is quite entertaining to say the least! Click here for more information!
So, these are my Back to School Recommendations! Hope you enjoy these books as much as I have! Something to think about. What are you favorite Autumn reads? Share your reading list with others and encourage them to try out a book they’ve never read. Speaking as an avid book worm, you can never have too many book recommendations!
Have a blessed day and keep reading!
Hey y’all! I’m back with another post and today, I’m doing something I’ve never done before…a book tag! I’m so excited! I’ve seen other bloggers/vloggers do these and I’ve always wanted to do one so when I saw Ivy Rose’s video of this tag, which in turn led me to Lindsey’s video, I was like, “Yes, girl, you’ve got to do this one!” So, I’m doing it today and I hope you enjoy! Sorry in advance for my grainy pictures...the phone isn't the best at these things and the lighting...*Sigh*
1. Find a book for each of your initials. R- Rachel and the Riot by Susan Martins Miller; L- Lights out! By Mr. and Mrs. Stephen Castleberry; M- Mandy the Outsider by Norma Jean Lutz (This one needed some minor edits.) I really enjoyed all three of these books, especially the first one. It’s set during what would later become the Labor Unions and how a family was divided by this evil institution. The main character’s dad was a doctor and cared for people on both sides. It also took a look at the “new” procedure of intubation, which fascinated me. Lights Out! is a Christian mystery story set in Tennessee. The main detectives are homeschooled brothers Jason and Andy. These books are sweet, innocent and very informative! The final book, Mandy the Outsider is about the days leading up to World War Two. I loved how it included a Japanese family who had come to America, become citizens and contributed to society. It also stayed away from the internment camps, which is a topic that I think often gets abused in literature. Don’t get me wrong, it was a sad time for everyone during that time in history, but sometimes I think some topics get over-killed and both sides are ignored, but that is a topic for another time. Anyway, this book was amazing!
2. Count your age along your bookshelf. Which book is it? I took this from my “To Be Read” (TBR) shelf. It’s Jacob DeShazer: Forgive Your Enemies by Janet and Geoff Benge
3. Pick a book set in your country (State 😉) Following these girls’ example, I’m going to pick a book set in my home state because 80% of my books are set in America 😉 And I see I only have my books to choose from! Oops on that one! But, The Land of Cotton, Our Heritage to Save and The Rivers of Sorrow are set in my state and county! That’s North Carolina for those of you who don’t know. These books take place in North Carolina and Virginia predominantly. Coffee Shop Christmas is also set in North Carolina, but the county is not specified.
4. Pick a book about a destination you would like to travel to. The Baker’s Daughter by D. P. Cornelius. I have not read this book, but it’s the only book I have at this moment that is set in Berlin, Germany. (I just realized today that all my WW2 books are set in the United States, surrounding European countries or the South Pacific! None are set in Germany! I need to remedy that…) So while I can’t recommend this book yet, I can’t wait to read it! I’ve gotten the desire to Germany over the last few years, though my top place I want to visit is Israel (I have no books set in there…or wait…oh! The Bronze Bow! Okay, so I’ll count both 😊). Anyway, my ancestors came from Germany in 1755 and settled in North Carolina shortly thereafter. I think it would be neat to visit the land of my ancestors and see where my Great-grandfather spent three years of his life defending the freedoms we know today. While the WW2 history of Germany is nothing to smile about, there are those who fought back (Think the White Rose Resistance Group!). I don’t know…I really want to go some day 😊
5. Pick a book that is your favorite color. The Treasure Hunt by Jean Pennington. I just read this book and I loved it so much! There were a few small things I had to fix, but this book was so good! It’s put out by Majesty Music…loved it so much. Oh…I forgot what this question was about…The book is GREEN! I LOVE GREEN! It’s my favorite color ever and emerald is my birthstone, so…yeah, I’m in love with this book’s cover 😊
6. Which book do you have the fondest memories of? Probably Behind Enemy Lines by Bill Doyle. I read this right after I moved from Newport, N.C. near Cherry Point Marine Base and while I knew I loved our military, this book gave me more reasons to love them. It wasn’t sugar coated, but also not too detailed for 2.7 reading level that was assigned to it. I think there were only two things I marked out, so I would suggest an adult reading it first, but it is quite an eye-opener into what our guys are willing to face to make sure the war stays over there. This is one of the few books I actually cried while reading. Words fail me to describe how much I appreciate them. God bless our troops!
7. Which book did you have the most difficulty reading? (No pictures for this one. I don't own on, don't recommend the other and can't get to the last one:))
Okay…so as far as the hardest to read because of content was Auschwitz Escape by Joel C. Rosenberg. I was listening to the audiobook…and I couldn’t finish it. At that time, was not ready to dig into everything that happened at this infamous Concentration Camp. It made me sick to my stomach. That being said, I do want to finish it someday, but I want to read it rather than listen to it. Don’t ask me why, but when it’s a book dealing with subjects of this matter, I prefer to read it myself rather than hear it out loud. I’ve heard it’s a good book and I want to know what happens to the characters…I just wasn’t ready.
For a book that I had difficulty reading because it was so bad, it would have to be Silent Thunder by Andrea Davis Pickney. Y’all…it was so bad! I’m sorry, I don’t mean to be rude. It’s just…the topic was not a children’s topic and this is a middle-grade book! And of course, her view of history differed from mine, but she had facts misstated that both sides of the Civil War agree on. Like timelines and things of that nature. I made myself finish it because I wanted to be able to explain why it was wrong if someone should ask, and the worst part came out at the very end. I tried to give the author a benefit of a doubt, but…it was just bad.
For one I had difficulty with just because I wasn’t grasping it on my own, Of Plymouth Plantation by William Bradford takes the prize. I had so much trouble with this book until my mother saved the day by offering to read it to me. Problem solved! It is now one of my favorite histories and I desperately need to read it again! It was amazing! You can’t make up stuff like this! READ IT!
8. Which book in your TBR pile will be your biggest accomplishment once finished? Jefferson Davis, American by William J. Cooper, Jr. and the Elsie Dinsmore Series. I’ve read…four or five of them, but I want to finish the series. They say the later books are full of history…right up my alley! And the first one is a very thick book and I’ve never read one on the Confederate President…*hangs head in shame* and I can’t wait to read it!
I hope you enjoyed reading this as much as I enjoyed answering the questions! Normally in a tag, you tag other bloggers, so I am tagging Amanda Tero and any of you bloggers/vloggers out there who would like to give it a try 😊 I only request that you link back to my blog in your post :P
Until next time,
Christian. American. Southern. Author.