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!
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,
Hey, Y’all and Happy Confederate Memorial Day! I’m back with another 10 Totally Random Facts post! It’s been…*Checks to see when the last one was* nine months since I did one! Yikes! Well, it’s high time we bring this series back! May 10th is the anniversary of the death of Thomas Jonathan “Stonewall” Jackson. Only 39 years old when he died, this amazing Confederate General is respected by northerners and southerners alike. Below, to celebrate this fine Christian’s memory, I’ve got 10 Totally Random Facts about him! Enjoy!
1. Stonewall Jackson is not a West Virginian. I’m sorry to all you Mountaineers out there, but Stonewall Jackson was born in Clarksburg, Va. Today, yes, this is part of West Virginia. But West Virginia wasn’t a state at the time and did not become a state until over a month after his death.
2. Stonewall Jackson was a teetotaler. Finding out as a young man that he had a natural desire for tobacco and alcohol, Jackson decided then and there that he would have no part in them. He feared anything a man could become addicted to. In fact, when he was wounded during the Battle of Chancellorsville, when his men tried to give him whiskey to dull the pain, he initially refused to drink it. (During that time soldiers carried it into battle as a medication/disinfectant. They didn’t have many of the medications we have today. This is not a justification, just an explanation.)
3. He only lost one battle. That’s right! Only one battle stained his pristine record, the Battle of Kernstown. (Read about this battle in my book “Our Heritage to Save” to find out why he lost this battle…and if he was really to blame!)
4. He had three children. Stonewall was married twice. His first wife, Elinor Junkin, gave birth to a stillborn son in 1854, who they never named. Elinor died shortly after her son. Later he married Mary Anna Morrison. They had a daughter, Mary Graham, who died in 1858 of a liver dysfunction. In 1862, Julia Laura was born, the only surviving child of Stonewall Jackson.
5. His horse’s name was “Little Sorrel.” Stonewall had originally purchased the horse from the Confederate war department as a gift for his wife. The horse had been captured from a Union supply line during the early days of the war. After riding the horse for a bit, he decided to keep him and send Anna another. People teased that the General’s feet would drag the ground because the sorrel was so little. The name stuck, making him the most famous Confederate war horse, next to Traveler 😊
6. The Bayonet was his favorite weapon. Gen. Jackson believed in keeping the peace if possible, but once a war was begun, he believed in getting it over with. He had his men drilled with the bayonet, some believe, to an excess, making sure they knew how to use it. His famous nickname came about because of a bayonet, actually. Confederate Gen. Bernard Bee approached him during the First Battle of Manassas Junction and informed him that Bee’s men were being beaten back. Gen. Jackson replied, “Well then, sir, we will give them the bayonet!” After this bold statement, Bee returned to his men and declared, “Rally men! Look, there is Jackson, standing like a stone wall! Rally behind the Virginians!” From that point on, Jackson was known as “Stonewall” and his men as “The Stonewall Brigade.” In fact, after the General’s death, the men got their brigade’s name officially changed from the 1st Virginia Brigade to the Stonewall Brigade.
7. Jackson had a sister who supported the Union. Laura Jackson Arnold and Stonewall had always been very close until the War Between the States erupted. Laura supported the Union, while Stonewall became the most loved General of the South. She said once that she would patch up the Union soldiers as fast as her brother could wound them. They never saw each other again. But even though she broke off their relationship, Stonewall showed his unending love for his little sister by naming his daughter Julia Laura, after his mother and sister, respectively.
8. Stonewall only bought one home. While a professor at the Virginia Military Institute, he bought a home on Washington Street. Today, it is the Home of the Stonewall Jackson House Museum. I’ve never been there, but it’s on my bucket list!
9. He gave himself a middle name. Stonewall was the only child in his family that didn’t have a middle name. It bothered him, especially when he was to enroll at the United States Military Academy at West Point. So, when his turn came to sign his name, he added his deceased father’s name to his own, Thomas Jonathan Jackson.
10. He married a North Carolina Gal! Yes, Mary Anna Morrison was a Tar Heel girl, even though the nickname came about during the war. Another fun fact about her family is that her sister Isabella was married to D. H. Hill, another Confederate General, and friend of Stonewall Jackson!
I could easily have made this into a 20+ Totally Random Facts post, but it’s got to end somewhere. 😊 Thank you for baring with me as I bragged on my absolute favorite American Hero! He was truly a great man of God and there are not enough words to express how I feel about him!
Something to think about: What are some of your favorite facts about Stonewall Jackson? If you have a blog, why not list your favorites there in honor of his memory? If you don’t, share them with a friend!
Supporting my Heritage,
Hello everyone! Today, I have the new installment of our series on the Soldier's Life. As I said before, it can be hard to dig up information on certain topics of the Civil War and while this may come as a bit of a surprise, Drummers are one of the hardest to access information on. Over many months of reading articles, snippets from books and talking to historians and reenactors who make this their life study, I have compiled what I learned here in one article. I hope other researchers find this helpful. So let's get started!
Ryana Lynn: Burdy, first off would you mind telling us how you got your nickname?
Burdy: Well, when I came to the 2nd Va. Regiment to try out as a drummer, I knew if I were going to stay, I'd have to make the fellows like me. So I did everything I could to get on their good side. I ran errands, tidied up tents and field desks, tended horses and brought up wood, even when it wasn't my turn to do it. My first friend in the regiment, Sgt. Richard Mason told me one night that I was a burden bearer, like the Bible verse that says “Bear ye one anothers burdens.” They called me Burden Bearer at first, then shortened it to Burdy. Now, I only get called my real name if it's something official...or if I'm in trouble.
Ryana Lynn: Where are you from originally?
Burdy: I was born in Kansas near a place called Osawatomie. After my Pa died, Ma took me back east to Virginia to live with my grandparents.
Ryana Lynn: Do you have any siblings?
Burdy: Nope, I'm an only child, but I feel like I've got a great big family now that I'm with the company...though I would like to have a sister sometimes...
Ryana Lynn: Haha, I'm sure you do! What is your favorite part of being a drummer?
Burdy: The campfire! Every night that we can, we gather around the campfire, talk, sing, discuss Bible passages together and just relax. It's times like that that make me really feel like I have a family I can call my own.
Ryana Lynn: What do you dislike the most about being a drummer?
Burdy: Practicing the call for retreat. So far, I've not used it, and I never want to. Besides, Southerners don't even know what that word means!
Ryana Lynn: Quite true! Thank you for your time, Burdy!
Burdy: My pleasure!
Well, that's all for now! Thank you for spending a little bit of your day will us here at Life of Heritage! Have a great weekend!
Hello, everyone! Hope you’re having a beautiful day! Today I’m back with a post another Ten Totally Random Facts post, this time about Shiloh. And as a bonus, I’m gonna give you an excerpt from “Our Heritage to Save” at the end of this post regarding the battle of Shiloh, without giving too many spoilers, :P
So, without further ado, here we go!
I hope you enjoyed these facts from the Battle of Shiloh. Now for the excerpt. *Drumroll Please*
Excerpt from “Our Heritage to Save” Chapter 10: Patriotism or Pity?
Early on the morning of April 6th, Drew dozed in his tent, not quite wanting to get up yet, but knowing he probably should. He rolled over. Maybe just a few more minutes…
“Look out!” he heard someone shout. “The Rebels are coming!”
Drew jumped to his feet and jerked his jacket on. He threw his ammunition belt around his waist and picked up his gun. “Form a line and fire!” Capt. Badin shouted.
We must look ridiculous, Drew thought as he loaded his gun. None of us are uniformed properly and we are all half asleep!
They fired a volley into the advancing gray clad men and boys. It did nothing to stop them. Drew began to reload his gun. “Fall back!” The boys in blue turned quickly and nearly tripped over each other trying to get out of there.
Drew and Ethan found themselves running side by side. Ethan was attempting to load his gun as he ran, though not being too successful.
Just when he thought he would be able to pull out ahead and escape the barrage of Confederate fire, Drew tripped over a fallen tree, sending him sprawling to the ground. It took him a few moments to realize what had happened and regain his feet, but no sooner had he accomplished this than someone tackled him from behind…and he wasn’t wearing a blue uniform!
Excerpt from Chapter 11: A Sparrow Falls
Drew groaned as pain shot through his body. He twisted himself around and caught a glimpse of the soldier attacking him; a Confederate corporal.
Knowing he had to do something, Drew raised his foot and caught the soldier in the knee. With a shout of pain, the soldier staggered backwards.
That was all Drew needed. He jumped to his feet and took off running after his fleeing companions. They were running toward the river, but few would make it. Drew forced himself to keep his eyes on the “trail” ahead of him and not to look at the ground. “I’m tired of war,” he said to himself as he ran. “I wish we’d just let them have their own country!”
The officers tried to get the men to stop and fire back, but all was in vain. The men ran faster than they ever had before. By 9:00 a.m., the Yankee front had collapsed.
To find out more about the Battle of Shiloh (And what happens to Drew!) purchase “Our Heritage to Save” from my Publications page. I look forward to hearing from you!
Until Next time,
Christian. American. Southern. Author.