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,
Hello everyone! Today is a very special. Two years ago today, I started my blog. My intention was to have a blog strictly with historical articles. This past year, God broadened my vision and now I have writing posts, book reviews and devotions. It’s been so much fun and I’m excited to enter my third year of blogging. Thank you so much for joining my little community! I’m so happy to have you along for the ride, encouraging me to keep going. I don’t take that lightly. God Bless you and thank you so much!
To celebrate, after I do my wrap up, I will be posting my usual story prompts and some bonus story prompts inspired by my very first book, The Land of Cotton. I hope you enjoy!
Wow! God is so good! This month has been so busy! The first week of July, we had the Southeast Old Threshers’ Reunion where we handed out a lot of FBN information. I was able to sell several books as well, but the very best part was getting to hold a church service at the little white church on the property. My dad preached, and we sang. Nearly 200 people came, including our District 13 National Representative, Ted Budd and District Court Judge April Wood and her husband. They were such a blessing. Thank God for Christians in our Political system!
The following week, we had our VBS at our church in Newport, N.C. We had a fun sea theme and taught water related lessons to our students. I was privileged to assist a good friend of mine in her class and taught on the Woman at the Well to our class of 9-10-year-olds. Very attentive listeners!
After that, we helped a friend, who is expecting her third child, keep an eye on her kids during a week of morning services. That week proved to be a little less crazy, giving us much needed down time to regroup, just in time for…
National Sword of the Lord Conference! This past week was amazing! The preaching, singing and workshops were spot on and we were able to fellowship with several good friends! We handed out FBN material and sold more of my books. I was pleasantly surprised to see Pastor Jerry Ross from Jasonville, Indiana at the conference! He is the author of Stay in the Castle. If you haven’t read this book (or any of his other books) you should definitely check them out! Can’t recommend them enough! Maybe I should write up a few reviews…
Well, I decided to try out Camp Nanowrimo this year for the very first time. While I did not win, I did get 75% of my goal completed, which was a little over 100 pages edited on my Current WIP. I hit a rock in the road and need to re-plot so much of it…I’m back to the plotting stage, but that’s alright, because that will make my edits go a lot smoother.
I have also started a blog subscription thanks to a kind young lady’s request. If you want an update when a new post goes live, just send me your email! 😊 Can’t wait for you to join our family 😉 Every email, I include a snippet of the newest post, bonus information (for subscribers only!) and two suggested posts for you to check out. I can’t wait to hear from you!
Well…the last two sections about sum it up 😊 Oh, oh, oh! I know! July 28th, we went to Beacon Baptist Church in Raleigh, N.C. and got to see the Live presentation of the Patch the Pirate adventure, Operation Arctic: Viking Invasion. It. Was. So. Good. The pre-show included beautiful music videos and a fun sing-a-long with PJ Pirate (Jason Hamilton)! Also present was Princess (Meagan Hamilton Morgan), Captain of the Guard (Adam Morgan) and Sissy Seagull (Shelly Hamilton, though she was recovering from the flu and had someone stand in for her). It was so amazing! The music, the costumes, the sound effects, the acting and everything…oh, words fail me! And the we also stocked up on episodes that were missing from our collection. Ahh…the drive was so worth it 😊
And now for your monthly story prompts…
And your bonus prompts...!
That’s all I have for you today! Thank you so much for hanging out with me. Keep your eyes peeled for my next post! It’s gonna be so fun 😉
You’ve got a lovely little story idea and you want to share it with the world! But…how do you turn it into a story? I mean, one that you can actually publish? Today, I would like to share with you a few opening steps to preparing your idea and finding inspiration.
I have lots of ideas for stories, ranging from WWII, The American Revolution, Modern Day, Retellings of old stories, sweet mysteries for younger girls…I won’t bore you. For the sake of this series, I will take my book The Land of Cotton as an example and explain my current mode of getting inspired to write the story. Note: I didn’t do these things with this book, per say, but I currently try to incorporate them into my brainstorming process.
Also, some of these examples include internet use so PLEASE! if you are not an adult, ask your parents for permission before you go browsing! I am an adult and have my parents’ approval to research. So, I repeat, make sure your parents are okay with you using the internet.
Write out a back-cover blurb (synopsis) for your story. We all read the back cover of a book to get a gist of what the story will be about. Write one for your story. It may not be what you will use in the end, but it is a good exercise and helps you get a feel for your story.
Example: “The year is 1861. With tension growing between the states, the Mason family finds themselves torn: Should they remain loyal to their home state of North Carolina or should they hold to the Union of their nation and fight to retain it? Either way, they can’t make everyone happy, since Mrs. Mason is originally from Pennsylvania and Mr. Mason is from North Carolina. And if they side with the South, what cause will they be supporting? A rebellion? Or something far deeper…and more important?
Join the Masons as they discover a cause worth fighting for. Experience the Battle of Manassas Junction first hand and learn things about our country you won’t learn in your average History Book. Get ready for a battle, both spiritual and physical! Once you know the facts, you can no longer sit on the fence!”
Create a picture file for your book. Anything that inspires you about your story, save in a file on your laptop. For this book, it would be photos of landscapes in the Virginia countryside, pictures from reenactments, horses that look like the ones in my story, people who make me think of my characters, old houses, gardens, battle paintings, clothing, hairstyles, old-fashioned meals, etc. (This will also help you describe things in your story later, since you have a visual!) I strongly recommend caution in looking for pictures on the internet. Get permission first, if you are not an adult, and be VERY specific in what you type into your search engine. You never know what will pop up. I recommend using Firefox.
Write out your character profiles! I cannot stress this enough! You need to know who your characters are and what makes them who they are. My favorite profile to use on all my characters came from www.victoriaminks.com. (When you subscribe to her mailing list, you get access to her members-only resources, which are amazing!) These help you figure out their physical description, family relationships, likes and dislikes, favorites, background, etc. It will also help you make sure your characters are different from each other.
Take the Myers Brigg Personality Type Test for each of your characters. This will also help you keep your characters different from each other. Go to www.16personalities.com to take the test for free. You can also read up on the different personalities to make sure your characters are consistent in every situation. Oh, that I had known about this before…
Make a playlist for your book. Go through your personal music, look on YouTube, find movie soundtracks that make you think of your book. This always inspires me so much! My favorites for my Civil War books were the Gettysburg and Gods and Generals soundtracks, any Civil War song I could get my hands on, old hymns and relaxing instrumentals. (Listening to some now as I type!) Again, get permission first. Also, please keep in mind that every time era had bad music, even the colonial days. Be very careful. For my historical fiction, I read the lyrics to songs, and if they’re good, I try to find a group that sings it that appeals to me. But again, be very careful, because music is one of the doors to your heart. That’s another post for another time, but when in doubt, stay away from it! For my modern day Christmas novella, I used conservative gospel music and conservative Christmas music to inspire me 😊
Collect quotes that make you think of your book. Think of your book’s theme and setting and look up quotes on that topic. For example, I ran across the quote “Don’t complain about things you’re not willing to change.” That applies to pretty much every book I write (even though I snagged it for a WWII idea I had 😊).
Pick your inspiration verse. For me, it is Jude 22 (as if y’all didn’t know that 😊). “And of some have compassion, making a difference.” That personifies what I want to do as a writer. But I also choose a verse for each of my books. For The Land of Cotton, that was Isaiah 19:2a, “…And they shall fight every one against his brother, and every one against his neighbour; city against city, and kingdom against kingdom.”
Above all, pray over each step and make sure that everything you are doing lines up with God’s will for your life!
Next time I post on writing, we’ll discuss the plotting stage: What I did and what I do now 😊
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!
Hey Y’all! I just realized I never wrote a post on my blog on how I got started as a writer. So here’s a run-down of my writing journey.
Just after 9-11, my family moved from our North Carolina home in the country to a Maryland town house. I was used to falling asleep to crickets and whippoorwills…now it was airbrakes and jets. Not pleasant sleeping. It was there that I learned what a Yankee was.
I also found out that since I was from the South, I was a Rebel…so, what was all that about? At this point, I’d never heard of the Civil War (War Between the States, War of Northern Aggression, Second War for Independence, etc.).
This does have to do with my writing journey. I’m not getting off topic ;)
When I was in 3rd grade, I studied important Americans, including Gen. Ulysses S. Grant and Gen. Robert E. Lee. Grant was first. Oh, he was a good man…after all, a man who treats his horses right has to be a wonderful person, right? Wrong! But I found that out later.
Robert E. Lee was my hero! I loved his story…then I found out that he and Grant had fought each other. What? These two great men fought each other? Why? Wait a minute, you mean Grant fought Lee because Lee believed in freedom just like the patriots? What was so bad about the Southern states leaving the Union…and why did they? Slavery?
I told my mom “I just can’t see a mother sending her son off to war just because she wants to have people working for her.” So the search began, and we found it wasn’t at all like what we’d been told. Slavery? Nope. The issue was States’ Rights for the South; Power, Land and Money for the North.
Now to the writing part.
I wrote my first “story” when I was six or seven. Here it is. “A long time ago, there was a Civil War. There was war, then peace, then war again.” (I didn’t understand the idea of breaking the fighting for the winter…)
I continued to study history and play around with writing. In 2010, I was complaining to my sister Gera that I wished there were decent Historical Fiction novels to read, and true accounts of the Civil War. She said, “Write your own.” I was stunned. Why hadn’t I thought of that before? I set to work. At that time, I had no intentions of publishing. This story was solely for my enjoyment.
After several failed attempts at a beginning, I figured out what I wanted. So in January of 2011, I began writing, The Land of Cotton.
During this time my mom encouraged me not to just write for fun and myself, but to give my hobby to the Lord and attempt publishing. I was scared, but I agreed. Later, the Lord used a man at the church I grew up in to bless me by buying me a laptop, printer and all the extras! My writing and typing took on new meaning then.
In December of 2011, The Land of Cotton was completed!...or so I thought. Well, I revamped my book, had Gera and others read it, corrected errors, made more changes, etc. I continued writing The Battle for Heritage Series.
I went on to finish the series in 2014, five books in all. That year I got up the courage to have mom read my first book. She liked it but knew it needed more work. We had no idea how much work it would need! More editing, eliminating, adding, proofing, reading, researching, praying, typing, long nights, cups of hot chocolate and talking went into this book. At last, we added the final polishing touches.
Off to the proofers! My grandfather, Wayne Miller, is a retired English teacher and he agreed to look over my book without grandfatherly bias and proof it for grammatical errors. So if you find something, I guess it’s his fault, lol :) At the same time, my cousin, Travis Stevens, a historical reenactor and “walking 1860’s history encyclopedia,” edited my book for historical accuracy.
Then to the printers! Hard to believe that was two years ago this month! And now, I’m multi-published! It’s been a long journey, but it’s so rewarding. And having people return and tell me how much they enjoyed my books and how much they had learned just makes my day! I’m so glad that Gera and Mom pushed me to do what I didn’t think I could and that God blessed it. I wouldn’t trade this experience for anything!
Something to think about: What about you? Have you ever gotten a preconceived idea about something, only to find out you were very wrong? (Like me about Gen. Grant?) How did you respond when you found out the truth? Share your experience with others. You never know how sharing a bit of truth can change things...it might even lead to a novel!
That’s all for now,
Christian. American. Southern. Author.