Hey there and welcome back to another Writer post! This time it’s all about Chapter Names. I may have mentioned this before, but one of my pet peeves is a book without Chapter titles! Don’t get me wrong, I still read books without them, but if you want to make me super happy 😉, TITLE YOUR CHAPTERS! But, I understand, this isn’t always easy. So today, I’m taking my book, The Land of Cotton and explaining how I came up with the titles for the chapters. (Ones marked Original are the titles I came up with in my first draft!) I hope this is helpful!
1.) “How’d This All Get Started?”- Michael asks this question, and it is the focus of the chapter, explaining the Southern Cause in simple terms. This is the very first title I ever came up with for this book. Old Faithful!
2.) The Move- Again, this is what the chapter focused around, a family moving to a new location.
3.) Agree to Disagree- This is a common enough phrase and fits perfectly with the story of this chapter. Sometimes, you’re just not going to agree with people, but try to do it peacefully. An Original Title.
4.) God Has a Plan- This was taken from a conversation in the chapter. Even when it doesn’t make sense, God has a plan for your life!
5.) Lighting the Fire- Before the War Between the States, people that were in agreement with secession and spoke out in its favor were labeled “Fire Eaters.” This fact and the fact that the desire to serve one's country is referred to as the Fire of Patriotism provided the perfect title.
6.) Confederate and Lady- Read the book, and you’ll understand 😉
7.) Something Worth Fighting For- Sometimes it takes time for a Cause’s righteousness to be realized by those it affects. That’s what this chapter explains.
8.) A Righteous Cause- Ditto 😉
9.) The First Good-Bye- That one is always the hardest ☹ I think the title is self-explanatory.
10.) The Awakening- This one was a revised title, originally called “The Bull Runners.” Without spoiling it for those who haven’t read that far, in every soldier’s life there is a time when he realizes War isn’t all glory…it isn’t a game; it’s for real.
11.) Reality of War- Ditto!
12.) “It Never Gets Easier”- Phrase taken from the story.
13.) Eternity- Serious topic common to war. Original Title!
14.) Surprised- Sometimes stating a simple fact is the best way to title a chapter…😉 or maybe that’s laziness…you decide.
15.) More Than One Way To Serve- Without giving you a spoiler, there were many ways to serve your country during war, not just fighting. This chapter covers that.
16.) Wrapping Up- A wound, a part of the story or both? This title came to me while trying to revamp some lousy titles, including “Moving On.”
17.) Home At Last- Self-explanatory.
18.) Prayer Works- This is an original. I liked the simplicity of this very true statement.
19.) Hide ‘n Seek and Nicodemus- This mixes two events in the story, with both a fun and serious edge.
20.) A Land of Cotton…and More Cotton- A spin off the title, theme song and the truth of the harvest season. We’re in the South, Y’all! Original title.
21.) Letters- Sometimes I’m too tired to think of something fresh. Old faithful’s are fine 😉
22.) Sharp Encounter- Read the Chapter, and it’ll make sense 😉 I drew the title from the story.
23.) Race Against Time- Another Original. Sometimes you are literally racing against the clock. It fit so well with the story, I couldn’t pass it up!
24.) That Time of Year- Christmas…This title just came to me one day after thinking of the song “It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year.”
25.) Christmas Apart- No one likes being away from loved ones at Christmas. This title expresses the mood for this chapter, a mix of hope and despair.
If this isn’t enough inspiration…refer back to my post on Book Titles…the concept is the same 😉
Have a blessed week!
Good morning, afternoon or evening, where ever you are and whenever you’re reading this! I’m thrilled to have you back here at Life of Heritage Corner! This post was originally supposed to be put up next month, but on a whim, I decided to do it now. It has been requested that I share some of the books that I get my information from, specifically for my series, The Battle for Heritage, set during the War Between the States. 📚 So today, I’m going to share 6 of the books that really helped me get my series together, specifically for The Land of Cotton!
Very early on in my work, a dear man gave me over a dozen books from his personal collection. These books have helped me a lot! In fact, three of them made this list! So, here are my top six research books.📝
1. The Civil War by Bruce Caton ©1988 by American Heritage Inc. edition.
Now, I disagree with Mr. Caton on his view of the War Between the States, but the main thing I used this book for (which was very well researched; he’s known as the Civil War Authority of his day) was the special bonuses at the end of the book. Part 1 is a Chronology of the Civil War, dividing the events up by year, month and day. I relied heavily on this while plotting my series and still refer to it constantly. Part II is the Index to the Chronology. This listed all the battles alphabetically, then in small print listed the month, day and year it took place, so you could look it up in the chronology. Very helpful! Part III is The Leading Participants. Alphabetically, the political and military leaders of both sides are listed, with a paragraph telling who they are, what they did in the war, when they did it, if they were wounded and when, what battles they fought in, what command position they held and when, and when they died (if applicable). It is a gold mine! To be honest, I’ve yet to actually read the book…I’ve only used the bonus indexes!😆
2. The Time-Life History of the Civil War (I don’t have my copy down right now, so I’m not sure what edition it is, but click here to see it.)
I read parts of this book, depending on what battle I was currently working on. It gave quotes from soldiers as well as times and places when things happened. But mostly, I used it for the pictures. There were drawings✏, photos📸 , and paintings🖌, some more modern and some made during the war. I used these for inspiration for characters, activities and battle sequences.
3. A Civil War Treasury of Tales, Legends and Folklore, Edited, with an Introduction by B.A. Botkin ©1960 by B.A. Botkin, 1993 Promontory Press Edition
Warning: It does need some editing…there are a few bad words and a few stories that need to be taken out!
This book is exactly what it sounds like, Tales, legends, folklore, letters and journals written by the people who actually experienced the war! Now, the title insinuates that not everything in the book is 100% accurate, which is true, but there really isn’t a lot of “Tall-Tales”. Most of the content is history written down by the multiple authors. You get a great look at what the men fought for, what camp life was like, what it was like back home and what was going on in the officers and politicians’ heads. There are news articles as well. It’s a great way to immerse yourself in the time period, the language and the mindset of the people. You hear from both the famous and the unheard of, and that’s one of the reasons I enjoy it!
4. Beloved Bride by Bill Potter ©2002-2012 by Vision Forum (Read a full review here!)
This book is beautiful! 😍 It’s one of the books that made me fall in love with General Stonewall Jackson. And yes, most of what I wrote about Stonewall came from reading this book (his dialogue is based off his actual patterns of speech, things he really said and the way he responded to situations.) It’s one of my very favorite non-fictions! Read it, just go read it! ❤
5. A Pocket History of the Civil War by Martin F. Graham ©2011 by Martin F. Graham Osprey Publishing Edition
Oh, wow! I found this book at Ollie’s on sale and it was truly my pocket guide! Again, I didn’t agree with this author’s take on the war, but I found for the most part, it seemed pretty neutral. The statistics were very helpful as well as the breakdown of how to load a rifle. If you read The Land of Cotton, the scene where the boys are going through the process of joining up and the scene where one of the boys is loading his gun, both came from this book. It’s a very comprehensive guide. I also got a lot of information for my Soldier Life // Privates post from this book! Definitely a book to pick up if you are writing about the War Between the States or if you want a little more than a basic overview of the war. My only hang up with this story is that they say the only reason the South went to war was over slavery, which wasn’t a reason at all. Otherwise, I can’t think of anything…
6.The Civil War for Kids by Janis Herbert ©1999 by Janis Herbert, Chicago Review Press 1st Edition
This book gave me the idea to include loading the rifle in my book, though I used #5 to get a clearer understanding. It also inspired me to include espionage in my book. Even though it’s biased for the Union, you’ll find it jammed packed with information and activities. 📒There’s also fun bonus facts about the war, like what names of places mean, who named what battles, biography sketches, etc. If you’ve read Our Heritage to Save, you may remember the scene where Titus dives into the breakdown of the army’s companies, regiments, etc. I got all that from this book. I highly recommend it!
So that’s it for now! Hope this has given you something to springboard off of. In the future I hope to tell you about some of my Confederate resources, more histories and even some documentaries that help me! If you have any questions about these books, please let me know and someone from my team (aka me or my family!) will answer them for you!
The cloke that I left at Troas with Carpus, when thou comest, bring with thee, and the books, but especially the parchments.
II Timothy 4:12
(King James Bible)
Until Next Time,
*Emoji provided by Emoji One
I did it! Ryana Lynn, did you see that! I am actually typing! Y’all, this laptop thing is so interesting! I’ve never seen anything like this before and I’m surprised at how easy it is! Oh…I suppose I should introduce myself! My name is Dixianna Mason of Four Tree Springs, N.C. Ryana Lynn told me she has written a series of books about my family, but not all of you have read them yet. She thought perhaps you should meet me and get to know me a little better. Well, I’m nothing special, just, well, me! I just happen to live during a war…just like you!
Oh, Ryana Lynn says I’m rambling -What’s that thing you write when you laugh? Oh! - lol! That looks so cute!
Sorry, I digress. Anyway, you may wonder why I’ve taken over the blog! Well, today is my Birthday! Yes, I am a Valentine’s baby! And as a present to me, Ryana Lynn has sweetly allowed me to fulfill a dream of mine since…well, since I met her…lol! (I’m getting this!) If I lived in your year, I would be 173. But I’m not in your time, I am in mine. The year is 1864 and I just turned 18! And officially an old maid…like I said, there’s a war on, so…I’m waiting patiently.
Huh? Oh, all right, apparently, I need to end this introduction and get into my main topic. So, The End.
My topic today will be…me! I am going to tell you a little bit about myself and hope you find it interesting…
My Favorite Instrument. As you can see on the photograph above…wait, it’s not a photograph?...oh, the “blog graphic” above, I play the fiddle. I play hymns, folk music and patriotic pieces, usually with my brothers. I can play the piano, but fiddle is my passion…how do you…oh, there 😉 I love those little faces!
Okay, back to the fiddle. My fiddle was made in 1812 by my great-grandfather, Richard MacIntyre, for my grandmother, Dixianna Rose MacIntyre Mason, only she wasn’t married at the time. She was named for her parents, Richard (Dixie is a nickname for Richard, don’t ask me how that got started) and Anna. Maw-Maw has always gone by Anna, because she felt, when she was young, that Dixie was too masculine. How things do change!
Maw-Maw gave the fiddle to my father when he was thirteen, and he passed it along to me when I was thirteen, though I was playing it by the time my arms were long enough to hold it.
My Horse. Do any of you like horses? I do! My horse is a slate gray Mustang Stallion named Confederate 😉 My Papa Rains (My mother’s father) bought him for me right before the war began three years ago. Confederate is quite playful, though if you had seen him when I first got him, you wouldn’t have thought so. He had a rough life, poor baby, but now, he gets all the love and attention I give him and plenty of pasture to run in. His favorite treats are apple peels and carrot skins. I know, I’d love to give him the whole thing, but with the war on, we need all the food we can find and there’s no money for extras. Not that I’m complaining.
My Favorite Color. Contrary to what one might think, my favorite color is purple. Many assume it’s green, because of my eyes and my red hair and the fact that green looks the best on me, but purple is my favorite. My favorite dress was purple…my brothers bought me the material for my birthday…sure miss that dress. Ryana Lynn says you should read book 3 if you want to learn more about what happened to it…
My Favorite Sibling…
Just making sure you were paying attention! I don’t have a favorite sibling and Ryana Lynn says I can’t tell you much because of something known as spoilers. But I will tell you this: Growing up in a house full of boys is difficult, but also quite the adventure! I used to loath the slamming of doors, but with the war on now…I kinda miss it.
One more fun fact and then I shall…how did she put it…oh! I shall “Wrap-up” this post. You people of the 21st Century sure have some interesting ways of expressing yourselves! But it’s also quite intriguing!
I’m rambling again.
My Favorite Song. Hymn wise, it would be What Wondrous Love is This? So hauntingly beautiful. Patriotic wise, I like The Homespun Dress and of course, Dixieland 😉 And I was born on a frosty morning! I also love the North Carolina War Song. It’s to the tune of Bonnie Annie Laurie, a Scottish folk song that my Maw-Maw Mason adores. It’s not well known outside my state and Ryana Lynn said that in your time, most people have never heard of it. It’s so pretty though…now I think I’m gonna cry!
I suppose this is where I “wrap-up!” I hope you enjoyed my very first (and probably only) blog post! I thoroughly enjoyed it! But, I must rush back to my world…the troops are still in winter quarters, but soon, the fighting will resume…I encourage you to take a moment to thank God that the war your country is fighting now isn’t being fought on your home soil. I’m not so fortunate…
Have a blessed day,
P.S. Below is my favorite Psalm. I hope you enjoy!
Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands. Serve the Lord with gladness: come before his presence with singing. Know ye that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.
King James Version
A Note From Ryana Lynn: Here's Dixie's song, The North Carolina War Song. She couldn't figure out how to post it, lol ;)
Hello everyone! I’m here with another writing post in the “I have a Story” series! (If you are new, click here for links to the previous posts.) Today is a fun post! The Team Edit is a part I look forward to, because this is the beginning of the end! My book is actually turning into something people will one day read! Something that will be published! But, that being said, it’s still a lot of work. Here’s what it looks like…
Unlike my other methods, I don’t have a step by step process for this stage. Each book is different, so I have to adjust to meet the current need.
My mom is my editing teammate 😊 Some say that’s not a good idea, but my reply is that, “You’ve not met my mom!” She doesn’t play favorites and can be painfully (but kindly) honest when the situation calls for it. I can honestly say that my books would be a mess without her! (Today is her birthday, btw! Happy Birthday, Mom!
One thing that never changes is the nervous feeling I get giving mom my book for the very first time. It gives me chills! Sometimes we read it together, sometimes she reads through it once by herself, and still other times, she’ll go part way through then pull me in midway. The best times are when we sit together and read through the book together, discussing the problems and finding the solutions. She has the best story ideas. Those who have read The Land of Cotton, remember that scene between Jeremy and Drew in chapter 18? Yeah, that was mom’s idea! Know and love Burdy Boyles? Again, Mom’s idea 😊
Often times, working with mom is like doing another round of color coded edits. I take the corrections, go through and fix them, then we read through the book again…and again and again until we are ready to send it off to…my grammar editor!
Happy Wednesday, everyone! Today is the 3rd day of our week-long FBN Fall Share-a-thon, so I thought it would be appropriate to post today rather than Friday. I mentioned that I was planning to share about how we became involved with the Fundamental Broadcasting Network and today I’m keeping that promise! Enjoy!
Ever since I was born, my dad has been a preacher. I always seemed to know that. But we didn’t start in full-time ministry until I was five years old. 9/11 had just happened when the Lord called us to Maryland. My dad served as the pastor’s assistant there for four years, as well as serving as the administrator of the Christian school our church ran.
God used us there for four years. In 2005, my dad was voted in to pastor a church farther west in Maryland where we would serve for two years. One evening, we were each busy doing something outside…so busy in fact that we didn’t realize my little sister (3 at the time) was inside by herself. The phone rang and she answered it. Following a rather amusing conversation, she hung up, very proud of herself for having answered the phone. When she mentioned it later, we had no idea what she was talking about, since she had made up a funny name for the caller. At last, dad used the redial setting on the phone and contacted the caller. It turned out to be Pastor Dennis Leatherman of Mountain Lake Independent Baptist Church. He had called to invite us to a revival service. He laughed as dad explained what had happened with my little sister and said, “I told my wife, ‘I don’t know who that little girl was, but she sure loves me!’” We all had a good laugh and mom marked our calendar for the revival.
We made a true friend in Pastor Leatherman and his wife. They were such a blessing to us over the next two years as my dad battled health issues. It was also at their church that we learned about the Fundamental Broadcasting Network. They had a station on their property and told us about the mother station, located in North Carolina, four hours away from our hometown!
We fell in love with the King James programing and beautiful, conservative music. And when we heard our first share-a-thon, we knew that it would be our favorite time of year from then on!
It was also Pastor Leatherman that introduced us to the Sword of the Lord Conference. He hosts one every fall at his church, but he said the one in Walkertown, N.C. was even bigger and such an encouragement.
In 2007, we moved back to North Carolina and attended the Sword Conference. There, my sister Gera and I ran across the FBN booth and met Bro. Dwayne Ebron and his wife. He is the General Manager of FBN! We were so excited!
The following year, we attended the meeting again. While walking around the gym looking at all the booths, an older lady approached us and said, “Oh, look how your children have grown!” None of us knew who she was, but we talked with her for quite a while. She said, “I want you to meet my husband.” We rounded the corner and met Pastor Clyde I. Eborn, founder of FBN and pastor of Grace Baptist Church! One thing led to another and we decided to visit the church that fall. We loved it! We toured the station, met the voices behind the broadcasts and even got to take a trip to see the ocean, something none of us younger ones had ever done. Thank the Lord it gets cold at the coast, so we could enjoy the sights! 😉
We loved FBN even more having seen the place that had encouraged us so much over the years. We returned in 2009 to visit and on this trip, Pastor requested that we represent FBN as dad preached in other churches in our area. We agreed gladly.
In 2010, we were able to attend our very first Fall Share-a-thon. Oh! We knew we had to be at them every year after that! It was amazing! Answering phones, running papers back and forth, working the controls, the desk and dad getting to be on air…it was so much fun! Little did we know that by January of 2011, we would be living on campus, serving in Grace Baptist Church and FBN full time! Pastor talked with my dad at that Share-a-thon and by the end of Autumn, we were making plans to move.
In January, the same month I started writing my first book, The Land of Cotton, we moved in the “White House,” and started serving in our new church. We loved it! We worked in the radio (dad helped build a tower in Georgia!), the bus ministry, the nursery and anywhere else we could! We helped man FBN booths at fairs/events, traveled out of town to tell others about the network, helped with Share-a-thon, and knocked on doors inviting people to church. We were able to help with our church’s military ministry too (That would be an interesting story, lol! Working with Marines is never dull!)
Even though we were homesick for our hometown, we believed we would spend the rest of our life in Newport, North Carolina. But God had other plans. In 2013, Pastor called dad into his office and made an offer to him; since our hometown is smack-dab in the middle of the state, would we be willing to move back there and go out from our church as Missionary Representatives for FBN? We would retain our church membership, but now we could more easily travel out to tell others about the radio, hopefully raising support as we went.
In early 2014, we moved back home and put Pastor’s plan into action. And we have continued to represent FBN ever since! God has blessed and over the last few years our listenership has grown! We have the best of both worlds, serving through our church and living in our hometown near family. We still get to be involved with ministry at our church, including Share-a-thon and VBS!
This week, from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. our Share-a-thon will be live on www.fbnradio.com. Please tune in and be a part of this amazing ministry, reaching people around the world!
Christian. American. Southern. Author.