Thursday, January 24, 2013


After doing research for my book, I thought to share some interesting facts about life in the 1800's:

Were you aware the first dime novel published in 1860, Malaeska; the Indian Wife of the White Hunter, by Mrs. Anna Sophia Stephens, sold 300,000 copies in just the first year?

With cockfighting, although it was illegal, law enforcers looked the other way to the point that the matches were publicized in newspapers.

The hot dog was introduced in the latter part of the century in St. Louis.

Lizzie Bordon was charged with murder.

Gold fever struck California.

Contraceptives were illegal.

Noah Webster publishes his Compendious Dictionary of the English Language in 1806.

Swear words were abundant.  The list of words provided in my resource seem to be pretty much the same as what we have today however in fear of offended those with delicate ears I will not provide them. However,
 if you would like a private email with a list please let me know.

Tomatoes were thought to be poisonous.  Consumption began in the late 1800's.

Trains traveled at the speed of 20-30 mph, the fastest at 40mph.

Here is an interesting site you might want to check out. It's Dr. Swift's cure for Hysteria,

Popular books?

Frankenstein, Mary Shelly 1818
The Spy, James Fenimore Cooper 1821
The Last of the Mohicans, James Fenimore Cooper 1826
Nature, Ralph Waldo Emerson 1836
Jane Eyre, Charlotte Bronte 1847
Moby Dick, Herman Melville 1851
Tale of Two Cities, Charles Dickens 1859
Journey to the Center of the Earth, Jules Verne 1865
Little Women, Louisa May Alcott
The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Mark Twain 1884
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, Arthur Conan Doyle 1892
Dracula, Bram Stoker 1897
War of the Worlds, H.G. Wells 1898

(Bram  Stoker's handwritten original writings for Dracula thanks to wikipedia)

If you would like to add one of your favorites please feel free to do so in the comments section.

It's truly amazing to think how some of the most thought-provoking literature was birthed during this era-most of which is still popular in today's culture!

Friday, January 18, 2013

The Liebster Award (No, it has nothing to do with the children's handheld game!)


What happens when you ignore your blog for a couple of weeks because of, well, life?  Why you are nominated for the Liebster Award, of course.  Thanks so much barmybookwormsittingontheshelf  @  Your consideration is very generous.   It is my understanding that I need to come up with 11 facts about me then to answer your 11 questions and then generate 11 questions of my own to 11 new nominees of my choice.  Okay, I think I have it however what's up with the obsession over the number 11?

Questions from barmybookwormsittingontheshelf:
1. What do you get from your blogging?
Interaction with other avid readers/writers.2. What makes good reading for you?
Something thought provoking, humorous with a touch of eccentricity and it's a no brainer if I find myself withholding from bathroom breaks to continue reading.3. What makes you want to share good reading with others?
The need to discuss the book therefore keeping it alive.4. Which books do you think everyone should read, at least once in their lives?
With many apologies I will answer: Moby Dick, Jonathan Livingston Seagull, The Art and Zen of Motorcycle Maintenance, Jane Eyre, a Sue Grafton novel, Hamlet, and then Hamlet again, Anne Rice's vampire series, The Good Earth... 5. Which author would you like to/would you have liked to have met, and why?
Hemingway so we can discuss the process of revising.6. What's the most challenging book you've ever read, and why?
Far From Madding Crowd-the detailed descriptions!7. What's the funniest book you've ever read, and why?
Still Life with Woodpecker8. What's the best book-to-film adaptation you've ever seen?
Zeffirelli's Romeo & Juliet9. Has any book ever inspired you, and why?
All of them in some shape or form.
10. Do you stop reading books you don't like?  Or keep going regardless to the end?
I typically stop.11. Do you get rid of books you've read?  Pass them on to others?  Or fill up your home with them till there's no more room for you?
All of the above.

Random facts about me:

1) I have four children.
2) Vanilla ice-cream is the best.
3) I enjoy making wreaths
4) I hate my middle name.
5) My poems have been published.
6)  I work out.
7)  I hate working out.
8)  My favourite drink is grey goose & orange juice
9) I'm currently writing my first novel
10) I care for our 3 dogs, 1 cat, 2 ferrets, fish & a greek tortoise
11) I have a BA in writing from the University of Pittsburgh

Okay, questions for my 11 nominees:

1.)  What is your current profession and do you enjoy it?
2.)  What genre do you like to read?
3.)  If you could sit down and have tea with anyone (dead or alive) who would it be and why?
4.)  Why did you start blogging?
5.)  What book(s) would we find on your nightstand and how long have they been there?
6.)  If you could revise any book which would it be?
7.)  Share your favourite quote.
8.)  What inspires you to write your blog?
9.)  How did friends/family react when you told them about your blog?
10.)  If you could how much would you charge people to view your blog?
11.)  Who cultured your love of literature?

And my eleven nominees are (drumroll):

The rules of the Liebster Award are as follows:
1. Thank your Liebster Blog Award presenter on your blog and link back to the blogger who presented this award to you.

2. Answer the 11 questions from the nominator, list 11 random facts about yourself and create 11 questions for your nominees.
3. Present the Liebster Blog Award to 11 blogs of 200 followers or less who feel deserve to be noticed and leave a comment on their blog letting them know they have been chosen. (No tag backs)
4. Copy and Paste the blog award on your blog.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

What is your Utopia?

Arcadia, Eden, Elysian Fields, Erewhon, Garden of Eden, Shangri-La, blissdreamland, dreamworld, fairyland, heavenland of milk and honey, never-never land, paradise, perfectionpie in the sky, promised land, seventh heaven,wonderland....

       According to these are the synonyms for Utopia.  All of us dream of what our ideal worlds would include-money, fame, happiness...but I want to pose the question, What happens after? 
      At this moment in my life I would have to admit that things are going pretty damn well but, am I happy?  Well, yes except.......I want more. First and foremost I want  to be published, I want a better education for my children, I want a better relationship with my family, I want more organization in my life, I want violence to not exist...So is this unreasonable?  Does my very existence depend upon these things? Okay, the answer is 'No' on both counts so essentially I've reached my own Utopia but why don't I feel satisfied?

       I'm a mother, a wife, a woman but mostly human and there is an innate need in all of us for more.  Hell, if the Neanderthal's didn't possess such a need where would we be now?  (Sorry, I'm not into that skins with a matching string of stones look.)  Look what I'm saying is that it's okay to want more however (and this is a HUGE however) it's just as important to take time to look around every time we attempt to climb our individual Mount McKinley, or Kilimanjaro especially Everest!  Even if we don't reach the peak stop and admire the view from your position, take a moment to evaluate if you need to continue, remain still or perhaps retreat only you will know.  This is what happens after, no fireworks appear or an instantaneous transformation-but a quiet understanding, perhaps even an inner peace of sorts and what could be better than that?

     What is your own vision of Utopia?  Have you reached it?  If so, what did you do once you found yourself there?