Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Just got a lovely letter from a new buyer of Letters to Virginia who was surprised the book was not just one letter after another. I thought everyone knew that. Guess I'll have to change my presentations a bit to include that.

Barb - I read and skimmed parts of Letters to Virginia on the metro train! Wow, you did a lot more than collect letters. I can't imagine all the work that you put into organizing and reading the letters, and then writing a prologue so your readers will understand what everyday life was like back in the 19th century, and lacing together the letters with comments and explanations. I'm in awe! BRAVO! You sure deserve your awards! Carla

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

"It's June in January." Damn, I want snow. Nov and Dec were too quiet. Hoping 2012 will bring about some signing dates. Went looking for "Wyoming," the farm where Eliza Fendall went during the occupation of Alexandria, on Sunday. Stopped at Mary Surratt Museum, supposed to be close to it but only a one-room schoolhouse from 1800s, all weathered, was near where the farm was supposed to be, in Clinton, MD. . . . Last night had a great time with some warm and wonderful women from the WNBA. No, they don't play basketball; it's the Women's National Book Assoc, which has been around a lot longer than the NBA's women's team. . . . All for now.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Back from Norfolk, where the historian there gave me a grand tour of the streets Jack Tackett trod over a century ago. His dry goods store has been swallowed up by a huge pillared edifice but Simcoe's house still stands and one of his hotels has been converted to a condominium. Even more interesting: the post office where Jack mailed his love letters to Nancy is now the library where the historian works. The Episcopal and Christ Churches are still there, as well, but the roar of carrier jets and the sight of a battleship permanently moored within the city limits brought home how much has changed since Jack labored to support his family from Norfolk. (This is Simcoe's house today.)

Sunday, October 2, 2011

A month has gone by since I penned my last comments. From the 9th to the 14th I was on Virginia's Eastern Shore, where Nancy Lee Fendall spent some time and got her first ride in an automobile, to Cape Charles. She got there by ferry; I drove over and thru the Bay Bridge. I made three presentations there. Watching the sun, then the moon set over the Chesapeake Bay at The Baywood B & B in Cape Charles turned the trip into a delightful overdue vacation.

Next I did two talks for Geo Mason U's Fall for the Book Festival. One was at Blenheim, a farmhouse in Falls Church used as a hospital for Union soldiers. It was my second appearance there and I hope I'm invited back next year.

Yesterday I was the guest of one of the local DAR chapters and the ladies were one of my best audiences. While Letters is about the Civil War, the conditions under which those families lived was not that much different from those experienced by people during the Revolutionary War, 85 years earlier. Neither had indoor plumbing or electricity and horse power was just that.

Friday, August 5, 2011

MUSINGS - A new macadamized road is being laid in front of my condo and I am fascinated by how quickly it is done, allowing cars to zoom over it minutes after it is laid. As I look down from my 12th floor balcony I find myself wondering what it was like to ride a horse along the stream that runs next to the road, in the 1800s. Then I realize there would have been no reason to ride a horse here as there were no houses and certainly no condos. Nothing but bushes and brambles and trees, much like what Ben Fendall encountered as he struggled to lay tracks for the B & O RR thru PA and WV. So once again I marvel at how those in my book survived without any of the conveniences we take for granted today.