Reading Handwriting From The Civil War

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This is another interesting article. As a history and genealogy buff, as well as a writer, I am often intrigued about so many things from our past, especially true to life accounts of how people felt, thought, and did things back then.

Reading Handwriting from the Civil War

First Lynching of a Woman

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Another interesting article.

First Lynching of a Woman

Unpleasant Reflections

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Another interesting article about surgeons’ and their experiences during the Civil War.

Unpleasant Reflections

These Eerie Civil War Photos

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This was a fascinating article to read. I am a huge History buff and the Civil War in particular is one of my favorite areas of  American/1800s History that I like to read about.

These Eerie Civil War Photos

2017 Books I’m reading

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Once again I’m doing the Goodreads Book Challenge. Like last year, I challenged myself to read 200 books again this year. I’ve read 67 books so far this year.

2017 200 Book Goodreads Challenge.

  1. Bones Buried Deep by Max Allan Collins. New Read. Booth and Brennan team up in Chicago to take down a serial killer and get more than they bargained for.
  2. The Divergent Official Illustrated Movie Companion by Kate Egan. New Read. I really enjoyed going behind the scenes of the making of Divergent, learning how the cast was chosen, locations for the shoot were selected, reading cast and crew interviews etc. A book every Divergent fan needs to have in their collection.
  3. Little House on the Prairie: From A to Z by Patrick Loubatiere. New Read. This was a fun and wonderful read. It is filled with lots of pics of the cast, crew, and episodes and is a book all fans of Little House should have in their collections.
  4. Crimson Death by Laurell K. Hamilton.New Read. Wow…I continue to be enthralled with Anita’s world and her men. Most of my favorite characters were included in this book, and it had everything an AB book is suppose to have in it: Action, excitement, danger, magic, love, etc.
  5. My Prairie Cookbook by Melissa Gilbert. New Read. This was such fun to read. Intermingled with all of the delicious recipes(both prairie worthy and now), are anecdotes, photos, answers to fans questions, fun facts, and memories. Truly a book that all Little House fans should have in their collections.
  6. The Myrtles Plantation:The True Story of America’s Most Haunted House by Frances Kermeen. New Read. This was a fascinating read. I have always been intrigued by The Myrtles and it’s on my bucket list to visit some day. I don’t know if I would want to actually stay there, now that I’ve read this book and heard of all the scary and traumatizing events she experienced while owning/living at The Myrtles.
  7. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte. New Read. I know this book is considered a classic, but I honestly don’t understand why. Catherine and Heathcliff are horrible, awful people who use and abuse others to get their own way, and make everyone miserable in the process. Yes, I understand that the two of them have loved each other since they were kids, but should we forgive all their terrible deeds, and just accept their love for one another.
  8. The Bohemian Girl by Willa Cather. New read. This was an interesting twist on a pioneering story…a young man comes home to see his family, to find his brother married to the girl he loves, but finds the girl loves him just as much as she ever has, and he manages to convince her to run away with him.
  9. O Pioneers by Willa Cather. New read. This story really depicted the hardships that the earlier settlers faced when they were trying to tame the land and build it up for the benefits of their families and friends.
  10. Finding Me by Michelle Knight. New read. Wow…Michelle is amazingly strong to survive the years or cruelty and torture at the hands of her kidnapper. Instead of letting what she had experienced make her bitter, she has chosen to have hope instead.
  11. The Walking Dead: The Road to Woodbury by Robert Kirkman. New Read. Interesting book. No mention of the familiar characters from the show yet, except for the ‘Governor’, and he’s just as sick and twisted as he is in the show.
  12. The Walking Dead: The Fall of the Governor: Part One by Robert Kirkman. New Read. The Governor is one sick character, even worse in the books, than he is on the show. Rick, Glenn, and Michonne make an appearance in this one. Another thing, events of how they meet the Governor is different in the books than it is on the show.
  13. The Walking Dead: Rise of the Governor by Robert Kirkman and Jay Bonansinga. New Read. Interesting to read about how ‘Philip Blake’ became the Governor, but despite the fact that he lost his daughter, it doesn’t change my opinion of the man. He is seriously twisted.
  14. The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 1:The Official Illustrated Movie Companion by Mark Cotta Vaz. New Read. I enjoyed reading this behind the scenes look at the making of Breaking Dawn part 1. It is filled with lovely pictures, fascinating facts about filming, the characters,actors, etc. Something all Twilight fans should have in their collections.
  15. The Walking Dead: The Fall of the Governor: Part Two by Robert Kirkman and Jay Bonansinga.New Read. Wow what an explosive conclusion to the first part. The way events play out in the book are so very different than what happens on the show.
  16. The Walking Dead; Descent by Robert Kirkman and Jay Bonansinga. New Read. Things in Woodbury are heating up. There’s a new leader in charge of the group, and she’s way nicer than the Governor ever was. Lilly proves that she’s got the guts to face walkers and anything else that threatens the citizens of Woodbury.
  17. Bones are Forever by Kathy Reichs. New Read. Love this series! Temperance, Andrew Ryan, and Oliver Hasty team up to catch a baby killer that leads them into different provinces, where they discover that the perp they were chasing, is the piece to a much larger and twisted mystery that they are determined to solve.
  18. Side Jobs by Jim Butcher. New Read. The more I read about Harry Dresden, the more I like the wizard. These stories were filled with supernatural beings, humor, angst, love, and lots of action.
  19. Love You to Death:The Unofficial Companion to the Vampire Diaries by Chrissy Calhoun. New read. I really enjoyed reading this book. It was full of behind the scene look into the making of TVD, the casting of its characters, interviews with the actors, etc. A book every TVU fans needs to have in their collection.
  20. Dallas by Lee Raintree. New Read. OMG! Pamela and Miss Ellie were quite different in the book than they ever were in the show!. Interesting to read how the story of Dallas began and how different things in the book are than what I remember from the tv series.
  21. World War Z: An Oral History of the Zombie War by Max Brooks. New Read. This was an okay read…it was formatted like a Q and A session with many different people that were suppose to be key members of various scientific and military backgrounds, discussed the events of the Z War etc…
  22. The Essential Handbook of Victorian Etiquette by Thomas E. Hill. New read. This was a fascinating book to read. It is a very good book to have on hand for any writer who write in this period of time.
  23. The Top 10 of Film by Russell Ash. New read.This was a very interesting read. Gives you all the background for movies that have been filmed over the course of the 100 years that films first began to be shot.
  24. Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. New Read. I felt sorry for the character of Nick throughout this book. Yes, he had cheated on his wife, but she was a horrible person who manipulated everyone around her, created all kinds of chaos, including manufacturing her own kidnapping, committed murder, and got away with it.
  25. Elvis by John Boertlein. New read. This was a fun and entertaining book to read. Gives all kinds of important info about Elvis Presley. A book any Elvis fan would love to add to their collection.
  26. The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. New read. Such a sad, sad story, but beautiful too. The love between Hazel and Augustus is sweet and sad as well, because they don’t get their happy ending.
  27. Ghost Hunt 2: More Chilling Tales of the Unknown by Jason Hawes and Grant Wilson. New Read. Jason and Grant took some of their best cases and turned them into stories that most ages could read. I enjoyed for the simple entertainment that it was.
  28. Forever Lucy by Joe Morella. New Read. I really enjoyed getting the chance to learn about Lucille Ball’s and Desi Arnaz’s lives while they were growing up and getting started in showbiz. Liked seeing how they met and fell in love with one another and how “I Love Lucy” came about, and many other things about their lives together.
  29. The Bone Collection:Four Novella by Kathy Reichs. New read. Loved reading these stories. I really liked the last one, although it had a sad ending. The Temperance Brennan series has been a favorite of mine since the first book I read in it.
  30. Just One Fool Thing After Another: A Cowfolk’s Guide to Romance by Gladiola Montana. New Read. This was a fun book, filled with amusing and romantic sayings, was a joy to read.
  31. Tales from the Secret Annex by Anne Frank. New read. I really enjoyed reading these little stories and essays that Anne wrote during her time she and the others were hiding out.
  32. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts 1 & 2 by JK Rowling. New Read. I really enjoyed this story. Albus Potter is a lot like his father in some ways. He is just as scared about fitting in at Hogwarts, of wanting to make friends, and make people forget that he’s Harry Potter’s son. In the end though, he learns that being Harry Potter’s son isn’t so bad after all.
  33. Top Secret Twenty-One by Janet Evanovich. New Read. Loved this book. Stephanie Plum and her friends are a wild bunch of characters that get into the craziest schemes!
  34. The Walking Dead Compendium Vol Two by Robert Kirkman. New Read.This was a fun and interesting read. I don’t read many graphic novels, but I wanted to see how the story that the show is based on was started. There are many differences in character relationships, how people met, who lives longer than others etc, than what is shown on the show. Overall I enjoyed reading it.
  35. The Walking Dead Compendium Vol Three by Robert Kirkman. New read. Another fun and entertaining read. Been interesting to see the how the events in the graphic novel differ from that on the tv show. There are many similarities as well.
  36. Anne Frank Remembered: The Story of the Woman who Helped Hide the Frank Family by Miep Gies. New Read. This was not only an interesting, but thought provoking book to read. It gives such a more in-depth look into the lives of the Franks and the others who shared their secret hiding place, as well as all their helpers, including Miep and Henk Gies.
  37. Only Call Us Faithful:A Novel of the Union Underground by Marie Jakober. New Read. I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Elizabeth is a strong woman, with a strong moral code, and is determined to do everything she could for the Union, even while living in the middle of the Confederacy. She endured much ridicule, suspicions, etc from everyone around her, but managed to keep her head held high.
  38. My Vicksburg by Ann Rinaldi. New Read. Claire Louise is a young girl whose family is drawn into the middle of the Civil War when her older brother Landon signs up with the Union Army as a doctor, and their father joins the Confederate Army to serve as a doctor for them. She and her mother, younger brother, and a couple of their servants have to flee their home and go live in a cave as danger encroaches on Vicksburg. Throughout the struggle to stay safe, stave off starvation, and the fear of losing both her brother and father, Claire stays brave and does whatever she can to help out, including caring for her younger brother and writings letters for wounded soldiers.
  39. Lover Revealed by J R Ward. New Read. This is Butch and Marissa’s story. Been quite awhile since I last read one of these books, but upon reading the first couple of pages, I was immediately sucked right back into the world of the Brotherhood. Thoroughly enjoyed this book.
  40. Lover Unbound by J.R. Ward. New Read. This is Vishous and Jane’s story. Vishous has always been one of my favorite of the Brothers, so I was glad to see that he was finally mated. He and Jane go through quite a bit before they are destined to be together, but in the end they finally are and I was very glad to read it.
  41. Lover Avenged by J.R. Ward. New Read.This is Rehvenge and Ehlena’s story. Rehvenge is a known for being one heck of a bad guy, and although he is to some degree, he is also a man of honor. He takes care of the people he is closest too, and who are loyal to him. Meeting Ehlena has changed him forever and he will do anything to protect her, even if it means sacrificing himself. In the end though, things things work out, and they are mated for life.
  42. Lover Unleashed by J. R. Ward. New Read. This was Payne and Manuel’s story. Payne is Vishous’s twin sister…a twin he didn’t know he had until she arrived at the Brotherhood estate in critical condition. Jane, Vishou’s shellan goes for the one person she thinks can help Payne, her old boss Dr. Manuel Manello.  Lightning strikes between doctor and patient and soon its clear to everyone that Payne and Manuel are destined to be together.
  43. The Walking Dead Compendium 1 by Robert Kirkman. New read.This is how it all started. I got to see how Rick reacted to waking from a coma to find that the world around him had gone crazy.
  44. Lover at Last by JR Ward. New read. This is Qhuinn and Blaylock’s story. The two Brothers finally work out what’s keeping them apart and become lovers.
  45. The King by JR Ward. New read. New complications arise between Wrath and his shellan Beth. She is nearing her needing time and desperately wants a young, which he seriously as reservations about. On top of that, the Gymeara Council tries to take the throne away from Wrath, but with Beth and the Brotherhood’s help, Wrath thwarts their attempts to to dethrone him.
  46. The Beast by JR Ward. New Read. Rhage and his shellan Mary have both been a little distant from each other. Him with his continued work with the Brotherhood, her with her work at Safe Place. When he is mortally wounded on the battlefield, then brought back by Payne’s powers…it is a wake up call for them both. The future and young are on both of their minds, but they cannot have them the conventional way. Enter Bitty. An orphaned girl with no home. Rhage and Mary open their hearts and except her into them.
  47. Sweet Valley University:Kiss of the Vampire by Francine Pascal. RE-read. Been a long time since I’ve read any of the Sweet Valley books. Picking up this one and reading it again, I was drawn easily back into the world of Jessica and Elizabeth Wakefield and their friends and family. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book again.
  48. The Shadows by JR Ward. New read. This was Trez and IAms story. The Shadow brothers are different than the Brotherhood, but have the same wants and desires as the other males. Both find their mates, but sadly, Trez loses his beloved Selene and has to learn to go one without her.
  49. Sweet Valley University:Wanted for Murder by Francine Pascal. Re-read. Jessica Wakefield has gotten her twin sister Elizabeth into some messes before, but this one could very well get them both murdered. Picking up strange men on the side of the road is never a good idea, no matter how cute they are. This was a fun and entertaining read.
  50. Once in the Saddle by Laurence Ivan Seidman. New Read. An interesting and entertaining look into the history of cowboys.
  51. Gods and Generals by Jeff Shaara. New Read. I was immediately drawn into the lives of Robert E. Lee, Thomas ‘Stonewall’ Jackson, and the other main characters of the book as they navigated through the myriad mess of secession and organization of both the Union and Confederate armies. The battle sequences were well crafted and intense, but I didn’t feel as if I was reading a textbook. I felt as if I was in the thick of all the fighting alongside the characters. I felt their anger, pain, confusion, compassion, etc.
  52. The Story of the Trapp Family Singers by Maria Augusta von Trapp. New Read.This was a wonderful story to read. Sound of Music has been one of my favorite musicals since I was a kid, and now reading about the extraordinary family it is based on was great.
  53. Blind Spot by Nancy Bush. New Read. This book had many twists and turns that kept me turning pages, and eager to find out what happened next.
  54. Native American Doctor:The Story of Susan Laflesche Picotte. New Read. This was a wonderful book to read. Susan dedicated her whole life to making things better for the Omaha people, her people. She not only was their doctor, but she was their defender, protector, and adviser as well. She was truly a remarkable woman and doctor.
  55. Troublemaker by Leah Remini. New Read. I couldn’t put this book down. Leah holds nothing back about her life in Scientology and her reasons for leaving. I admire her courage in making the decision to do what she felt was best for herself and for her family.
  56. Faith and Betrayal: A Pioneer Woman’s Passage in the American West by Sally Denton. New read. This was a fascinating read. Jean Rio Baker is an intriguing pioneer woman who left her life of leisure in London to travel across choppy seas and over perilous landscape to reach the Salt Lake, all in the name of her new faith. She was the epitome of what a pioneer woman was. She strong of mind and faith, determined and intelligent, and eager to make her new life a success.
  57. In The Presence of My Enemies by Gracia Burnham. New Read. What a heart-wrenching, yet inspiring story. Gracia survived her kidnapping ordeal,but others didn’t, including her husband. It took great courage to relive the details of her ordeal in order to honor those who died, but also those who lived as well.
  58. Tears of Rage:From Grieving Father to Crusader for Justice; The Untold Story of the Adam Walsh Case by John Walsh. New Read. John Walsh takes us through the heart-wrenching and chaotic first few months of his son Adam’s disappearance into the days of nearly paralyzing grief he and his wife experienced when they learned this son was murdered, onto the depths he took to help get the Missing Children’s Act into place, as well as how America’s Most Wanted came to be.
  59. My Story by Elizabeth Smart. New Read. Elizabeth is an amazing young woman who experienced such inhumane cruelties at the hands of her captors. Her faith, and the love of her family and close friends, has helped her to move past the horror of those nine months when she was fourteen years old, and live a relatively happy life.
  60. Ghost Trackers by Jason Hawes and Grant Wilson. New Read. This is a novel, not a factual telling of some of their Ghost Hunters cases. I thought it was a pretty good book.
  61. The Martian by Andy Weir. New read. This book was entertaining and amusing, with a strong dash of seriousness mixed in with it. My favorite parts were the journal parts by Mark Watney. I enjoyed reading it.
  62. Hush by Nancy Bush. New Read. This was a definite page turner. Good thriller with lots of twists that had me guessing as to who the killer was right to the last part of the book.
  63. Captain Jack’s Tale by Tennant Redbank. New Read. This is a cute adaption of the first Pirates of Caribbean movie.
  64. The Beaded Moccasins:The Story of Mary Campbell by Lynda Durrant. New Read. This was an interesting and factual, as well as entertaining, story to read. Mary is only 12 years old when she is captured by the Algonquin near her home in Pennyslvania. Though terrified and worried about her white family, she quickly acclimates into the new world she has been forced into. Taken to replace a cherished granddaughter(who has died), she soon becomes a loved member of the tribe’s chief, daughter, and son-in-law. Mary never stops wondering if she’ll ever return to the Campbells, but grows to love her new family as well.
  65. Nowhere Safe by Nancy Bush. New Read. This was a wonderful read with lots of twists and turns, and a killer you almost want to cheer for because he/she only goes after victims who are rapists/pedophiles.
  66. More Bones by Arielle North Olson. New Read. This was an entertaining book to read, filled with interesting tales from around the world.
  67. The Ghost of Gobbler’s Knob and Other Tales of the Hill Country by Viola Hartman. New read. I really enjoyed this book very much. It was written in away that reminded me how my Grandmother would tell stories about her life growing up. The author herself is a transplant to the Ozarks of Missouri, but has become fascinated with the area, its people, and the way they have lived their lives.


When to Use “That,” “Which,” and “Who”

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When to Use “That,” “Which,” and “Who” – DailyWritingTips



When to Use “That,” “Which,” and “Who”




The proper use of the relative pronouns who, that, and which relate the subject of a sentence to its object, hence the name. The question of which of the three words to use in a given context vexes some writers; here’s an explanation of their relative roles.

Who, Whom, and Whose


Who and whom refer only to people, and whose almost always does so:


“I have a friend who can help.”


“Whom you associate with is your concern.”


“The person whose jacket was left behind is the likely culprit.”


(Whose is sometimes used to refer to an object, as in “Notice the car whose headlights are off.” This awkward usage should be replaced by, for example, “Notice the car that has its headlights off” or, better, “Notice the car with its headlights off.”)



That refers mostly to things, though a class or type of person is also sometimes referred to by this pronoun:


“He has the key that fits in this door.”


“This is a team that is going places.”


“He’s the kind of doctor that volunteers at a clinic on his day off.”


Even though the previous sentence is technically correct, it’s usually best to maintain a distinction between people and not-people by using who in reference to a type of person: “He’s the kind of doctor who volunteers at a clinic on his day off.” (The use of that in association with people itself, however, is well attested, as in “I don’t like the kind of people that she hangs out with.”) But a class of people is always considered a thing, not a person, so a sentence like “This is a team who is going places” is never correct.



Which, like that, refers to things, but a further consideration is that American English usage usually frowns on this word when it appears in a restrictive, or essential, clause, such as “I chose the card which is blank.” This sentence, which specifies a card among one or more others that are not blank, has a meaning distinct from “I chose the card, which is blank,” which refers to a single card and then describes it. (This is an example of a nonrestrictive, or nonessential, clause.)


To further clarify that distinction, the restrictive form is generally illustrated by using that in favor of which, which is reserved for a nonrestrictive function, as in the preceding phrase. (One exception occurs when which is preceded by another usage of that, as in the sentence “What is good is that which is natural.”)


(This form is sometimes called nonessential because the information that follows which is not required. In the first sample sentence, which is better rendered “I chose the card that is blank,” the card’s blank state is essential to the context. In “I chose the card, which is blank,” all we need to know is that the card was chosen; its quality of blankness is incidental.)


Many writers and speakers of American English deplore the artificial distinction of favoring that over which in restrictive usage, but it is practical and well established — two valid criteria for any variation in purely logical grammar.

Three-Point Characterization

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Three-Point Characterization,
or No, We Really Aren’t All Watching the Same Show
by Rachael Sabotini

To me, fanfic characterization revolves around the extrapolation of traits that we see in canon. The behaviors that a character exhibits — what they say, what they do, how they behave with others — are like points on a grid. They cluster together around certain ideas, and those are what we come to think of as a characters core traits. We draw circles and arrows and lines around those, and extrapolate where the end point might be if things continued along in a similar fashion, or we try to break up the pattern by deflecting the line and making it go a different way.

Do a good job of inference or show all your work in deflecting that line and the story will usually be thought of as ‘in character.’

However, there are outliers to those core characteristics; behaviors and thoughts that seem really outside of what the character ‘normally’ does. Some fans go so far as to say those characteristics are OOC — even if they are shown in canon — because they are so far outside of what their expectations are based on how they have graphed the points in the characters past history.

And sometimes, the author will be working from only 3 points of data to draw their lines, or stick only to their ‘preferred behaviors’ even if those happened in only a couple of episodes. (This happens with Duncan and Methos all the time.) An author will take those 3 points and create a completely new behavior chart, extrapolating from that.

And sometimes, occasionally, when the author hasn’t seen much canon, some of those points are crafted from stereotypes and fanon.

So for the people that see those three points as truly describing the character’s core, those stories are recognizably in-character even without a lot of work. They can see the line, the path, where it started and where it goes.

But for those that see those three points as outliers — well, they’re screwed. They aren’t on the same page as the author when the story starts, so there’s no way they can get to the same place when the story ends.

And they are likely to be the ones that say “that story was out-of-character for me.”

katallison’s One for the Road, as is Something Borrowed, Something Blue, the Methos-as-serial-killer story.

Both of these stories are internally consistent and highly recommended. They just don’t have my Methos or Duncan in them.

The Methos-as-serial-killer one is actually easier to discuss, as it fiats in that Methos was not just tempted by Kronos (which he was) but that he has periodically indulged in killing sprees after leaving the horsemen (the non-canonical what if moment.)  The author’s logic is simple: if he has done it in the past, he would do that now.

The bone of contention? Once he turned away from the slaughter, did he ever fall? Author says yes, canon, though, seems to indicate ‘No.’  The theory here being that if he had said ‘yes’ to slaughter in the past, why not say yes to Kronos now, when Kronos is tempting him so?  And if he says no now, why does he say ‘yes’ two weeks from now or why did he say ‘yes’ two years ago?

To write this story, the author has to ignore all of these questions, and go with ‘well, sometimes he says yes.’ Some people see that as a good enough response and the story works for them.  For others, myself included, it’s not a good enough answer and so despite the internal consistency, the story falls flat.

Three points can create a line, or a plane, or a triangles — and sometimes it creates a damn fine story.

And sometimes it’s just …three points.



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