Skip to content

Category Archives: Writing

On the anniversary of Peterloo, a free read

A protest march in 2009 inspired me to find stories of protest with women participants from earlier days. For my novel An Untitled Lady, I settled on events during the summer of 1819 leading into the Peterloo massacre, on 16 August, for many reasons. It’s well-known, partly because newspaper correspondents were eyewitnesses–and among those arrested […]

Share Button

A response to Peterloo: Shelly’s The Masque of Anarchy

Reporting and personal correspondence about the events of 16th August 1819 in Manchester led Percy Bysshe Shelley to write the poem “The Masque of Anarchy,” which some have called “the greatest political poem ever written in English” (from Holmes, 2003). In his book An Encyclopedia of Pacifism, Aldous Huxley describes the poem’s call to resist assault […]

Share Button

2017 goals

Do a little exercise every day – aerobic/weight as well as stretching Write a dozen short stories based on notes from The Campaigners (starring Portugal, below) Finish Campaigners second draft to the point that first beta-reader can read it Practice better listening Practice active citizenship

Share Button

July sale at Smashwords

The Spanish Patriot and An Untitled Lady are among the thousands of ebooks at Smashwords on discount this month: Both are 75% off. If you’ve been waiting, now is your chance! Coupon code is SSW75. Happy shopping!

Share Button

Tolstoy: How history differs, for historians and for artists

From “A Few Words Apropos of the Book War and Peace” (1868) (5) The divergence between my description of historical events and the accounts of historians. It is not accidental, but inevitable. A historian and an artist, describing a historical epoch, have two completely different objects. As a historian would be wrong if he should […]

Share Button

Research for Writing: Stories of Women

One of the delights of writing about the Regency, especially stories that include soldiers, is the sheer amount of on-the-scene documentation available. This is said to be the first conflict in which soldiers as well as officers could read and write, and many have left diaries and memoirs of their experiences. I used many of their […]

Share Button

Galicia: Songs of Love

In Chapter Eight of The Spanish Patriot, Louisa translates some lines from a troubadour song as it is being played. It’s a small note in the scene, but comes from a deeper place: my discovery of this beautiful song and my search to learn more about it and about the Portuguese-Galician troubadour tradition. Cantigas are medieval monophonic melodies, songs of […]

Share Button

Corunna: Musical notes

Part of choosing to write a story set in Spain was my love for the work of classical Spanish guitarists (Andres Segovia, Paco Peña, and many more). Turns out that was NOT the popular music of Galicia, where The Spanish Patriot is set. In addition to the dulcet tones of the acoustic guitar and intimate songs […]

Share Button

Field Trip: Printer’s shop

I decided that the Wakefield family in my novel The Spanish Patriot would be printers after reading this passage, from Liberty’s Exiles: American Loyalists in the Revolutionary World by Maya Jasanoff (boldface type is my highlighting): Wells had dismantled his family’s printing press in Charleston (used to print Charleston’s leading prewar newspaper) and brought it with him to St. Augustine. […]

Share Button

A tour of La Coruña, in search of Corunna 1808

Between the second and third drafts of The Spanish Patriot, I traveled to its main setting, Corunna (A Coruña in Gallego, La Coruña in Castilian), in the region of Galicia, on Spain’s northwestern edge. Whenever possible, I like to go to the places I write about, especially to get a sense of the place. Here, […]

Share Button