If you didn’t get the chance to listen to my radio interview about Victoria Woodhull and Madame Presidentess the other day, you’re in luck! They gave me a copy of the recording. Just click on the image below to begin listening.
I just found out that The Once and Future Queen is one of two finalists for the Sarton Women’s Book Award in the non-fiction category. Here’s the full list. Winners will be announced in early April, so cross your fingers!
The awards are sponsored by the Story Circle Network, an international nonprofit community of women writers. The program is named in honor of May Sarton, who is remembered for her outstanding contributions to women’s literature as a memoirist, novelist, and poet. The awards are given annually to women authors writing chiefly about women in memoir, biography and fiction published in the United States and Canada and selected from works submitted. The awards are limited to submissions published by small/independent publishers, university presses, and author-publishers (self-publishing authors). The judging is conducted in two rounds. Professional librarians not affiliated with SCN select the winner and finalists.
Yes, that title is a takeoff of the 1987 movie Adventures in Babysitting. I have totally just dated myself, but high five to anyone who has seen it.
Ahem. I’m currently working on several non-fiction book proposals (two books on women’s suffrage in the U.S. and a biography) and so I’ve been doing a lot of research. Today I thought I’d share some of the cooler experiences this has brought about.
One thing you need to know first is that one of my all-time favorite books is A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness. It takes place in the Bodleian Library in Oxford and the main character, Diana, is an academic researcher.
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A few months ago (prior to Madame Presidentess being optioned), I entered a contest called the ScreenCraft Cinematic Book Competition, which looks for books that have potential to be adapted. Well, I just found out that both Madame Presidentess and Daughter of Destiny made it to the quarterfinal round! Out of 1,200 submissions, 423 books made it to this point. Here’s the list of quarterfinalists. I’m not sure when they will announce semifinalists, finalists, and winners (all they say is “soon,”) but I will let you know if either (or both) books make it!
UPDATE: I heard back from Screencraft and Madame Presidentess is disqualified from future rounds of judging because I sold the rights. Ah well, at least it made it this far!
I’ve known about this since December, but now I can finally talk about it! Just when I thought Daughter of Destiny had won all the contests it could… it won the Missouri Author Project for adult novels! As Library Journal states, “out of all of the submissions, these winning titles reflect the best indie and self-published eBooks each state has to offer in Adult and Young Adult Fiction.” This is huge because Library Journal is a very important publication in the publishing world, especially for libraries (hence the name). Its endorsements rank right up there with Publisher’s Weekly and Kirkus.
Here’s full list of winners from all eight states that held the contest in 2018. (Where there are two, like in Missouri, one is an adult book and one is YA.)There will be an article in Library Journal as well and I will post that when it is available. If you have a subscription, you might want to check in the January issue. I’m hearing that is where it is, but I don’t see it online yet.
It’s that time again. The one day a year I look back on my goals and laugh. Here’s what I planned to do this year, with commentary on how it turned out:
2019 Word of the Year and Goals
I was originally going to keep my word from last year (Leap), but I realized it doesn’t really fit anymore. It didn’t end up working out the way I thought it would, but it was still an appropriate word for 2018.
For 2019, I’ve chosen Prosper. I’ve had a heck of a 2018, especially toward the end, so I’m hoping this word will keep the good things coming and build on what 2018 started. I also think it is fitting because I’ve put in years of hard work (since 2008 with writing and since August 2015 with publishing) and it’s time to see them pay off.
That doesn’t mean, however, that I will take it easy in 2019. No-siree-bob. I don’t know how to take it easy. Writing-wise, this seems like it will be a non-fiction year for me, but you never know what may crop up.
I’ll release details on all the books mentioned above when I can. The two suffrage books and the biography will also help shape a book on St. Louis’ role in the suffrage movement that I have planned for the future. I may be suffraged and non-fictioned out by the end of 2019, but I LOVE research so this will be a fun year.
This is last in a series of 12 posts on historical Christmas traditions. The source is the Time magazine article linked below.
The Victoria Era saw many inventions, but for Christmas traditions, one of the most impactful was likely the Penny Post, which allowed people in England to send correspondence anywhere in the country for only a penny. This led to an influx of letter writing, and since social mores dictated that all mail must be answered, letter writing took up an increasing amount of time. Faced with a mountain of correspondence, a man named Henry Cole had an artist friend design a picture that could be printed on cardboard, quickly personalized, and sent through the mail. Within a few years, others were copying his idea, and by 1875, Christmas cards were being created in America as well. Check out this Time magazine article for more.
Do you still send Christmas cards? What’s the most memorable one you ever received?
I have to admit I don’t, not for years now. I do display a few cards each year. My favorite is one my parents gave me when I was maybe 10 that was “from” our dachshund, Gretchen. It has a picture if a dachshund in a Santa hat on the front and says “Merry Christmas from one of Santa’s little yelpers” on the inside. My dad put her paw print on it and signed her name.
This is my last post before Christmas, so Merry whatever you celebrate and if I don’t blog before then, Happy New Year, too!
This is eleventh in a series of 12 posts on historical Christmas traditions. I didn’t note my sources, but please trust I did verify the information.
Believe it or not, Advent didn’t always exist in the Christian church.
It slowly evolved as the Church took shape and Christianity became legal. The earliest echoes are from fourth century Francem when the Church began to use the period before Epiphany as a time of preparation for Baptism. It was called “St. Martin’s Lent” for the 40 days that started on November 11, feast of St. Martin of Tours. Advent as we know it today began about 300 years later in Rome. Pope Gregory I composed many of the prayers, antiphons, and psalm responses.
Advent calendars began as a simple way to countdown to Christmas. In the 1800s, German Protestant families would count down the days until Christmas by making a mark with chalk each day in December on their front doors. In some locations, candles were used instead to mark the passage of time.
The first the use of chocolate as a gift each day of Advent seems to date to at least the 1880s when it was pinned on a board. The first printed calendar with doors that open dates to 1903 in Austria, but commercially available ones that combined chocolate and doors only date to the 1950s.
Do you have an advent calendar?
I haven’t for years. I tried to get the Aldi wine advent calendar this year, but they sold out in 10 minutes!
This is tenth in a series of 12 posts on historical Christmas traditions. I didn’t note my sources, but please trust I did verify the information.
As mentioned earlier, the Christmas tree has its origins in Germanic pagan tree worship. But the Christmas tree we think of today really dates back to German Lutherans in the 17th century and spread to Pennsylvania in the 1820s after they began to immigrate to the United States. When Germany’s Prince Albert came to England in 1840 to marry Queen Victoria, he brought the Christmas tree with him. The royal family decorated it with small gifts, toys, candles, candies and fancy cakes, giving rise to the modern ornament. Eight years later, a photograph of the royal tree appeared in a London newspaper, and displaying a Christmas tree became the height of holiday fashion in Europe and America.
When do you put up your tree? Colored lights or white?
I put mine up the day after thanksgiving. As a kid, I liked the colored lights, but now I prefer white lights (preferably the ones that look like candles) and rustic decorations that look like cranberries or fruit or things in nature.