New Release: LADY LAW AND THE TEXAS DERANGERS by WWW Member Xina Marie Uhl

Screen Shot 2019-10-17 at 12.28.55 PMCowboys, Indians, and Outlaws.
It may be 1892 but the Old West is still alive and kicking in the dusty west Texas town of Abalone. When a bad batch of coleslaw kills Texie Cortez’s father she takes over his old job: Sheriff.
Texie’s proud of how she keeps the gunslingers away and the cowpokes in order. Then HE comes to town.
Gambler Alec Malone aims to attract attention with his handsome face and slick smile. One look at the sassy sheriff and his womanizing ways get the best of him. Too bad his mysterious mission keeps getting in the way.
The appearance of an outlaw gang proves that Alec is just the kind of distraction Texie doesn’t need. She’s determined that his smart mouth and soft lips won’t keep her from tracking down the weirdest bandits in Texas!
Available through Amazon.com
About Xina

Screen Shot 2019-10-17 at 12.30.44 PMA resident of Thousand Oaks, California, Xina Marie Uhl has a BA and an MA in history. As a freelance writer of nonfiction kids books, she’s written more than thirty titles including history, biographies, technology, and career readiness. She’s published a number of novels and short stories in various genres, including fantasy, historical romance, humor, and western.

Learn more at xuwriter.com.

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WWW Member Sarah Byrn Rickman Honored by Aviation Associations

Sarah Byrn Rickman, author of 9 books about the WASP — the Women Airforce Service Pilots of World War II — has been doubly honored. Rickman has been named the recipient of the 17th Annual Combs-Gates Award from the National Aviation Hall of Fame (NAHF.)  In addition, she is one of several chosen for induction into the International Forest of Friendship, Atchison, Kansas, a memorial to the world history of aviation and aerospace.

The National Aviation Hall of Fame (NAHF) awarded Rickman’s two-volume young adult series, WASP Pilots, their 17th Annual Combs-Gates Award and a $20,000 cash prize. She will receive the honor at the National Business Aviation Association’s 72nd annual Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (BACE) in Las Vegas, NV on October 22, 2019.

The WASP Pilot series, written for readers age 10 and up, begins with two biographies — Nancy Love and Barbara “BJ” Erickson.  Love founded and commanded the first group of 28 experienced women pilots who flew as part of the U.S. Army Air Forces in fall 1942. The 28 grew in time to 303 women pilots who ferried 12,652 military aircraft, logging more than 60 million miles. Erickson commanded a squadron of 75 women ferry pilots attached to the 6th Ferrying Group, Long Beach, CA. She proved to be an exceptional leader and a versatile pilot, ferrying a wide range of Army aircraft, including the four-engine B-17 bomber.

Rickman also won this award in 2009 for her book WASP of the Ferry Command: Women Pilots, Uncommon Deeds.

The Combs-Gates Award emphasizes the individual pioneers – the people – who defined America’s aerospace horizons. The award is named for Harry B. Combs and Charles C. Gates who shared the vision for historic preservation of this history. A panel of expert judges reviews each submission based upon criteria such as historical accuracy, creativity, potential for long-term impact, and value to the NAHF’s mission of honoring America’s outstanding air and space pioneers.

The International Forest of Friendship was a gift to America on the Nation’s 200th birthday (1976) from the City of Atchison, Kansas (Amelia Earhart’s birthplace) and The Ninety-Nines, the International Organization of Women Pilots. Trees in the forest represent all 50 states and 35 foreign countries. Rickman was honored with a plaque in the Colorado section of the forest. She was sponsored by friends in the aviation community for the honor.

Sarah Byrn Rickman grew up in Denver where she attended East High School. She worked as a reporter and columnist for The Detroit News, and, later, as editor of two suburban Ohio newspapers. She often speaks at national aviation conferences and is recognized as an authority on the women and history of the WASP. Rickman is also a pilot who flies vintage tailwheel aircraft. She is a resident of Colorado Springs, CO. To learn more, go to her website, sarahbyrnrickman.com.

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NEW RELEASE: From Our Home To Yours: Homestead Vegetables – Rhubarb by Ann Edall-Robson

Screen Shot 2019-07-21 at 11.49.55 PMRhubarb. Is it a fruit for a vegetable?

In the pages of From Our Home To Yours: Homestead Vegetables – Rhubarb, the much-maligned, yet versatile rhubarb embarks on a culinary journey.

Rhubarb is a vegetable, and one that has travelled the world to eventually riddle homesteads across the land. A mainstay for many of the generations that came before, now only memories remain where huge leaves are found decades and centuries later, in places, near buildings, or where people no longer exist.

Experience the recipes and more as rhubarb makes its way from homestead living into the current century by way of food and intriguing ideas for usability!

To buy: https://www.amazon.com/Our-Home-Yours-Homestead-Vegetables/dp/0995978778/

About Ann

Screen Shot 2019-07-21 at 11.49.44 PMAnn Edall-Robson was raised in ranching country, and her love for cooking is filled with memories and traditions.  Ann’s passion for the fast-disappearing western heritage and values is evident in all of her creative pursuits from her numerous books and published photography. Ann currently resides near the foothills of Alberta. For more, visit: www.AnnEdallRobson.com 

 

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Living in Living History

Screen Shot 2019-07-01 at 4.19.55 PMWritten by WWW Member Susan D. Matley

This May I went “live” with a new project, portraying Matilda Sager Delaney for Fort Walla Walla Museum’s Living History program. The project incorporates many of my loves- -history, research, writing and performing.

There are probably as many formats of historic reenactment as there are historical museums and societies. At Fort Walla Walla, Living History presentations are made by individuals who portray a person from Walla Walla’s past. A major historical event in the Walla Walla Valley is the Whitman Massacre, November 29, 1847. At age eight, Matilda Sager witnessed horrendous carnage perpetrated by a handful of Cayuse warriors, including the murder of her two brothers and her foster mother, the missionary Narcissa Whitman.

I could go on for pages about the Whitman Massacre, but what I’ve been invited to write about is the experience of portraying a real person for Living History.

Screen Shot 2019-07-01 at 4.20.01 PMFirst, it’s required time and effort. I’d come to know Matilda through research for a novel-in-progress but additional research was required to create the presentation. The Whitman Massacre is a well-known incident and chances are good that someone in any given Living History audience has studied it in detail. In addition to sharing Matilda’s life and experiences, I needed to develop a concise explanation of the events leading up to the killings and know the history of any person I named.

The Whitman College archives has a major collection covering the Whitman Massacre, up to and including contemporary news articles about the semi-centennial commemoration in 1897. I chose 1898 for my presentation year for two reasons: Matilda could relate the very interesting details of the semi-centennial and she’d be nearly my age. Letters written by Matilda, interviews, and her autobiography helped me capture her voice.

In addition to archival research, I read books covering everything from the Whitmans, themselves, to the dubious trial of the five Cayuse men who were brought to Oregon City for judgment in 1850. Though I use only a fraction of what I’ve learned in my presentation, knowing more helps me understand how Matilda’s story fits into larger events. It’s also helpful during the Q & A session. I know the political maneuvering behind the semi-centennial commemoration. I know the lamentable history of Matilda’s youngest sister, Henrietta.

Shaping the presentation was challenging. I worked through many drafts, tweaking the release of historic fact for the greatest effect. It’s an ongoing process, honing a concise version of what, when, where, who, how and why. Matilda’s life after the massacre was filled with hardship and incident. Having already survived the death of her parents on the Oregon Trail and the Whitman Massacre, she was placed with a brutal foster family from ages eight to fifteen. Matilda married three times and gave birth to eight children. She proudly owned and operated the Pioneer House hotel in Farmington, Washington, until it burned to the ground in 1897. Matilda suffered terribly from rheumatism the last three decades of her life. She died at eighty-eight.

I strive to layer my life experiences underneath Matilda’s and attach real emotions to the words I’ve created for her, a kind of method acting. Side benefit: talking about the death of Matilda’s first husband gives me a conduit for my own feelings of recently being widowed.

During the month leading up to the first presentation I rehearsed every day, alternating between reading directly from the script and working “off book” to see if I could keep the story moving in a straight line without dropping relevant details. Since Matilda’s launch I review my script at least once a week, and more often when nearing a presentation date.

As writers, I believe we have an advantage in portraying real people from history. We know how to balance research and plot, and understand the importance of pacing. If you enjoy both writing and performing, creating a living, breathing character from history may be an excellent project for you.

About Susan

Screen Shot 2019-07-01 at 4.20.09 PM

Susan comes to writing from a background as an actress, musician, and accountant. She writes historical westerns and sci-fi/fantasy from her home in Washington State, which she shares with her many four-legged children. 

 

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Early Bird! 2019 WWW Conference Info

Screen Shot 2019-04-01 at 3.42.08 PMBy Sara Dahmen, WWW blog coordinator

It’s time to think about the WWW conference! If you haven’t checked your mail recently, don’t forget to head out to the mailbox and peek in to see if you’ve received your letter from the board and committee putting on the 2019 conference in San Antonio, TX.

Plus, it’s the 25th Annual WWW Conference! It’s our silver anniversary!

The event will occur October 10 – 13, with some special events, agent pitches, add-on workshops, and a silent auction. If you want to check out the Alamo or World Heritage Missions and attend the business meeting for all members, come on down (I’ll be flying down from Wisconsin)! Plus, it’s a wonderful way to meet one another after many months and years of only connecting virtually.

Be sure to check for the official registration form mailed to all active members in good standing, or visit the website to sign up online. Then be sure to book your room at the Omni La Mansion del Rio Hotel before our special rate rooms disappear.

Looking forward to seeing everyone in a handful of months!

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Upcoming Non-Fiction Reveals Sanatorium Details

Screen Shot 2019-03-18 at 4.02.11 PMThis week, we share WWW member Lynn Downey’s news about her new upcoming non-fiction book, Arequipa Sanatorium: Life in California’s Lung Resort for Women.
Lynn’s grandmother was a patient at northern California’s Arequipa Tuberculosis Sanatorium in the 1920s, a place built exclusively to treat women with TB. Diagnosed with terminal TB in 1927, Lois Downey spent 14 months at Arequipa and lived to be 102. Lynn’s book traces the life of the remarkable doctor who founded the sanatorium, what it was like to “chase the cure,” and profiles other former patients whose lives were saved at Arequipa.
Arequipa Sanatorium will be released by the University of Oklahoma Press this September.
More to come in a few months, but until then, visit: http://www.lynndowney.com
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The Need for Corroboration: Guest Post by WWW Member Cynthia Leal Massey

This week, we are joined by WWW member Cynthia Leal Massey. In one of her recent essay/blog posts, Cynthia reminds us all (including herself!) how important it is to check into historical facts a few times over when we write about the good old days. Enjoy!

Screen Shot 2019-03-06 at 10.35.57 PMAfter my book, Helotes, Images of America was published, a friend and descendant of a pioneer family in Helotes called me. She asked where I got the date for the picture I used on the cover shot. The cover shot is the iconic photo of John T. Floore Country Store’s grand opening that has been published through the years in local newspapers and other venues. I got the 1949 date from a reputable newspaper published in the 1980s.

My friend told me the date was incorrect. She knew it was incorrect because she was going to Helotes Elementary at the time and she knew several of the children in the picture. She said the date was either 1952 or 1953, and she gave me contact information for a couple of the boys (obviously now men) who were in the photo to corroborate her assertion. I called both and they both agreed the picture was taken in the early fifties, but were not sure of the exact year. Not long after my friend’s call, another old-timer told me his father had taken pictures of the original Floore Country Store location (the old Rigg’s grocery store building, today’s Helotes Art Gallery), which was still open in the early 1950s. “The dance hall was not built yet,” he told me.

I am registered with Newspaperarchive.com (an invaluable fee-based research tool) and decided to check the newspapers for those years to see if anything was written about the dance hall being built and its opening. I figured there would be. John T. Floore was a showman and publicity hound. I found the articles, and the dates jived with what my eyewitnesses told me.

In an April 5, 1950, San Antonio Light column, “Around the Plaza,” columnist Benwicke Cary wrote: “John T. Floore, the country store owner and real estate developer, is among those in the big middle of things, rushing plans on a new dance hall. He says, ‘We already have one dance hall, but there’s room for another. I want to catch some of the overflow crowd that comes here on Saturday nights for country style dancing’.”

Two years later, on Saturday, September 13, 1952, John T. Floore formally opened the doors of the Floore Country Store Dance Hall and Kitchen, according to San Antonio Express columnist Bill Freeman, who wrote about the event the next day, in his Sunday September 14thcolumn.

What I learned from this was that the rule of three should be the norm for researchers. Find at least three different sources to verify an account. Newspapers are fine, but they are not always correct. In fact, the dailies are often missing information or provide incorrect information because reporters don’t have the luxury of time. Often, subsequent newspaper issues tell more of the story and correct misinformation; sometimes they continue to print errors (as the 1980 article I used to date the picture did). Also, find people who were there for corroboration. That is not always possible, but still the rule of three applies. Find three sources to corroborate a story or supposed fact.

Ultimately 1949, rather than 1952, isn’t a catastrophic error. But it is an error. Because it is published in the first edition of my book, I’m afraid that date may stand for some time to come. Mea culpa.

For more about Cynthia, or to follow her blog, you can visit https://cynthialealmassey.com/blog/.

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