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Category Archives: History

Three Things I’m Grateful For Today

In spite of the fact that I’ve had the worst cold ever since returning from our winter break time in Hilton Head, yesterday gave me lots to smile about. I should have been posting my blog post. I wasn’t. Instead my husband and I got in the car at about 11:00 a.m. and headed for Niagara Falls.

I was at a point in the rough draft of The Loyalist’s Luck (coming this fall!) where I just needed to see the battlefield for the Battle of Lundy’s Lane, a huge battle in the War of 1812-14. The sun was shining, I had already written three pages and my partner was willing, so off we went.

Three Things I’m Grateful for Today? They all have to do with yesterday:

1. The lovely, finally warming sunshine which shone on us almost the whole time. (We did drive through a rain storm on the way home–quickly over.) I got Ron to stop the car so I could get this shot about three miles from home. Our day was ending and the sun was setting.

Yesterday's Winter Sunset

Yesterday’s Winter Sunset

I was going to take out the snow piled by the side of the highway but then I thought some people might never see this. Left it in for them. :-)

2. We walked a tour of the Battle of Lundy’s Lane in Niagara Falls under sunny skies but over fast-melting snow-covered sidewalks. Both of us ended with damp feet! And we’ll have to go back to Drummond Hill Cemetery because the snow kept us from studying the names of the soldiers buried there, right where the battle took place. I had just been studying the maneuvers that morning so standing at the top of the hill and looking over the battlefield brought it all to life for me. And in a few minutes I’m going to write that part in The Loyalist’s Luck.

Imagine a foot of snow on the ground and you'll see what we saw.

Imagine a foot of snow on the ground and you’ll see what we saw.

3. As if getting my pages written in the morning and taking this tour in the afternoon wasn’t enough of a thrill, that night my husband found a surprise for me in our alma mater’s alumni magazine which had come in the mail that day. Listed on p. 36 under New Releases From Western Alumni was my novel, The Loyalist’s Wife, among books by seventeen other Western grads. And, of course, with Alice Munro winning the Nobel Prize for Literature and having attended Western as well, we Western people are just a little proud. Imagine being in the same issue as the article about Munro’s Nobel!

I Made It Into My Alumni Magazine!

The moral of the story, so to speak today is that celebratory days come and when they do–

CELEBRATE!

 
5 Comments

Posted by on February 20, 2014 in Historical Fiction, History, Just For Fun

 

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The World of History Buffs: Behind the Scenes of Everyday Life

IMG_0803I went to high school in the days when our curriculum was laid out for us and there was very little choice about what subjects we studied; hence, History was on my timetable for four years!  And I barely endured it. Learning facts such as the number of Roundheads fighting in 1641 England (I had to look them up again!) and spouting them back on foolscap was pure drudgery for me. I preferred perfecting my French accent or writing stories.

Who knew that as I got older my tastes would completely change? My reading of historical fiction led to reading history books themselves which eventually led to writing my first historical novel. Along the way the subculture of history buffs became apparent.

I treasure the conversations with those who love my genre. We share great book titles and spectacular authors, spreading the words like breadcrumbs, each of us anxious to follow the paths of history as we learn more and more. I scrounge for everyday details that show how ordinary people lived. I own cookbooks bought in museums and have used them when deciding just what specific dishes John and Lucy (The Loyalist’s Wife) might be eating or the way to skin a raccoon out in the wilds.

My most interesting discovery has been the world of re-enactors. A couple of weeks ago I signed up to sell my books at a historical museum in Niagara-on-the-Lake. While the number of people through the museum that day was disappointing to say the least, those that I did meet were amazing.

One of the authors used the event for his book launch and he brought in about twenty people in period costume, my period! Many came to my table and some bought my book but more exciting was the feeling of shared interests. With wide eyes we talked about the Loyalists and how they came to be. I even met the author of a book which mentions my Garner ancestors. Gail Woodruff knew immediately the story of my people. I was enthralled.

I have yet to connect with the awesome lady who offered to take me to a re-enactment this fall. Of course we’re into the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812-1814 and The Loyalist’s Luck (book two in the Loyalist Trilogy) covers that period so I am ecstatic about that whole idea. I have to finish this post and send off an email to her.

What intellectual excitement it is to meet these people who, like me, thrill at the discovery of our history. I just wish that History class in high school had held the kind of emotional pull that discovering my Loyalist roots does now.

Find The Loyalist’s Wife by Elaine Cougler

on Amazon and in many other fine bookstores.

The Loyalist's Wife_Kindle_1563x2500

 
4 Comments

Posted by on November 1, 2013 in Authors, General, History

 

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Fruitful Hours of Blog Trolling

Do you have trouble checking out all the links, email post announcements and Twitter suggestions which you get in a day or a week?

I certainly do.

And just now, I’m having more trouble than usual what with all the posts I’m creating for my book launch, the reading of proofs for The Loyalist’s Wife, and a zillion other must-do items which are all converging in my brain. That being said I have some great links for my readers today.

Lorrie Porter’s blog post, which I finally got around to reading (having been on a 3-day holiday), is a trove of writing-related blog addresses and blog awards which she has received. She chose to answer them all together to the benefit of all of us who enjoy seeing other writers’ links.

Note: When you start clicking on the links you’ll lose Lorrie’s site as she has forgotten to have each one open in a new page. Not to worry. Just use the back button on your browser to go back to Lorrie’s list.

very inspiring blogger award

Lorrie mentioned my blog here and invited all of us whom she mentioned to pick an award or all of them and participate.

Here, then, are my responses to the Very Inspirational Blogger Award, the name of which sets pretty well in my brain and I’ll refer to it over and over, particularly on those days when I myself need inspiration.

Favourite colour: Blue. Royal blue to be specific.

Favourite animal: The human animal who married me

Favourite number: The ones with dollar signs in front of them on cheques. Just kidding.

Favourite non-alcoholic drink: My own version of hot chocolate: 1/2 tsp. Quik in a mug of steaming skim milk.

Favourite alcoholic drink: Crown Royal, Diet Coke and 2 slices of lime

Facebook or Twitter: LinkedIn writing groups although I do think there are a lot of amazing writing gurus on Twitter. That’s where I found a lot of wonderful web wizards.

My passions: My family, my writing, my jewelry making

Giving or receiving gifts: Giving, although receiving is pretty intoxicating at times, too

Favourite city: Quebec City dans la belle province au Canada

Favourite TV shows: West Wing, anything which is historical and well done, such as Downton Abbey.

Here are some blogs which I follow at the moment:

The Maiden’s Court

Peeking Between the Pages

Let Them Read Books

Passages to the Past

Live Write Thrive

Oh, for the Hook of a Book!

This Craft Called Writing

Market Your Book by Jan Bear

I do tend to change sites I follow based upon what I need to learn about the book business at any given moment.

Consider leaving a comment with favorite sites you’ve found. I do love the sharing aspects of the web, don’t you?

Download your free copy of 10 Ways to Improve Your Writing from the link in the side column!

Coming Soon!

The Loyalist’s Wife by Elaine Cougler

 

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