The Healer and the Pirate

The Healer and the Pirate is available now on Kindle and Nook, and in print at Lulu and Amazon!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Female Mountain Climber and Milk - 1921

Rather sad story. I was surprised to read about a husband and wife climbing a mountain together in 1921.

Mrs. Stone Tells of Struggle To Save Husband on Mountain
Wife of Purdue President Saved by Chance as She Lost Grip Trying to Rescue Him From Abyss and Struck on Ledge on Bare Cliff

BANFF, Alb., July 29.--The theory of how Mrs. W. E. Stone, wife of the president of Purdue University, dangled at the end of a rope in mid-air and then dropped exhausted on a four-foot ledge, the only break in a precipitous cliff hundreds of feet high, after an unsuccessful attempt to save her husband, who had fallen into a crevice below, was revealed to-day in a dispatch received here from the correspondent of The Calgary Herald.

Mrs. Stone is now in an improvised camp on the mountain side recovering from the experience of lying on the tiny ledge for eight days without food or water until rescued by Rammer, a Swiss guide, who carried her down the steep mountainside to safety.

The correspondent told how she had watched her husband fall as they were attempting to climb Mount Eanon, and then attempted to lower herself with the rope in the hope of rescuing him.

The rope, however, was too short, and after hanging alongside the mountain and finding she was unable to pull herself back up, she let go, expecting to plunge to her death in the abyss below. Fate intervened and she landed on the narrow ledge, a drop of ten feet.

Members of the party that rescued Mrs. Stone are busy building a raft to convey her down the Marvel Lakes, the first stage of the fifty-five-mile trip to civilization....

--The New York Tribune, July 30, 1921

President Stone was almost 60 when he died, and the New York Times says Mount Eanon was over 10,000 feet high, and that Dr. Stone and his wife "virtually" made it to the top (being the first person to do so...he climbed ahead of his wife before he fell). Pretty impressive! The article paints a different picture of Mrs. Stone's journey, saying it as caused by hallucinations... They did retrieve his body, though.

Lighter news! Milk prices back in the day.

--The New York Tribune, July 30, 1921

Per this currency calculator, 18 cents in 1921 converts to $2.27 today. That works out to $9.08/gallon...I think that's more than milk costs even in New York today. (Though I reckon it was may have been fresher back in 1921, with the home delivery and all.)

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Musing about fiction - WHAT

So last week, in a fit of desperation for a topic, I decided to talk about "who" (in the Who, What, Where, When, Why, How list). Which means this week, what I talk about, is "what."

You knew it had to come at some point. Might as well get it out of the way now!

Anyway, so "what." What do you write about?

I've always been drawn to writing fiction. And when I write fiction, I tend to write about the improbable and fantastic. Why is that, I wonder?

I think I tend toward writing speculative because if you stick with stories of what is plausible, or even possible, then I think you might as well write non-fiction. I do like historical fiction in principle; of mainline Christian romances, the only ones I've even tried reading are historicals. I also enjoy and fiction that involves substantial non-fiction elements (like the Little House books being semi-autobiographical and My Side of the Mountain doing quite a lot of downright "telling" about survival and the wilderness). I've heard kids nowadays aren't interested in the "Little House" books because they're really divorced from the natural world. That could definitely be true (not sure many kids want to hear about the fun of roasting a pig's tail and playing with an inflated pig's bladder). But on the other hand, I imagine young adults enjoyed the details of "The Hunger Games," like purifying water with iodine.

As I argued last week, it's not necessarily about writing "what you know." But if not what you know...then what?

You know those weird passions that you get for no reason and don't even know where they came from? (Mine is the old Coney Island, given I don't like rides that are TOO thrilling (the Cyclone is scary but fine), don't care for beaches, and dislike crowds and seedy places.)

Do you think when you get those random things that fascinate you for no reason, that's what you're meant to write? I don't know.

One thing I can say--at least for speculative/children's and young adult series--is that a bit of inspiration can be honed into something wildly successful. Reportedly, C.S. Lewis was inspired by an image of a faun holding an umbrella and parcels which (obviously influenced by his background and childhood imaginings) eventually led to the Narnia series. JK Rowling says the idea for Harry Potter just fell into her head on a long train ride. And I haven't read the books, but I've heard it said that Stephenie Meyer had a dream of a human girl and a vampire who loved her and also wanted her blood, which inspired "Twilight." Wikipedia even reports that Suzanne Collins was inspired to write "The Hunger Games" when she was flipping through channels on TV!

I'm sure there are many successful series that weren't built on a flash of inspiration, and I imagine it's possible that authors would lie about where they really got their ideas from. But it sounds like when you get that inspiration, you might want to follow it.

So, how do you decide which "what" is worth pursuing? Honestly, I'm no closer to knowing than I was a month ago. I'm starting to seriously think I need to pray for inspiration!

Or, perhaps, pray about which thread I should follow.

What do you know? At least one of those threads (2 if you count a potential collaborative project) involves Coney Island!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Lazy Summer

I'm not sure if it works this way in the rest of the country, but where I am, in summertime, people tend to, I don't know, just slack off on writing. Or at least the people I know out here have not been keeping up with their blogs as they had been! Myself, I was at work and a co-worker asked me how my writing was going. "Meh," I replied with the appropriate middling hand motion. She said something about it being summer, and that being the reason. Yeah, yeah. That's it. It is seriously super hot here, though. I get home from work and just walking from my car into air conditioning saps my energy.

Any idea how to overcome that lazy summer attitude? Sadly, I get the feeling the solution is a big dose of "suck it up and work."

I have been working on my Coney Island History blog, if you wanted to see what a blog with an iota of focus looks like.

Friday, July 22, 2011

South America's Coney Island - July 24, 1921

Busy night (good, but busy), so gonna be brief here. Come on, compelling article!

OK, how about this one? I like it because it shows how popular Coney Island was in the 1920s, that they would use it to draw attention to a story that has little to do with Coney at all. They talk about "Buenos Ayres" (interesting how foreign places used to be spelled!). The main idea of the article is to describe the seaside in South America, and to note that an enterprising American could bring some amusements (if cheaply priced) and profit.

Yet, to a modern reader, it tells you what Coney Island was in part by telling you what South America is not. There are some good details buried here that I hadn't read elsewhere.

HERE are some of the things the Coney Island "fan" will have to do without if he or she ever tries the delights of sea bathing in South American resorts, where the ocean dip is prized for its own sake and not for its attendant features:

Chutes. Nobody ever slides down a glazed trough in South America, because there are no glazed troughs here.

Roller coasters. Nobody increases the action of the heart and lungs by the Coney Island method.

Hot dogs. There never has been a strike of sausage venders in South American resorts because there are no sausages to vend.

Acid drinks. Citrus lemonade and the South American resorts are strangers.

Barkers. One's vocabulary of slang has to be increased by other instructors. There is nothing to bark for at a South American bathing beach.

Witching Waves. The only ones are the wet waves off the shore line.

Merry-go-rounds. There may be some made-in-Germany affairs later, if American manufacturers don't wake up to their opportunities.

By Charles Evers:....

Obviously, the nations of South America are afflicted with the conventions of civilization in the same measure as we are ourselves, and the people must have compensation and inducement to endure the ills attendant on their pursuit of the joyous dip. The sweltering, confined journey to the subway, the heavy bag, the hutch in which they undress, the absurd ponderous costume ordained for women by the blue laws, the long, weary waiting at the door of the bathhouse, the dripping, heavier bag on the return journey--all these impedimenta to pleasure must have their corresponding reward--the water, the friendly intercourse, the opportunities for flirtation, the scenic railway, "drop the dip," the water chute and the succulent hot dog.

In Honolulu and Tahati (sic?) the bath is sufficient inducement, but then there is no journey, no bag, no bathhouse, no waiting and no costume. The water is clearer and the friendly relations are more intimate.

In South America there is nearly always a journey to be made, a bag to be carried, a costume to be donned and a period of waiting to be endured before entering the uninviting cubicle; but there is no "giant racer" and no hot dog, and open flirtations are frowned upon with the utmost severity.......

But the poor of South America do not take much use of the sea for their pleasure. What do they do? I don't know, but I have noticed that they often utilize a guitar. It is generally spring time in South America--or at least the lovely climate would lead us to suppose--and then, we are told, "the young man's fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love." For him the purlieus of the city are "Paradise enow."

--The New York Tribune (book section?), July 24, 1921

Not sure South American amusements took off any time in the 1920s, though. There are probably webpages on it, and they're probably in Spanish or Portuguese!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Musing about fiction - WHO

So since I am a writer and I hear some people like to hear about writing, I figured I'd throw some random writing-related musings out there.

I started typing some stuff and it came out sounding a lot like the old reporters' guidelines: Who, What, Where, When, Why, and How. So I'm gonna step out on faith and hope that I can get 6 entries out of those topics...

So, what's up with WHO? A few ideas:

WHO are YOU?

You need to write about something you're passionate about. I don't consider this exactly the same as "write what you know" (if everyone did that we'd have a lot of really boring stories, IMO). But write what you LOVE is fair. If you despise researching history, you maybe shouldn't try to write straight-up historical fiction (though you could definitely consider steampunk or another speculative genre).

This has been a challenge for me because I wanted to go back and finish a novel I mostly wrote in college, currently titled Chosen: Bonnie of Sheshack. I was something like 20 (and very into Anime) when I wrote it. I'm rather older now, and I haven't been able to get back into the young adult mindset of the POV character. Doesn't mean I couldn't get there, but it's not working so well for me right now. I'm not sure I can finish it unless I just take what I've written, edit lightly, and finish it. I just can't make it mesh with 2011 Julie.

WHO are your characters?

The more you know about your characters, the better your story will probably be. You also need to have characters who are flawed enough to be interesting--but in my opinion, they don't need to be too realistic, and personally, I'd rather they aren't too realistic.

Regarding "The Time Traveler's Wife", the concept of a man who randomly slips backward in time was absolutely brilliant. The reason I couldn't finish it was because the characters read to me like college students (and rather shallow ones at that). Part of my problem was expectations; I may have liked it better if the book jacket hadn't called the male lead Henry "dashing." This dashing character spent a fair amount of the novel shaping a young girl toward being an atheist or agnostic (which I found disturbing). But the point I gave up was where he joked with his true love Claire that if she didn't perform a certain sexual act with him, he would wither away and die. (Page 230 in my paperback which I got from I don't know; maybe I have a different definition of "dashing" than most.

Some of the questions the book raises are interesting--what would you do if you went back in time as an adult and met your significant other when they were a child? and you were naked?--but IMO just because a question is interesting doesn't automatically mean it should be considered at length.

So anyway, is Henry the librarian realistic? Possibly--it's hard to say what someone would do in his situation. (Although I'm not sure how many "dashing, adventuresome librarians" exist!)

Is Henry likable? The huge number of copies sold would say so; a romance author in a panel I went to at the Tucson Festival of Books even cited Henry and Claire's relationship as one she remembered and loved. (And it was an author who I would have expected to share my conservative biases, by the way.)

Would I rather read about a dashing thief with a heart of gold, even if such people are almost impossible in real life? Absolutely!

WHO is the story filtered through?

I started writing a short story recently (in the universe of my novel "Flight from Endwood") and it wasn't quite working. I had one POV character in mind, even though the other main character is the one who experiences change and who is involved in a couple integral scenes.

Captain Obvious says, why not make that character the only POV character? Problem solved? Well...I'll let you know how that goes. At least I'm excited again!

Do you have any WHO ideas?

Monday, July 18, 2011

Media Monday - Time: A Traveler's Guide

I buy a ridiculous number of books from the VNSA Used Book Sale. I think I bought Time: A Traveler's Guide by Clifford A. Pickover in 2009. The back cover boasts "A must buy for all wannabe time travelers." Is it?

Warning; I'm a pretty critical reader.

The format is an interesting idea--the start of each chapter is a story written in what is often called "second person". The first sentence of the "Prelude"--did I mention the fact that time travel and music are linked for the story?--reads:

The year is 2063, and you are chief curate of the Museum of Music located on Fifth Avenue in New York City.

Every chapter is then followed by a scientific explanation of what was generally explained in the story.

It's a nice way to attempt to get the reader involved in the story, with light descriptions of the "future" (blinking fingernails, alien creatures, etc.). While I'm sure the framing device was part of the plan for quite some time, it appears the second person structure may actually be an afterthought (at least once nearer to the end of the book, I recall it slips into third person, referring to "you" as "he").

Unfortunately, by necessity, "your" assistants continually call you "sir." And by page 14, "you" are noting the comely features of "your" new assistant Constantia. By page 17, "you" are obviously hitting on her.

I think I understand the author's intention, and I know women are less likely than men to go into the study of physics. But I found the entire framing device distancing, when the character who is "me" not only has substantially different mannerisms and interests than myself, but isn't even the same gender. And frankly I didn't care for either of the human lead characters one bit. The actual storyline isn't the most engaging, given I don't care for the characters. But the majority of the "story" is just the characters talking, demonstrating, etc...and mostly, "you" deliver the information in stilted language better suited to a lecture, and Constantia and "your" alien sidekick just happen to ask the exact questions the author would like. For instance, "you" say:

"Perhaps the most interesting example of a brilliant mathematician studying cosmic questions is Kurt Gödel. He was an Austrian mathemetician who lived from 1906 to 1978. Not only did he formulate a mathematical proof of the existence of God and make shocking contributions to pure mathematics, but he also proved that time travel is possible."

Constantia watches the funnel whirling about the table. "He proved time travel is possible?"

Some of the science is interesting, at least, if you're not familiar with it already (I wasn't). The cutaneous rabbit experiment and other experiments which seem to demonstrate that the brain actually engages in backwards time travel of its own are fascinating concepts. And there are interesting ideas I hadn't thought of. Honestly, unless one is incredibly mathematical and/or fairly mathematical and has a lot of time to kill, I'm not sure the formulas can be followed.

I read it more or less looking for an easy way to accomplish (fictional) backwards time travel, since for better or worse, time travel tends to creep into most of my works. While the book does offer a few ideas, I recall they're all pretty complex. In short, if you're looking for a scientific way to just throw time travel in your book, this may not be the best place to look, unless maybe your story involves spaceships.

Personally, I may or may not look through this book again. Like I said, some really interesting ideas, but unfortunately, by the end I came to actively dislike the characters who present them.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

British Helping Japanese Pilots; Jazz Wedding; Babies; Piggly-Wiggly

So Blogger saved this as a draft and didn't publish it! Well, better late than never. Sorry about that! This was meant to go up Friday 7/15.

Still traveling through the Library of Congress website. Unlike some of the other newspapers, Tulsa's seems to have real news.

File this under "a little early but still good." Fascinating--I had no idea that British pilots helped teach the Japanese.

Bolster Up Each Branch of Armed Forces With Struggle as Goal
English Flyers Arrive to Aid Instruction of Cadets for Aviation Service
Disarmament Talk Has No Effect on Military Plans, Says Correspondent

(While the rest of the world is on the verge of disarming, Japan is losing not a second in bolstering evry (sic) branch of her armed preparedness. Duke N. Perry, staff correspondent of the International News Service in Tokio has made a careful investigation of Japan's aviation program. Following is the first of a series of these stories on what he found.)

T. N. S. Staff Correspondent.

TOKIO, June 26--(By special courier to San Francisco, July 15.)--Japan, if she should go to war with the United States within the next ten years, would employ against the American naval section, aviators whose original instruction was received from British naval aviation experts--experts who for the past several months hav (sic) been arriving in Japan. While disarmament talk in the United States runs high, while opponents of preparation measures throughout the United States gain favor for their beliefs, Japan goes "feverishly on" with preparations. Her diplomats and statesmen non-comittally agreeing that disarmament is a measure in which lis much good, her officials in some cases stating that Japan will look with favor upon such a disarmament conference as has been suggested, the imperial Japanese government through its department of the navy is showing what will rank well along in great speed contests for preparation in building and in learning.....

Trainers Picked by Government.

First, British former officers, former experts and commercial designers, with mechanics, to the number of 59 positively, 74 possibly, have arrived in Japan in the last year. While not the representatives of the government of Great Britain, it is stated with authority that they have been chosen for the Japanese government and this claim is borne out by the fact that all are men whose work for Great Britain ould make them the ones who would most likely be chosen as those best able to instruct in naval aviation and construction. Japan informally announced in 1920 that the imperial Japanese navy hoped to have 17 divisions in naval aviation trained and ready for duty in 1923. Fifteen of these divisions were to be the flying divisions whil two were to be training. They are to be located as follows:

Flying: Yokosuka, 5; Sasebo, 5; Kure, 4; Maidura, 1.
Training: Kasumigara, 1; Yokosuka, 1.

Break No Custom.

Great Britain's commercial men, who send their representatives to Japan to teach and build for the Japanese are breaking no international custom by so doing. Calling the "unofficial mission" of Great Britain to Japan, the present group of naval aviation men now in this country is in no wise different from the military mission which trained the Japanese army and which came from France. The present army, which is headed by Lieutenant Colonel Meares (sp?), retired, of the British air forces, represents a business enterprise in Great Britain. Its members are finding employment in Japan far more lucrative than they could find in their own country ; they are if recommended by the British government, receiving some of the good post-war treatment that is due ex-service men and they are yet, in no wise, the official representatives of Great Britain. This does not lessen the fact, or make it less interesting to Americans the fact that, if war were declared any time within the next ten years, American naval aviation men would go up against Japanese aviators whose preliminary instruction was given by American's one-time ally Great Britain.

Japan as far back as 1919, began to realize her weakness in a line of warfare which has only in the past decade come to be included in the service branches of the powers. Before that time, when the peace was being settled, Japan had, to a degree unnoticed, succeeded in getting planes allotted to her which are today being assembled and gone over by the rapidly improving Japanese aviation section. She ordered planes later from Great Britain and figures given subsequently in this account show to what extend her people are being taxed today, that the branch of naval aviation may be built up.

Other Nations are Wise.

Some idea of how much other nations anticipated Japan's intentions along the line of the naval aviation may be had from the fact that it is common belief in Tokio that aviators who flew from Rome to Tokio last summer, flew not alone because of an interest in aviation but to demonstrate to the Japanese people (which, by the way, they did not do) that Italian aviators were quite as capable of teaching the Japanese navy and war department the art of flying and building as were the aviators of any other nation.

It is thought quite probable here in Tokio that the Italian aviators and builders were just as anxious to get contracts and place men in Japan as were those of any other European nations. And there was reason to believe Italy was convinced of Japan's intentions to start upon her plans of naval aviation expansion immediately.

Today there is no branch of warfare in which Japan is more interested than in aviation. British builders are said to be having some success in teaching their Japanese pupils and the program for intense study of the work and final development of a great branch of Japanese naval aviation is well under way...

--The Morning Tulsa Daily World, July 16, 1921

One of the most interesting things is that the Internet cites the Sempill Mission as the point where the British taught the Japanese to fly...and they say that's SEPTEMBER 1921.

Lighter note!

Will Weigh Babies.

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn., July 15.--Efforts to "humanize" the postal service in accordance with a recent order of Postmaster General Hays received some development here today when Postmaster E. A. Purdy ordered that all parcel post wagon drivers permit mothers to weigh their babies daily, providing the babies are brought to the parcel post wagon scales.

--The Morning Tulsa Daily World, July 16, 1921

And to think I've never been to the Piggly Wiggly. I also didn't know it was such a grand place...


On the face of an apple Newton saw the force that links the stars together and binds us to the myriad suns.

On the movement of a teakettle cover Watt saw mighty moguls climbing mountain sides and titanic liners plowing the deep.

On an electric shock received from a key attached to powerful machinery lifting stone and steel to build our modern pyramids of business.

Vision gave to the world Piggly Wiggly Stores where every housewife can get the best foods at the market's best price--and make her own selections...

(Click to enlarge.)

--The Morning Tulsa Daily World, July 16, 1921

That same page cites a "modern" "Jazz Wedding Ceremony" by Rev. G.W. Hatcher, a "marrying parson". I wonder if he ever went actually performed the following ceremony, or if it's just a poem. Does not reflect well on women. :P

"Wilt thou take her for thy pard, for better or for worse; to have, to hold, to fondly guard, till hauled off in the hearse?

"Wilt thou let her have her way, consult her many wishes, make the fire every day and help her with the dishes?

"Wilt thou sooth her in her woes; keep her spirit bright and gay? Wilt thou turn the wringer, hang the clothes and trust her for the pay?

"Wilt thou give her all the stuff her little purse will pack, buy a monkey board, a muff, a little sealskin sack?

"Wilt thou comfort and support her father and mother, Aunt Jemina, Uncle John, 13 sisters and a brother?

"Wilt thou tell her to her face that she is sweet and kind, that the like of her in all the race would be difficult to find?

"Wilt thou be to her the same and never shirk nor falter, as she shall wear thy name and thou shalt wear the halter?"

To break the monotony of the questionnaire on matrimonial promises, Rev. Dr. Hatcher supplies the result on the groom: "His face grows pale and blinks; it is too late to jilt. As to the floor he sadly sinks, he quickly says: 'I wilt.'"...

Bride Has Questionnaire, Too....

"Wilt thou take him for thy pard, for better or for worse; to have, to hold, to fondly guard his person and his purse?

"Wilt thou make him mind and show him every fault and, then, in spite of groan or whine, make him walk the chalk?

"Wilt thou make him eat the scarps (sic?) that belong to days of yore, so you'll get your mid-day naps and over novels pore?

"Wilt thou be quick to take control of all that's on the place and say to him in language bold: 'You're not my boss in any case'?

"Wilt thou make him sweep the floor, fetch the wood and water, pick up things--or whatever else you order?

"Wilt thou make him darn his socks, sew buttons on his britches and get your fingers in his locks every time he misses?

"Wilt thou make of him a carry-all for bandbox, grip and bundle; make him take the parasol and to the racket tumble?

"Wilt thou be to him his dear beyond all conjecture, and when you get upon your car give him a certain lecture?"

The bride is supposed to smile. In the rhyme of the minister: "Her face is all aglow, her eyes as jet, and she queenly stands upon the floor and loudly says: 'You bet!'"

--The Morning Tulsa Daily World, July 16, 1921

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Three Writing Tips from Back to the Future

Quite some time ago, I watched the Back to the Future trilogy on DVD, and as usual, I watched/listened to all the bonus features. Each disc has a "commentary" (really a question/answer session) by Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale. There were a few things I learned about how the film was written that I think can apply to writing novels.

1) If inspiration strikes, run with it. Bob Gale said he was inspired when looking through his father's yearbook, and he noticed his father was class president. Gale wasn't at all friends with his own class president, and he wondered if he would've even been friends with his father if he went to high school with him. (see Obviously the final story really has very little to do with that little snippet, but it seems like some of the most popular stories originate with a simple idea or image. (And most popular stories can be summed up in a sentence or two. Which is hard for someone like me who comes up with complex ideas...)

2) Use cause and effect to build your story. The commentary discussed cause and effect in a simple way I was able to grasp. Basically, they wrote index cards of each scene, and then put them up. They used this to show them what other scenes to add from there. For instance, they knew they wanted Marty to introduce rock and roll to 1955. That meant they had to have an earlier scene in the 1980s to show that he could play guitar, so there's another card. Frankly they made it sound really easy, though I find it really hard to pull off in real life.

I don't know that Scribe Meets World's screenwriting post on the structure of Back to the Future was written in response to the commentary or not, but it seems to have some good stuff.

3) Embrace restrictions; they can actually help you write a better story. If you know much about the history of Back to the Future, you know the original climax was going to be at a nuclear testing site (!!!). This involved more setup in the introduction (to establish when and where the nuclear tests were happening and how they worked) and required the characters to travel some distance prior to the climax. The main reason they had to change it, however, was because they had to cut some money out of the film budget!

In the end, moving the climax to the clock tower in Hill Valley made the film infinitely stronger. I think sometimes when you're faced with restrictions--whether it's Nanowrimo, the restrictions of various Christian or secular publishers, or perhaps even facing feedback from critique partners or editors--sometimes these limitations can lead you to greater ideas.

Of course, I tend towards making too many changes and having too many ideas. If I had been writing the movie, I likely would have come up with several even less plausible ideas and perhaps never even realized the clock tower idea (had I had it) was the golden one!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Star of India Ship Pictures - San Diego Maritime Museum - 2008

This is from the Maritime Museum of San Diego, aka the Star of India. Quick explanation of the place (and some really neat interior ferry pictures!) and a link to other adventures here. And you can see the exhibits in the ship here.

The Star of India, formerly known as the Euterpe, is an 1860s sailing ship, mostly used for immigrants.

I guess since they sometimes sail the ship, there were some anachronisms in the kitchen. I don't see any in the photo (except the sprinklers) but I noticed them in person!

I believe the kitchen was up on the deck, but then you go down to the exhibits.

Some of the cabins/etc. were set up like they were back in the the Columbia at Disneyland!

Mate's cabin.

Passenger cabin. (I sometimes take more clothes than that for a week vacation!)

Writing desk! I want one.

Dining area of some variety.


Ship's doctor's cabin...I love that he got a bonus for each healthy person who arrived...very sensible, IMO.


Captain's cabin. Looks kind of like something out of the Little House books if you ask me.

Trunk lid in an exhibit.

I walked past and thought it was a tiny corridor. Er, not quite.

Immigrant family.

Back up on deck!

The sun's setting so it's about time to be going. Let's take a look at the cruise ships heading out....

...and the moon above.

If you like ships at all and live within an 8 hour drive of San Diego, get over to the Maritime Museum!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Quietest Fourth - July 9, 1921 - Colville, WA

Just scanned the Library of Congress website for interesting articles. I have a soft spot for small-town newspapers.

Colville Has Quietest Fourth

"The quietest fourth Colville ever had that I can remember," said G. B. Ide, idly stretching himself in his real estate office "And I have seen a good many in this town during my 37 years residence. As for myself, I went up to Mill creek and did some fishing."

"It was too quiet for me" stated Justice of the Peace J. H. King. "While I did not go any place outside of Colville, it seems most of the town wont to Chewelah to attend the celebration. I came down town once and then went back. Again later in the afternoon, I came down attain to see if there was anybody around but one look convinced me that the lakes, Chewelah and Inchelium had been the mecca for the most of Colville's citizens."

Most of Colville divided in spending the fourth. A small number stayed home. Part went to Inchelium to attend the regular Indian celebration being held at that place. But the largest part by far went to Chewelah where the Colville band and baseball team were the leading attractions.

Those who did not go to either of the above named places went to the different streams and lakes in the county on camping and fishing parties. County Engineer T. M. Onet (???) and his assistant Fred Thomas went out to the lakes but when the fish refused to bite they turned to other diversions.

"Home looked good to me, so good in fact that I spent the fourth there"
responded Justice A. L. Knapp when questioned as to his whereabouts.
"Speaking of quiet fourths, Colville had the quietest that I can remember," and Justice Knapp must be taken as an authority when the fact becomes known that he has lived in the vicinity for the past 32 years.

Led by the Colville band and augmented by fourteen members of the Frank Starr Post Noi. (sic?) 47 of the American Legion, the celebration at Chewelah easily attracted more people from Colville than any other single celebration. The Colville band was the only band of three advertised to appear that actually put in an appearance.

Much favorable comment was heard on all sides on the new cap adopted by the Frank Starr Post. The cap is modeled on the same pattern as the cap worn overseas by doughboys in the late war, and is blue with gold trimmings.

The individual features of the parade was the beautifully decorated automobile floats, with the comedy being furnished by the clowns. Eight former ex-sailors from Chewelah in their white uniforms also came in for their share of the attention. In the parade, the post flag of the Frank Starr Post was carried by Color Bearers Bob Lee and Abe Denson. Jack St. Clair and Warwick Stewart acted as color guards. John V. Folsom post of Chewelah also took part in the parade and later acted as host to the Colville post at a dinner.

The ball game in the afternoon between Chewelah and Colville attracted its share of the crowd attending the celebration. In the evening dancing was the chief form or (sic?) amusement offered. Numerous automobile parties made little side trips into the country.

--The Colville Examiner, July 9, 1921

I had no idea Colville even existed before this seems to have a population around 5,000. Couldn't find any good sources but Wikipedia says there were less than 2,000 residents in 1920.

Interestingly, Chewelah is even smaller than Colville. Wikipedia (again, not the height of accuracy, but couldn't find any better in limited time) said Chewelah's population in 1920 was 1,600--pretty close to Colville's.

And to my surprise, Colville is about 23 miles away from Chewelah! I wonder if they had any transportation, or if everyone was just driving...

And an ad from JC Penney!

I love old clothes, of course. This might be noteworthy due to the early 1920s corset (not exactly an hourglass figure).

--The Colville Examiner, July 9, 1921

Now, JC Penney has over 1,100 stores.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Summer Cleaning

So I haven't been doing much independent writing lately (except Maggie and I finally have a good start on the sequel to The Healer and the Pirate! the first book is being critiqued right now).

Mainly, when I'm at home I'd rather be reading or blogging than writing. And there's also so much that needs done! I spent a surprising amount of time 4th of July weekend actually cleaning! If you know me, you know I'd generally pretty much rather do anything than cleaning. So the fact that I got pretty much all of my laundry done last Sometimes you just want to "goof off" from what you're supposed to do. Even if what you're supposed to do (writing) is more fun!

But I'm trying to get going again. Starting with a new project (I couldn't bring back my passion for a project I started over 10 years ago...go figure).

What makes you procrastinate?

Monday, July 4, 2011

Star of India Exhibits - San Diego Maritime Museum - 2008

This is from the Maritime Museum of San Diego, aka the Star of India. Quick explanation of the place (and some really neat interior ferry pictures!) and a link to other adventures here.

The Star of India, formerly known as the Euterpe, is an 1860s sailing ship. Since it's a holiday, I'll save the ship pictures for next week and do the educational ones today. Sorry about the blur in some of them; it's hard to get pictures behind glass.

OK; here is a little hint of the ship...yes, these "exhibit cases" used to be bunks for sailors!

I think the brig took a cannonball to the mast.

I find it incredible to imagine the difficulty of navigating the open seas back in the day.

Pictures of the immigrants.

I wish I could go back and look closer at all this. Around this point I was sort of taking pictures more than reading, as my patient mother was ready enough to leave...

"Vasa 1628, An ill fated royal galleon":

More info on the Vasa here! (Apparently about 30-40 people died when it sank on its maiden voyage!)