The Healer and the Pirate

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

Monday, January 30, 2012

Photo Calendar from Shutterfly

So I took a week hiatus mostly because I could. Doesn't seem like anyone noticed, so no harm done!

So Shutterfly gave me a $20 "free" certificate (not including shipping) so I had to spend it! It was only a couple hours before expiration when I decided I should make a photo calendar. So I didn't necessarily do the BEST was a cross between photos of me and friends and photos of things and places I love.

I did throw in a lot of birthdays and such...oddly, none for February. One nice thing was that I was able to make it from February - January. Anyway, it was fun and the quality is nice, though somehow I'd expected it to be a little bigger.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Food in 1922

After overindulging on cheap meat from Target, I've had hamburger on the brain. (I found a great way to cook them…though it set off the smoke detector…twice…before I even finished cooking the whole pound…)

--The Morning Tulsa Daily World (Tulsa, Oklahoma), January 21, 1922, page 11

Per, 10 cents in 1922 was worth $1.27 today.

Now I'm sad!

For some reason I didn't know Crisco was around in the 1920s. Crisco's website says it came about in 1911. It "was the result of hydrogenation"! Mr. Proctor and Mr. Gamble, it notes, started Proctor & Gamble in 1837, after selling soap and candles. Mmmmm.

--The Morning Tulsa Daily World (Tulsa, Oklahoma), January 21, 1922, page 11

It looks like Kellogg's Corn Flakes were the Cheerios of 1922 (food for kids). Or else they were TRYING to make them the Cheerios of 1922.

The page also has cocoa recipes, including one for what sounds like instant cocoa:

(per cup.)
In each cup put--
1 teaspoon cocoa.
1 teaspoon sugar.
1 tablespoon marshmallow cream.

Stir them with a spoon until creamy then thin with boiling water. The same proportions could be used for larger amounts. I think, though the person who gave me this, said she never made it only in cup amount….

Do you know that a few drops of vanilla in cocoa gives it a wonderful flavor. Not more than one or two drops to the cup.

Do you know that a very slight trace of maple flavor, ever so little, is good with cocoa too.

Do you know that many (illegible) insist that cocoa to be the best, must have a few grains of salt in it--"just enough to do away with that raw taste."

--The Morning Tulsa Daily World (Tulsa, Oklahoma), January 21, 1922, page 11

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

One Good Thing about SOPA and PIPA

The Wednesday blackouts provide an excellent excuse not to really write a blog entry. :P

I'm honestly not sure online petitions ever do any good, even if they're from Google. But is an excellent way to test that theory with just a few seconds of your time.

The English Wikipedia has links to contact your representative, which might do a bit more good. Though whenever I write my Congressman, he sends back a pre-written message a month or more later. It goes something like, "I'm glad you support me on (insert several things I disagree with, including the thing I asked him to stand against)." Well, maybe this time will be different...

Monday, January 16, 2012

Pirate of My Heart by Jamie Carie

I won this book for free in a pirate-themed contest. ARRRRR! There is actually very little pirating; only a few chapters even take place on the sea, with the romantic lead being a merchant captain, not a pirate at all. Despite that, I found it enjoyable…if you like historical romances full of misunderstandings, with a bit of classic melodrama, this is a perfect book for you. Nice little historical tidbits, though the main pull of the story is the romance.

The main issue I had was that the editing felt like it was done by someone younger than me, and I'm only in my early 30s. I'm honestly sure if that means the market is changing and I'm the one with hangups, but the few Love Inspired and other romances I've read didn't have these techniques. The word "alright" is universally used for "all right," though it's my understanding that "alright" is a relatively modern way to spell "all right." (As recently as the 1990s I recall a Reader's Digest article nothing "alright is never all right.") That word still drives me up the wall to read. I was shocked to read the word "Noooo" multiple times--my English teachers wouldn't even let me put a question mark and an exclamation point both at the end of the same sentence, so I can't imagine what they would have done with that. And I couldn't find any evidence of the name "Kendra" being used prior to the 1940s, let alone the 1700s (though I'd like to be proven wrong there). I don't know if this book was rushed to market or not, but I feel like another pass of editing would have strengthened the style and perhaps even made some plot points a bit more realistic. Shouldn't bother any readers who aren't also writers/editors, and I'll bet a lot of writers/editors won't have a problem either. It just jarred me.

Still, there was a lot to like. I loved Kendra's playful accusations of Dorian being a scoundrel and such. As I noted, despite the title, there is little piracy and the male lead is not a pirate except in a very figurative sense. Could be just as well since REAL pirates aren't so romantic. I was surprised to find myself liking Kendra, despite the fact that she is one of those women who is the most beautiful woman you've ever seen and who can win every heart.

An entertaining escape with a page-turning conclusion!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Saturday Sales

--Morning Tulsa Daily World, Saturday January 14, 1922 (page 5)

Note the sizes of 16, 18, and 38 or 42 to 46. Apparently the 16 and 18 roughly referred to age, and 42 to 46 were bust size. Given the loose-fitting fashions of the 1920s, I wonder if people bought their true bust size, or a larger one to give the look in the ad...

Gotham Patterns has a very interesting entry on the history of women's clothing sizes.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Is writing easy?

Twice this week already, I've heard messages along the lines of "Just because it's not easy doesn't mean it's not God's plan for you." (First our pastor's sermon on Paul getting shipwrecked at Acts 27 and then the Children's Church message I have to teach next week on Deborah and Barak in Judges 4.)

Maggie and I had an outline we worked a couple weeks on...if you've been reading here you probably understand that I'm not the biggest fan of outlines in general (though I know they can be a necessary evil, especially when writing a series). But anyway, this outline was pretty good. Then today while working on Chapter 3, Maggie came up with a detour.

A much better detour.

A detour that involved some changes to the outline.

In real life, God doesn't usually see fit to show us His long-term plan. Instead, we get little pieces and have to learn to trust Him enough to go one step at a time.

I wonder if these random changes to an outline are in part God showing us that we need to trust Him.

(Given my wandering tendencies though, I still don't think Maggie and I should try writing a book together without any outline. Though I am sure we are going to deviate from it...we always do!)

Monday, January 9, 2012

@juliebihn on Twitter

Yes, I'm on Twitter and I've actually started Tweeting. And I kind of like it! I've made a few random confessions there.

Follow me if you are on Twitter too! If you message me that you read my blog, I'll definitely follow you back.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Forgot to mention...giveaway!

If you would like to win a paper copy of "The Healer and the Pirate" we are doing a giveaway on Goodreads. And of course if you want it quicker than in a month, you can still buy it for Kindle, Nook, Smashwords, and in print!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Healer and the Pirate by Julie Bihn

The Healer and the Pirate

by Julie Bihn

Giveaway ends February 05, 2012.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

Friday, January 6, 2012

Flour Sack Dress Contest, Refrigerator, Sherlock Holmes, ANTI-Pain pills

All from one page of one paper...I find sometimes the interior pages of smaller newspapers can have a lot of fascinating stuff.

The precursor to the duct-tape dress...

--The Hayti Herald (Hayti, MO), January 6, 1922 (page 3)

Actually, in the 1930s flour sack dresses and the like were common…at doll shows sometimes they sell flour sacks for making historic outfits for your dolls.

Electric Refrigeration.

A brine tank in place of ice, which by means of an electrical instrument keeps a mean temperature in the refrigerator, is growing in popularity in suburban and country places where ice is difficult to obtain. Its advantages are that it does away with the iceman, it gives a dry temperature advantageous for the preservation of food, and there is no slime, dirt or drip as with the use of ice. It is arranged to freeze a little ice for table use when that is desired. It is not an inexpensive luxury, costing about $400 to install in any refrigerator.

--The Hayti Herald (Hayti, MO), January 6, 1922 (page 3)

Historical Currency Conversions values $400 in 1922 dollars at $5,386.43 for today's dollars...and it sounds like that was for the kit to retrofit an old icebox.

Sherlock Holmes in Love.

"And when I kissed her I smelled tobacco."

"You object to a woman who smokes?"

"No, but she doesn't smoke."

--The Hayti Herald (Hayti, MO), January 6, 1922 (page 3)

Oh, and ANTI-pain pills. Much better than pain pills, don't you think?

--The Hayti Herald (Hayti, MO), January 6, 1922 (page 3)

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

How much do writers make?

A lot of people seem think that writers make a lot of money. While a small number of writers are very successful, very, very few are able to make a living writing fiction. I'd wager that most of your favorite authors are supported by a spouse or have a day job.

Telling a writer that they'll be a rich and famous writer someday is a BIT like telling someone they'll be rich someday because they buy lottery tickets.

It's not a perfect simile, of course--most famous authors have put some effort into their writing. Some put a ridiculous amount of effort in before they make it big, though some others work just as hard and never hit. (But on the other hand, if you work harder at buying more lottery tickets, you have a better chance of winning...) Most famous authors have at least some talent, but again, some of the most talented ones never make it big.

Me? I'm so honored and flattered when someone pays $2.99 to get a copy of our book and, hopefully, read it someday.

Don't tell anyone, but I'd do it for free. Though I am looking forward to that $10 in royalties from Amazon that should come through in a couple months.

Monday, January 2, 2012

50 things I am thankful for from 2011

OK, 2011 was kind of a rough year, but there were a lot of good things too. I decided to look through my blog to see things I was thankful for.
  1. A Rotterdam November
  2. Ragefest 2011
  3. Camping chairs at Ragefest 2011...I must be getting old but man it was sweet to not have to stand for 10 hours straight.
  4. New cell phone!
  5. Finished a draft of Flight from Endwood
  6. VNSA book sale...
  7. ...and gingerbread unicorns!
  8. Tucson Festival of Books 
  9. Florida Renaissance Festival..
  10. ...with Maggie! 
  11. Also Wonderfool
  12. Seeing Skillet live with Rachel and Emily (especially Hero with pyro!)
  13. Discovering squirrel monkeys are cute.
  14. The Tampa Bay airport....
  15. ...and falling in love with my Tiny Duffy.
  16. Trying to devote 100 hours to writing/prayer/church/God.
  17. Twice!
  18. Mom
  19. Recalling San Diego
  20. Making myself laugh
  21. Getting a much-needed new laptop
  22. Never being hungry all year
  23. Dad
  24. Sooooo many wonderful friends.
  25. Liberty Bond Cat
  26. Watching the Back to the Future trilogy
  27. Winning free books O_O
  28. Getting a Kindle!
  29. Kindle sleeve
  30. Homely unicorns
  31. Chalk drawings
  32. Providence
  33. And procrastination
  34. Talk Like a Pirate Day
  35. Prescott, Arizona
  36. My brother
  37. Old forgotten music
  38. Winged unicorns
  39. Halloween
  40. TusCon
  41. The Healer and the Pirate - published!
  42. On Lulu too!
  43. And no more editing!
  44. Working on the next book
  45. Freegal
  46. Disneyland!
  47. Love is Breathing 
  48. New blog devoted to beloved Tiny Duffy
  49. Pizza pizza, yum yum
  50. BABY!  I am an aunt!

Happy 2012, everyone!