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Showing posts from June, 2014

Woven Revolution: Circe

Once I have gender, faith and location decided, I usually start to develop the character's personality. Beginning today, the next three posts will focus on the three main characters in my trilogy. We begin with the youngest of the three characters: Circe D'Arras.

Age plays a big portion in our lives, which we all understand. How we behave at the age of sixty is different than how we behaved at the age of six. For some of us, freedom is at sixty; for others it is at six. The ages around eighteen to twenty-two are a common range for characters especially in romances because it is the expected marrying age. For this trilogy, the women are all in their twenties and thirties because it gives me the base I need.

Also, in this time period, there will be certain expectations of women of certain ages. For Circe, at twenty, she is on the edge of her adult life, and preparing to make a name for herself.

In Georgian England, women were allowed to work in the weaving industry, w…

Art and Healing

I am currently writing for an online Christian blog called, Unite based in Buffalo NY. My focus has been on local humanitarian groups as well as Christians in the arts. One of my first articles was about a thirteen-year-old girl who plans to go into musical theater when she graduates. Two recent ones both focused on painters who use their art to glorify God.

Art is, and has always been, a part of the church. It has been a part of healing and worship. This past weekend, we celebrated the life of one of my cousins who died unexpectedly around Memorial Day. He was one of those funny individuals who laughed and made others laugh.

During the ceremony, another cousin who is part of a band, accompanied the band's singer on Amazing Grace and Lay My life Down, two songs that fit the ceremony perfectly. I have turned up the radio, or replayed a song that touched me when I went through a hard time.

There are other times in which a painting or photograph has caught my attention, and allowed a…

Circling towards the Characters

Most of my books circle around the character, therefore my books are character driven, not plot driven. It's how the character responds to the time period, events and trials in their worlds that intrigue me. How did someone choose which side of the American Revolution to take?

In a colony established by pacifists, and a town with a large number of pacifists among the population, did that change how people looked at the American Revolution?

What were some of the struggles that single women faced in the Georgian Era? Were things easier or harder in the American colonies opposed to England? How were the different expressions of faith viewed?

All these questions and more circle around as I develop characters. Some of the struggles are things that I just put into the story. For example, I chose to have one character's family die from plague. She now has custody of her two nieces and nephew.

Since it worked out best as a trilogy, I focused on three different women and how they inter…

You Will Have Sorrow

There are times in every life where sorrow is a constant companion. We walk this life and there will be hard times and lonely times. There will be times of joy and dancing, as well as sorrow and weeping.

Currently, my family is in a time of remembrance. We found out at the end of last month that one of my cousins had died unexpectedly. This weekend, we bury him.
I come from a large extended family. While my grandparents only had three children and six grandchildren, we are part of a larger family between my grandparents many siblings, nieces and nephews. It's time for us to come together and mourn for one of our own.

I try to explain to people about how I see church, and this is the best example I have: family. In my world, I have a limited amount of aunts and uncles, but a plethora of cousins of all ages. We have a common ancestor and heritage, and that connects us to each other and the past. We grow up in different family structures with different traditions, memories and humor,…

Weaving a Rebellion

Let me just say I love weaving partly because it's a part of my family history. I've stated before that my grandma and great-grandma both wove. I love the history of weaving, as well as its cultural importance. Poems such as Tennyson's The Lady of Shalott focus on a weaver; songs are sung about weavers, and fairy tales include some aspect of cloth production usually in the form of spinning.

In America, weaving is a part of our cultural history, though it is increasingly less common. Many individuals only know about weaving from visits to living history museums. For many of us equating weaving to revolutionary is, well ... impossible.

Surprisingly enough, it isn't. I'm currently working on a trilogy about colonial weavers set in Lancaster PA. I know the area, and researching it is relatively easy to reach. Besides, Lancaster holds the honor of being the capital of the US for all of one day after Philadelphia fell to the British in 1777.

The American colon…

The Church and Beauty

I grew up in a family that celebrated an individual's beauty both the outward beauty as well as the inward character. My parents and grandparents never tried to make my sister and me into creatures we weren't. We were taught to dress well, but in clothes we liked. We were taught to be respectful, but not punished for being loud. We were allowed to develop our personalities and tastes in fashions on our own. My parents and grandparents understood that beauty is, and has always been, fleeting.

One of the most beautiful women I've known is my Mommom, and I figured it was about time I showed my mom's parents since I've shown you my dad's parents.

See, beauty is relative. It depends on culture, time and ethnic considerations. What was a true beauty in Georgian England was not a beauty in Japan at the same time. Georgian ideal of beauty is not the same as it is in England today.

Today, women are shown all these forms of beauty, but rarely can every woman be a beautif…

Beyond the Bible

A couples weeks ago I mentioned one of the things that can raise the inner snark in me. It was the concept that Jesus is enough for everything. Check out the past post (here) for it because it helps explain some of what I'll talk about today.

In regards to life outside of the specific realm of marriage, the words that always annoy me is, "The Bible has all my answers." Within moments of those words casually slipping out of the person's mouth, I can usually come up with three times in which the Bible doesn't have the answers without thinking about it. Usually it involves means to murder someone, or answers to an art problem.

The above photograph is part of a warp from a few years ago. Threading the warp ends through the heddle keeps the warp from twisting and knotting too much. It doesn't mean it always works, but it means the warp normally doesn't knot.

Many people tend to think of the Bible in that concept: thread this thought into here, and it will come…

First of the Month Book Review - June

This month's book review is, Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion by Elizabeth L. Cline. If there is any book out there I believe everyone should read, it's this one.

Honestly, while I knew a great deal about fashion based both upon my own observations and other articles, I didn't quite realize the full extent of cheap fashion.

Overdressed provides a good history of the fashion industry as well as an overview of modern fashion. I will admit I'm not much on shopping for clothes. For me, it's always been (a) I don't like the fashion, (b) I'm out of their size-range, or (c) I'm too tall for the clothes or style. Purchasing too many clothes wasn't an issue. I do admit to having clothes in my closet I purchased on a whim, but the whim is rare.

For me, it's was the waste we accumulate because of our cheap clothes. I'm guilty of throwing out clothes instead of trying to repair or re-use. Being an artist without much income forces m…