For the most part, my Tuesday posts focus on particular historical sites many of which I’ve visited in person. (I’ve got a nice backlog of sites yet to post, plus plan on visiting a number in the next months, so I won’t run out of the I’ve-visited anytime soon). Today, however, the topic is a […]

Phocion R. Way

Something a little different for today — a primary source. I use secondary sources a lot, often because they’re easier, tend to be in English (I can read Spanish, but I’m very slow), and bring hard-to-find sources and information closer to hand. That said, whenever I find a relevant primary source there’s a general celebration […]

Valles Caldera

Valles Caldera is a National Preserve — and the most recent (as of this writing). It includes a lovely 13 mile bowl circled by higher lands, courtesy of an eruption a very long time ago. It’s dormant, but there are signs of activity now and then. I visited briefly while in the area. Alas, most […]

Research and Frustration

In specific, historical research and frustration. There are a lot of wonderful resources and people keep churning out more. Which is terrific and worth celebrating. And yet, and yet . . . the course of research nevertheless includes a myriad of dead ends and unexpected road blocks. And sometimes, that terrific, wonderful resource is terrific […]

Serpent Mound

This is one of many earthworks in the eastern and central parts of the United States. For a long time, white historians and antiquarians believed these the work of a vanished people, “the Moundbuilders,” separate from the various indigenous peoples living in the areas. The white historians and antiquarians were wrong, and now the historical […]

Silencing the Past

This is a great book, and that isn’t just my opinion! It received a 20th anniversary reissue, which speaks to influence, reach, and the number of people who have/continue to buy it. I highly recommend anyone writing historical fiction or historical fantasy (as I do) read it and consider how the issues it discusses impact […]

Character Origins

I’m in the mood to think—and write—about characters. More specifically, what’s on my mind is the matter of developing characters. Is it author choice, or does the character arrive on-page and begin dictating things, or are there negotiations between end points? I’ve heard various people muse on different aspects. One author may aver characters and […]