Category: Hands-On Research

Canning Season is Upon Us

In my little corner of Pennsylvania, it’s not unusual to find home-canned goods lining the shelves of pantries. If you tally up the cost of processing, I’m not sure canning food is a cost-effective endeavor. Still, it’s nice to know

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Making Soap – Hands On Research

I love making soap. Sure, it’s cheap to buy, but have you ever read the list of ingredients in store-bought soap? I know what’s in mine: lye, oils, essential oils. Period. Oh, lye, you think. That stuff is really harsh.

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18th Century Fail

I’m not sure why I get excited about power outages. Actually, wait. Yes, I do. In 1972, Hurricane Agnes stalled over Pennsylvania and turned our normally verdant commonwealth into a bowl of squash soup. I was five years old at

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Making a Cornhusk Doll

If you don’t know that my upcoming release, SCATTERED SEEDS, is set in 18th century Pennsylvania, you’ve been hiding under a rock. For about the past two years, I’ve driven friends and family crazy with my hands-on research. My tomahawk

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Could You Live In The Past?

My father was especially fond of painting scenes from the past. The unveiling of a new painting in our home was always magical, but it was the naming of the piece that I enjoyed most. We gathered for the task

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The “Other” July 4th

We’re about to celebrate Independence Day in the USA. July 4th. A day of picnics, patriotic music, and fireworks. But over twenty years before we declared our independence, some other really important thing happened on July 4th. It even involved

Posted in Hands-On Research

Making a Quill Pen

As a writer of historical fiction, I find that walking in my characters’ shoes enriches the authenticity of my work in ways research cannot. Take, for example, the stunning letters of the past. I could write a scene that includes

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