August News

I would like to thank all of you who continue to check here for updates.  I know this year has been a bit spotty in the posts, but i plan on changing that. I hope everyone is doing well, and staying safe. I know I’m definately not the only one having a really weird year.

Starting in August there will be the daily Trek post, but i will also be reintroducing Women of History and Writing Wednesday along with some old features.  I also plan a few civic history posts. So there will be a post daily that is a review, plus a sprinkle of a variety of topics. The WOH and the history posts may be here only temporarily. I’m still debating putting those on their own blog solely (and proudly) dedicated to being a history nerd. Depends on fiancies and other factors, as is many things these days.

For those of you new to the blog (or those who want a refresher), here’s a rundown

Writing Wednesday

Starting the first Wednesday of August I will be posting short writing exercises and updates on my writing.  I have not been writing much this year.  As I’m sure is the case with many of you, its been a stressful year overall.  I’m hoping these posts will help me get back into something I love.  I am accepting prompts, if you have a suggestion. Just leave a comment on this post, or any of the writing wednesday posts. I’m also on Twitter.

Women of History

For those of you new to my blog I used to regularly write short essays on various women in history. History is one of my favorite subjects, and I love learning about the women who have shaped our world. I plan on writing one or two posts a month for this. I plan on lengthening my posts for nanowrimo this year, as well. So perhaps for 2021 I will be able to present a book version of this series.

I hope to feature various cultures and be diverse as possible. I have an ongoing selection list but am always glad to add more names if you think there is a woman of history I should feature. The only rule I have at the moment is that it not include women who are currently shaping history. So no Hillary, AOC or Beyonce. Not for a while yet we all hope.

The Rewatch

This started as a fun way to spend my unknown amount in Quarantine. I’m back at work (we only were closed a month) and so i’m not binging my way through it as much as I started. At the moment I have a month of reviews ahead to post and ill try to keep ahead of that. There are over 700 episodes so there is a long way to go. Some days I may post two, particularly on Weekends. I always enjoy comments and once and awhile may live tweet my rewatch.

Bookit

I have taken a pause on writing reviews this year, but dont be surprised if one or two pop up. I’m hoping my Trek reviews will make my book reviews better as well. My goal this year is different as I’m not working towards my normal 50 (I may reinstate that next year) but I’m trying to finally finish some long unfinished books, such as Fiery Cross (the Outlander book the recent season was based on), A Storm of Swords (Game of Thrones), Anne of Green Gables, and the newest Hunger Games novels,

History Essays

I used to write random history essays on American government (and early American history as thats what my minor focused on) and also random “This happened today in the past” entries. I plan on starting that again because those were fun, and as with the writing exercises I really want to get back into my writing. Might as well enjoy the material I’m writing about.

On my main page is my past essays, although I still need to go back and catalog some of them. I may revisit some of the topics. I also don’t plan on sticking strictly to US History, although that is my main base of knowledge. Learning about other countries is always fun too. But for the first couple, I’m pretty sure its going to be US bound.

Women of History: Jeanette MacDonald

Author’s Note:  This was originally meant for two weeks ago but I had trouble writing it.  I’m still not very happy with the outcome, but it is complete.  I may revisit Jeanette in the future and rewrite this better.

In the United States, we celebrate our Independence Day on July 4th.  This month’s theme is going to be American women of history.    While Canada also celebrates Canada Day in the month of July, I’ll be doing Canadian women of history another month.

Our first WHO is Jeanette MacDonald.  Jeanette MacDonald is an American Actress from the 1930s.  About a decade ago, my grandmother and I, who liked to watch old classic films together, started watching operettas, in particular the ones done by Jeanette and her frequent Co-star Nelson Eddy.  We collected movies, stills and other things relating to Jeanette and Nelson.

Jeannette Anna MacDonald was born on June 18th in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  The year of her birth is somewhat of a mystery as different records say different things.  According to a baptismal record, the year of her birth was in 1903.  However, later in life Jeanette would change her name (dropping an n), and her year of birth (Saying it was 1907).  Even her gravestone lists the 1907 date, and her widower, Gene Raymond, would continue to insist it was 1907.  However, several sources now list the 1903 date as accurate. Continue reading “Women of History: Jeanette MacDonald”

Women of History: Elizabeth “Betsy” Ross

Perhaps one of the most fabled females of early American (ie United States) history is Betsy Ross.  Legend has her designing the American flag, consisting of a ring of stars representing the states as well as thirteen stripes representing the colonies that started the fight.  Debate over the actual designer remains, as its largely thought that Ms. Ross did not in fact design that flag.  Still, I thought it would be interesting to look into the life of the woman legend has claimed. Continue reading “Women of History: Elizabeth “Betsy” Ross”

Women of History: Anne Neville

For those of you who have read this blog for a while, or maybe have gone back in the archives, you might notice that I have an interest in Tudor and the adjacent time periods in English history.  My choice this week for Women of History reflects that.  We are featuring (belatedly) Anne Neville, Queen Consort of England in the late 1500s.

Like several women of this time, there isn’t as much to go on for them themselves.  Anne’s life was dominated by the actions of the men in her life, and unfortunately her story sometimes gets lost in theirs. Continue reading “Women of History: Anne Neville”

Women of History: Frida Kahlo (Part One)

Frida_Kahlo,_by_Guillermo_Kahlo_3
Frida Kahlo;  [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons. Guillermo Kahlo; 1932
Frida Kahlo is a well-known artist and will be our featured Woman of History this week.

[WARNING: Paintings linked within in this post may have triggering content]

Frida was born Magdalena Carmen Frida Kahlo y Calderon on July 6, 1907 in a small suburb of Mexico City.  Her father was a German immigrant to Mexico, Guillermo (born Carl Wilhelm) Kahlo.  He was a photographer, so the art bug came naturally to Frida.  Her mother was Matilde Calderon y Gonzalez, a Mexican born woman of indigenous and Spanish descent.  Guillermo and Matilde had four daughters together: Matilde, Adriana, Frida and Cristina.  Frida also had two half-sisters named Maria Louisa and Margarita, but they played a lesser part in her life.  Frida would be especially close to her younger sister Cristina. Continue reading “Women of History: Frida Kahlo (Part One)”

Announcement About This Week’s Posts.

For those of you looking forward to my friday Women of History posts, You may have noticed that I never posted on Friday.  I had part of it written, except there is remarkably alot out there on Frida Kahlo, my featured person.  So instead of getting just one Women of History post this week, you are going to get 3.  Frida’s post is going to be cut into two (Today and Wednesday) and I will return to normal scheduling on Friday with Rosario Castellanos.

I’m also going to pause and state that I welcome suggestions for the Women of History posts.  I have already taken a few requests already, but I’m always open to learning more about the women out there that made (or should have made) the history books.

I am also considering doing a more indepth version of these posts for Nano this year, with the plans for maybe a e-book (with more sources of course) at the end of it.  But we will see.  I also have a few novel ideas as well.

Back on topic, Frida’s story – part one – will be posted later tonight. Hope you all enjoy reading it.

Women of History: Katy Jurado

Authors Note: I apologize for any horrible Spanish used.  Most of my translations are either US Titles provided on IMDB or use of Google Translate as my Spanish is rusty.

Since it is May, and May 5 (Cinco de Mayo) is tomorrow we are going to have a theme of Mexican (or Mexican-American) Women of History for this month. Our first woman featured is Katy Jurado. Katy was a Mexican actress who eventually had a Hollywood career. Continue reading “Women of History: Katy Jurado”

Women of History: Nana Yaa Asantewaa

Yaa Asantewaa was many things. She was a woman, a farmer, a Queen, a rebel leader, a mother and a historical figure. She led troops against British Expansion and colonisation in the Ashanti Empire, having grown up in what is modern Ghana. She ruled over her tribe for her brother, and cultivated various crops in her area. I was inspired to look into her life after seeing her doodle on Google’s home page a few weeks ago. So today we will travel to 19th century Africa. Continue reading “Women of History: Nana Yaa Asantewaa”

Writing Resources.

Continuing this month’s theme of writing, Today’s post is a simple list of links relating to writing.  There are hundreds of different writing resources out there available for those who want to look, but here are a few that either I or one of my writing friends have tried and liked.  Feel free to comment with your own suggestions.

National Novel Writing Month

It seems that NANO definately should not be left out of any list of writing resources.  National Novel Writing Month (NanoWriMo or Nano for short) is a yearly event where writers gather together for a month and try to write 50,000 words or a small novella.  Usually at the end are some good coupons and discounts for those who achieve the goal.  It also has forums, pep talks, and other resources to keep you going.

In April and June, Nano holds ‘Camp Nano‘, where writers gather together to write their own made-up goals (I recently edited mine down to 20,000 due to various reasons).  The goals can be less than 50k (like mine) or more (one of my cabinmates is doing 100,000.).  It’s up to the writer.   Like Nano in November, Camp Nano has forums and other resources for writers.

All is free, although they do have an online store to support costs and a charity they run each year.

4TheWords

4Thewords is a writing game.  It helps motivate you to write more.  You fight various monsters by completing word count goals.  I’m actually writing this post on their website.  MOstly because I need to fight a monster and ran out of creative parts of the story I was writing.  I’m fighting a monster right now that asks for 150 words in 11 minutes, which isn’t too hard.  But the monsters vary in amount of time and word count goals, and the developers are constantly trying out new things to add to the game.  There are also forums and areas for people to read other’s works.  Its really fun, but its not for everyone.   This has a free trial and then a monthly fee of around $4 which is paid by buying in-game currency so you can pre-pay for months in advance, or buy a larger package of currently (crystals) for in-game items and subscription.  its up to you.

Hemingway Editor

The Hemingway Editor is a browser based editing software that allows you to write in your browser window and receive statistics on your writing.  It helps alot with repetitiveness or over use of adverbs.  It can also give you a readability statistics.  This is useful for writing all sorts of types – non-fiction and fiction alike.  Its also Free.

Polygon Map Maker

Ok, this isn’t really a writing resource so to speak.  Someone created a way of generating polygons that look like islands and put it up on a website for those of us who feel its fun to create your own world to make our own island shapes to work off of.  Its fun, and it can be used to help you create a map for your fantasy story, a game, or just to waste some time.

750 Words:

750words has a basic goal: To get you to write 750 words per day.  There are badges to be won for the various goals you reach.  They include writing streaks, time of day, amount of words written, and many others.  It also gives you various statistics on your writing. It also saves what you wrote for the day so if you need to look back, you can.  New members to the website are charged $5 in a subscription fee to help cover the costs of upkeep.

Writer: The Internet Typewriter

For those who like the sound of typewriters,  and or are easily distracted by various things when using the computer, Writer might be a good app for you.  It’s free to register and it has a completely back screen to help keep you focused on what you are doing.  It does have a premium account, but I’ve never tried it.

CharaHub

Charahub is an online database for you to use to create and maintain information about your characters.  This is good for artists too. It helps streamline your information to one place.  Especially useful if you have many characters that you might want to bring back and don’t want to forget what you said about them.

The Periodic Table of Storytelling

Really this is just an infographic that helps you remember the elements of writing.  Its useful for remembering, but also learning.