Well, it's that time of year when kids are gearing up to head back to school. You can hear the moans throughout neighborhoods across America. Of course they are coupled with sighs and cheers from weary mothers.
I loved school and loved to learn. I still do. Now a-days I do Bible studies or research for stories and from time to time I get a wild hair about taking a class or learning a new language. Usually my writing schedule forces sanity to return, but it nags at me every now and then.
Today I sat down to write and found myself in need of some information I'd previously researched. I started pouring through my notes and highlighted books and before I realized it I found myself lost in the history of the Iron Range in Minnesota. I had four different books that focused specifically on the area of Ely, pronounced Ee-Lee, Minnesota and iron mining in the Vermillion Range.
Pretty soon I was printing out a map of the street grids in Ely and then noting historic buildings and locations. I got a little carried away and began making page note references on my map and drawing in old forgotten railroads and mine locations.
One thing led to another and soon I found myself opening additional research books to read up on mining techniques and the men who worked the mines. I learned that drifts are horizontal shafts and that iron deposits were referenced as "lenses". I learned that the Cornish miners greatly influenced the verbage of mining, including calling the boss, "captain". Some of the photos even showed the mine captains wearing hats similar to sea captains.
I read newspaper accounts for the 1890's in Ely and learned about the town problems and perks. There were some 26 saloons, 7 mines and 5 churches in the area. A shot of whiskey cost a dime and a large beer was twelve cents, causing one man to comment that there was a lot of drunkeness to be had in a dollar.
Before I knew it, the day was over and I had only written a short amount. But, it was worth it. I thoroughly enjoyed my school day and learned so much. I share this with you on behalf of writers everywhere because I want you to know just how much work goes into each story. When you enjoy what you do, however, it's such a priviledge and joy. I'm sure each of the ladies represented here would agree that we are very blessed to be able to do something we love so much and serve God at the same time.
Oh and here's a special treat - Amazon.com is offering Kindle versions of my CHASING THE SUN for $2.99. Also if you've been looking for some of my really old titles from Heartsong and early Bethany House days - they're starting to sell those too!