One of the tools in a writer’s arsenal to develop a fictional character is the Character A-Z exercise, where, beginning with the letter A and working your way through to Z, you write from the character’s POV (point of view) about whatever topic comes to mind for the letter at hand. Because, there comes a time when research has to stop and you just have to get into the character’s head to see what makes them tick.
Rose and I are embarking on just such a journey. Care to come along? Continue reading
Forgive me for the Skynyrd earworm.
I have this wonderful reference book, Never Done: A History of American Housework, that I’ve been reading. In the chapter “Fetch a Pail of Water,” the author talks about all the things for which our ancestors had to haul water to accomplish. When I came to the part about baths, I stopped. It seemed like way too much work! Continue reading
Feb 15, 1930
Nice day. Got colder in PM and eve and snowed some. Twenty below about 8AM but warmed up a lot during the day. Rex Ward’s house burned about 10AM and Mon and the boys went up there. They saved the things that were downstairs but lost what was upstairs and down cellar. The folks got back here about 11 and then we went up home for dinner and spent the PM. Snowed quite a little in the night.
from The Diaries of Lottie Price, 1914-1986
Until today, I had never considered that Rose might worry about fire. So I started looking for information on fire trucks and firefighting in the 1920s.
Let’s just say that Rose’s best hope is to not have a fire. (Well, that would be true of all of us, wouldn’t it? 🙂 )
I can see the scene…
This diary¹ entry intrigued me:
1929 Thursday January 10
Nice day. Roads were drifted full again. LAS met here today. Not very large crowd but not so bad for the roads. Took in over $5. Snow started to blow about 4:30 and had another blizzard all night again. The wind blew just terrible. Francis, Ruth, and Oscar were here and spent the eve. We made ice cream and played cards. Jack Nolte died this noon. Mama is better.
The new year really wreaked havoc on the midwest in 1929. The diary entries for the first two weeks of the year consistently Continue reading
Only three more days until Christmas. Are you ready?
Rose is. She finished up Harold’s gift—embroidered hankerchiefs—yesterday, and, today, she and Harold chose and cut their modest pine. Of course, she’s done crafting her ornaments and is settling in, just now, to trim the tree.
Cue the Christmas music. Continue reading
… with boughs of holly / fa la la la la / la la la la¹
My house has been decorated for Christmas since the day after Thanksgiving. I’m not sure who decided this was the time to be Christmas-ed, but it is always the day my daughter insists upon. One year, though, we were in the middle of a kitchen remodel. For the longest time, it looked like we would never decorate. But then, Christmas Eve Day, my cabinets were installed while my mother and daughter and I put up the tree and ornaments.
It was the best Christmas.
Rose isn’t in the middle of a renovation and yet Continue reading
And Rose says “Pancakes.” Or is it Hotcakes?
Seriously. I need to know.
Rose was cooking Harold breakfast, which is a chore for her, given she’s a pretty bad cook, when she was stopped dead in her tracks by a very indecisive writer.
Would Rose say pancakes or hotcakes? Which phrase reads rural Nebraska in 1930?
That was several hours ago. Since then, I’ve been searching the internet for an answer.
Instead, I’ve found out that pancakes have been around since the 15th century, although back then they made them with mincemeat. Ewww!
And, that in addition to pancake or hotcake, there are also flapjacks, flannel cakes, slapjacks, griddle cakes, and johnny cakes.
I even found a delicious recipe for Oatmeal Pancakes here, that I stopped and made. And they were YUMMMM!
But I still don’t know if Rose would say pancakes or hotcakes?
What do you call them? Include where you grew up and I’ll post a map showing the regional preferences.