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Boy Loses Thumb

I ran across this article in a rural newspaper published on this day in 1930: Harry Hansen … had the misfortune to lose the thumb of his right hand Wednesday afternoon when his hand was caught in a corn sheller. Mr. Hansen was helping with corn shelling … when the accident occurred.

The article really disturbed me because Harold is doing this exact same thing—shelling corn—over the winter months. I had no idea Continue reading

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First Meetings

I recently attended my first writers’ conference. One of the many firsts I experienced while there was pitching my story idea to an editor, Brenda Copeland. In the midst of my rambling, often incoherent, story pitch, she asked me a question I couldn’t answer; “How did these two characters meet?”

It’s an important question, given the disparity in their social classes, Harold being from what some would call the ‘wrong side of the tracks’ and Rose being significantly higher up on the social ladder. So, I decided it was time that Rose clued me in. We sat down and had a little talk…

TM: Since we’re exploring your former life, do you mind if I ask how you and Harold met? You have to admit, you two aren’t the average farm couple.

ROSE: Hmmm… The day I met Harold… {smiles, nods her head} At the time, I thought it was the worst day of my life. Continue reading

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Location, Location, Location

florence-mill

You might be wondering why I’ve chosen rural Nebraska just on the outskirts of Omaha as the setting for my story.

Well, apart from my obvious family connection to the area, it has a great bootlegging history, and that history is partially the cause for this WIP in the first place. Long before Rose or Harold insinuated their way into my brain, I was digging around on Omaha history webpages looking for information about one of Dear Husband’s relatives who lived there in the early 1900s. Instead I found a new crime boss in the real life Tom Dennison and his underworld denizens. More than just bootlegging, Dennison owned Omaha in the early 1900s, and nothing happened there without his say so.

What a perfect foil for a poor farmer, down on his luck, needing some quick cash.

Watch out, Harold!