Category Archives: Pen Points

COAUTHORS WRITE WINNING BOOKS

by Charlene Bell Dietz Engagement Required: Young children often want the same book read aloud again and again or will latch on and study one book over and over, excluding all others. When this happens many parents worry about their … Continue reading

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HOW FAR DO WE STRETCH THE TRUTH?

Stretch the reader’s credulity, his sense of logic, to the upmost—it is quite elastic—but don’t break it. In this way, you will write something new, surprising and entertaining to both yourself and the reader. -Patricia Highsmith If you’ve read Highsmith’s, … Continue reading

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Part 3: THOSE SNEAKY RESEARCH ASSUMPTIONS: Who wrote the 1635 version of “A Relation of Maryland”?

Imagine this: It’s England, the year, 1635. You’ve angered some notable Protestants along with the king’s men.You need to leave because you’re Catholic, and now they’re searching for you. A friend whispers in your ear for you to hurry down … Continue reading

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PART 2: WHEN FACTS AREN’T FACTS Historical Writing Pitfalls and What to Do

As a child, I saw Frog legs listed on the menu. Horrified, I could only imagine the little frog’s pain from having the legs torn off. Mother comforted me by saying, “They grow back.” Truly? No way. But to this … Continue reading

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WHEN FACTS AREN’T FACTS AND ASSUMPTIONS ARE FAULTY Historical Writing Pitfalls and What to Do: Part I

A DIFFERENT TIME AND PLACE I write historical stories and constantly worry I’ve overlooked something. Most likely, I have. Anachronistic traps hide everywhere. I hadn’t realized pre-colonial Maryland indentured servants went barefooted because shoes costs too much, or Governor Calvert … Continue reading

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SECRETS OF HISTORICAL LETTER WRITING or How to Lock your Letters

Richard Fisher (16 June 2021) posted a terrific article giving insight as to how a postal-free delivery system in the 1200-1850s kept correspondence from prying eyes. This task required ingenuity and adept eye-hand coordination. In my newest book (working title: … Continue reading

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