My great-grandfather died in the 1918 flu epidemic. I never thought we’d face something as bad, if not worse

This is a photo of James and William Shaffer, my grandpa and great-grandpa. James was 18 months old in this photo and his father William was 23 years old. They lived in Northumberland, PA where William worked at a silk mill and was a member of a local baseball team. The photo was taken in … More My great-grandfather died in the 1918 flu epidemic. I never thought we’d face something as bad, if not worse

Lesson learned: taking time between rough draft and revision is invaluable

I’m an impatient writer. And an impatient artist. I want to get everything done right away, which is definitely not how most writing and art works best. So that I was able to push through and finish my book on family and local history, page count over 500 (including bibliography), is amazing. And even though … More Lesson learned: taking time between rough draft and revision is invaluable

Ancestor sleuthing–the case of the three Anna Todds

…and how a visit to a cemetery solved a mystery I’ve recently finished writing a book based on the signatures in my great-times-three Aunt Mary’s autograph album. These albums were a little like high school yearbooks in the 1800s. Friends and family wrote something on a page, often a little poem, and signed their names. … More Ancestor sleuthing–the case of the three Anna Todds

What is a monument?

I spent most of my life in the suburbs of Washington, D.C., which is technically part of the Mid-Atlantic area but I always considered myself a northerner, in the world of north versus south. Recently, my husband and I moved to Virginia, so far south we’re in the Richmond TV market. I wasn’t fully aware … More What is a monument?