February 22, 2015

Rehoboth Beach Writers Guild of Costal Delaware

If you’ve got the idea to join a writing organization, check this Delaware organization out.  http://rehobothbeachwritersguild.com

The Rehoboth Beach Writers’ Guild is founded on the belief that the writing–and sharing–of our stories matters. We are enormously proud of our many published writers, but publication isn’t our ultimate goal. What matters is the telling of the story, whether that happens while sitting around a table at a Free Write, standing before an audience at one of our monthly readings, sharing drafts of one’s writing in a workshop– or publishing. Regardless of a writer’s genre or skill level, the Rehoboth Beach Writers’ Guild offers education, encouragement and above all, a nurturing community of people who care about–and value–words.
– Maribeth Fischer, Founder and Executive Director

Directly from the site:  Writer’s Library, Lewes Public Library

The Lewes Public Library has opened a Writer’s Library in its Delaware Room, a unique collection of literary journals and magazines for use by Delaware authors and anyone else who wants to read great contemporary fiction and poetry. It’s purposes are to acquaint Delaware authors with a greater number of literary journals than they were previously aware of, allow them to physically review the journals, looking for editorial bias, style, length, form, or topical interest preference by that journal, and to help Delaware authors make a better match for the submission of their work to appropriate journals and thereby improve their chances for publication.
(all information downloaded from website)

February 15, 2015

Connecticut’s Charter Oak by Barbara Edwards

I love Connecticut history and became interested in the Charter Oak when I learned the large white oak growing alongside the Plymouth Congregational Church, where I sang in the choir, was a descendant.

In 1667 the towns of Hartford, Windsor and Wethersfield joined in a covenant to form the colonial entity of Connecticut. The Fundamental Orders described their freedoms, rights and duties and is considered to be the first constitution in the world. This fact is the basis for the name Constitution State. This agreement was followed by the Connecticut Charter that recognized the Connecticut Colony by the English Monarchy. 

During this early settlement period, a Farmer Wyllys was clearing the trees from his land and was approached by the local Indians. They asked him to leave a massive oak tree they claimed was planted and used for religious ceremonies. He agreed. 

On the restoration of monarchy after Cromwell’s death in 1660, the Connecticut colonists had fears regarding their future. Their sturdy republicanism and independent action in the past might be mortally offensive to the new monarch. The General Assembly of Connecticut, therefore, resolved to make a formal acknowledgment of their allegiance to the crown and ask the king for a charter. A petition was accordingly framed and signed in May, 1661, and
Governor Winthrop took it to England.

On October 9, 1662, the General Court of Connecticut received the Charter from King Charles II due to the diplomatic efforts of Governor John Winthrop, Jr. It confirmed the popular constitution of the colony, and contained more liberal provisions that, any yet issued by royal hands.

In 1687, twenty-five years later, James II ascended to the throne. This spelled trouble for Connecticut. King James wanted to revoke Connecticut's Charter. The people of Connecticut, however, did not want their Charter taken away because it entitled them to certain rights under British Law. Sir Edmund Andros, His Majesty's agent, followed up the failure of various strategies by arriving in Hartford with an armed escort to seize the Charter.

After hours of debate, with the Charter on the table between the opposing parties, the candlelit room went suddenly dark. Moments later, when the candles were lighted again, the Charter was gone. Captain Joseph Wadsworth is credited with having removed and secreted the Charter in the majestic oak on the Wyllys estate thereby preserving the charter and the rights of the colonists.

For over a hundred and fifty years, the "charter oak" was a prominent and widely recognized Connecticut landmark. When it was toppled during an 1857 storm, acorns were collected as keepsakes, as were a considerable amount of twigs, leaves, branches and lumber.
The State Museum exhibit includes numerous souvenirs made from wood of the original charter oak, including a Colt revolving pistol, picture frames and miniature furniture. Today, several "descendants" of the charter oak are to be found on the grounds of the State Capitol and in Hartford's Bushnell Park. Saplings were offered to every town and The Plymouth Church on the Green has one growing alongside the building.

The original charter, preserved in an ornate frame made of "charter oak" wood, is prominently displayed. Also on permanent display are the State Constitutions of 1818 and 1964 and Connecticut's copy of the United 
States Bill of Rights.

Author, Barbara Edwards, offers a lucky person who comments a copy of her newest paranormal novel, Ancient Curse.  Please include your email in your comment so we can award your prize! 

Barbara Edwards is a native New Englander.
She is a “Jill of All Trades” from crossing guard to sales manager before graduating from the University of Hartford with a Master’s degree in Public Administration.
She writes poetry for herself and novels when she needs to tell a longer tale. Barbara is fascinated by the past so naturally turned to writing historical romance. The dark stories evolve from nightmares. The romance comes from her belief in people’s basic goodness and longing for love.
Twitter  https://www.twitter.com/Barb_ed
(all info provided by author)

February 8, 2015

Kaye Spencer’s Images of Colorado

When people think of Colorado, the first images that come to mind are often of mountains, hiking, snow, trout fishing, big game hunting, skiing, and professional football. But Colorado, like every other state, has
other treasures for the visitor to discover and enjoy. Colorado is separated north to south and border-to-border by the Rocky Mountains, which creates two distinct areas on the east and west of the mountains. With this geologic division, the state has different climates, population densities, and agriculture on either side.

Historically, during the settling of the West, many battles occurred between the soldiers and the Native Americans on the eastern plains and up in the high country. The Santa Fé Trail cuts across the southeastern corner of the state. Mesa Verde, in the southwestern corner at the Four Corners area, offers a grand experience with exploring Anasazi cliff dwellings. The Royal Gorge and Pikes Peak hold mountain secrets and spectacular panoramic views. Gold was discovered in 1859 and silver in 1864. Before statehood in 1876, the southern part of the state was called No Man’s Land, which was a safe haven for the people on the wrong side of the law. Legend has it that ‘not an honest man drank from Butte Creek’. The infamous Ludlow Massacre (coal mining camp) happened in 1914. The Dust Bowl years coincided with the Great Depression of the 1930s to make an already difficult existence that much harder for the inhabitants.

For the visitor who is interested in an historic driving tour of the state, it would take weeks to see even a fraction of the historic sites. But if that visitor yearns to experience out-of-the-way historical places, then pick up a road map, and head out on Highway 287—aka Ports to Plains highway—and make your way to the far southeastern corner of the state, where I live. Here is a brief list of lesser-visited historic places, with links to follow for more information:

Sand Creek Massacre – near Eads

Bent’s Old Fort – La Junta

Canyonlands of the Comanche National Grasslands (rock art *petroglyphs* in Picture Canyon and Carrizo
Canyon) – near Campo

Picketwire Canyon on the Comanche National Grasslands  – near La Junta

Two Buttes State Wildlife Area – near Two Buttes

When embarking upon any drive in Colorado, always pack plenty of water and food, blankets, coats, and don’t leave your camera at home. The wildlife, sunsets, mountains, and prairie are ripe with photographic opportunities you’ll not want to miss.

Kaye, a native Coloradoan born and raised on a cattle ranch in the northeastern corner of the state, relocated twenty-five years ago to the southeastern corner. Colorado is often the setting for her western romances.

Kaye’s western romances are out-of-print while they undergo revision for 2nd edition release during 2015. Currently, she has stories in three anthologies with Prairie Rose Publications.

Sign up for Kaye's newsletter at her website, www.kayespencer.com to receive information about her re-releases of her backlist, giveaways, family recipes, and more. Join her on Twitter for her daily Tweets on history trivia - @kayespencer

Kaye is offering a print or digital copy of a dessert recipe book AND choice of one of her western romance anthologies to a randomly chosen commenter. Kaye will also throw-in a couple of *surprise* items related to Colorado. Leave your email address with your comment so she can contact you and make mailing arrangements.

Kaye’s stories are in these anthologies:
Lassoing a Mail-Order Bride

Cowboys, Creatures, and Calico – Vol. 2

Wild Texas Christmas

 (All info provided by Author)