February 26, 2009

The Friday Record - The 19th Amendment

February 27 – the 19th Amendment Declared Constitutional

This is a very short history of the road to suffrage.

On August 18, 1920, women were finally given the federal right to vote with the ratification of the 19th amendment. But the fight didn't end there. An evident appeal (because a quick google search is not finding the information I want) to the courts on the the constitutionality of the amendment ended on February 27, 1922 with the court ruling that the amendment giving women the right to vote was indeed constitutional.

The amendment reads:

Section 1. The right of the citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.

Section 2. Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.

And it took from 1776 until 1920, and thousands of women and men, to get the right to vote for women.

Abigail Adams, wife of the future president, wrote to her husband John, who was then a member of the Continental Congress, to “Remember the Ladies.” But he shouldn't be thought of too badly when he didn't. The right vote, at that time, was not as equal as it is now, not even for white men, but that's another story.

In 1848, Seneca Falls, NY hosts the first women's rights convention in the United States. A “Declaration of Sentiments and Resolutions” is signed by participants. The declaration outlines the issues, concerns and goals of the woman's movement. Seneca Falls was the first of many woman's rights meetings.

In 1869, Wyoming organizes with a woman's suffrage provision. When it's admitted into the Union in 1890, the provision intact. Wyoming is the first state to allow women to vote.
In 1872, Susan B. Anthony is arrested in Rochester, NY for attempting to vote in the Senatorial election. She is tried in June of 1873 and found guilty by a judge who made up his mind before the trial had even started. Judge Hunt declares, "The Fourteenth Amendment gives no right to a woman to vote, and the voting by Miss Anthony was in violation of the law." For a detailed description of this case check out The Trial of Susan B. Anthony.

In 1878 A Woman Suffrage Amendment is introduced into Congress. It does not pass.

In 1893, Colorado adopts a state amendment enfranchising women.

By 1912, nine western states have adopted women suffrage legislation. Others have challenged male-only voting laws in the courts.

Montana elects and sends to Congress the first female Representative, Jeannette Ranks in 1916.
On May 21, 1919, the House of Representatives passes the amendment first introduced in 1878. It is relatively unchanged from when it is first brought before Congress. Two weeks later, the Senate follows suit. Tennessee is the 36th state to ratify the amendment on August 18, 1920, thus making it law.

It is not to be thought, however, that this was an easy road, from introduction to ratification. Susan's arrest and trail was only one of many hardships women faced in their pursuit to equal voting rights. Perhaps the most shocking was the arrest of protesters by the command of none other than the President of the United Sates, Woodrow Wilson.

From the day before he takes into office on March 13, 1913, suffrage supporters hound him. Alice Paul manages to gather 5,000 people from every state in the union to march on Washington the day before the inauguration. Through the next several years, Paul organizes the protests outside the White House with banners reading “Mr. President, what will you do for woman suffrage?” and the like. The police stood by and watch as angry crowds punch, kick, choke and drag the protesters.

First harassed, then arrested, the protesters are sent to a work house for 60 days as punishment. There, they suffer beatings, forced feeding, and unsanitary conditions. When Paul goes on a hunger strike to protest her treatment, she is forced fed with a tube and threatened with commitment to an insane asylum. All because she wants to vote. Paul remains unfaltering in her belief. Wilson is forced to realize he is in a political land mine and needs to act.

The U.S. involvement in the World War I actually helps the movement. How can we claim we are bringing freedom to the world, while deny half our population the fundamental right to vote? Between the human rights we claim to be giving in the war and the treatment of the suffragans at home, Wilson finally declares his support for the amendment.

For more information and Wilson and Paul's actions during this time, check out PBS's page on Wilson and the Alice Paul page.

So, women, rejoice....on this day, the Court upheld as constitutional our right to vote!

Here's a detailed timeline of the history of suffrage.

Anna Kathryn Lanier

February 25, 2009

I'm everywhere today!

I'm all over the Net today. In addition to my own weekly Wednesday's Chow blog (see below), I've been interviewed on the eXaminer.com by Teri Thackston. Stop by and say hi.

I'm also a guest blogger on Jennifer Johnson's blog This is the Life! I've posted about the most popular medical treatments in the 18th Century – bleed, blister and purge. I'm giving away a copy of my novella SALVATION BRIDE on Jennifer's blog, so be sure to leave your name and e-mail for a chance to win.

Anna Kathryn Lanier

February 24, 2009

Wednesday's Chow - Five Minute Chocolate Cake

4 tablespoons flour
4 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa
1 egg 3 tablespoons milk
3 tablespoons oil
3 tablespoons chocolate chips (optional)
A small splash of vanilla extract
1 large coffee mug (MicroSafe)

Add dry ingredients to mug, and mix well. Add the egg and mix thoroughly.

Pour in the milk and oil and mix well.

Add the chocolate chips and vanilla extract, and mix again. Put your mug in the microwave and cook for 3 minutes at 1000 watts.

The cake will rise over the top of the mug, but don't be alarmed!

Allow to cool a little, and tip out onto a plate if desired.EAT!

This can serve 2 if you want to feel slightly more virtuous.

And why is this the most dangerous cake recipe in the world? Because now we are all only 5 minutes away from chocolate cake at any time of the day or night!

February 23, 2009

Why Can't We Have Some Consistency?

I’d like to thank Anna K for sharing her blog with me today. She’s become a great friend and confidante, and despite not really liking the situation that brought us together, the occurrence is further proof that great things often blossom from bad experiences.

Back to why I'm here...I’m quite the prolific blogger on my own site, and have covered a myriad of topics. I decided to use one I posted a year or so ago, back before I had much traffic on my site. I’ve added a little more to it since every day provides more ammunition for thought. I’m hoping you’ll find it entertaining and helpful:

So, why can't we have some consistency?
This question niggles at me every time I have to deal with yet another ATM transaction machine in a retail store. I guess consistency in the types of machines would translate to a monopoly, and Lord knows we can't have that. But, I'm getting old and I only have so much space left in my brain for storage. Hence, the 'old dog/new trick' analogy is making a lot more sense to me these days.

Don't you agree, though, that it would make like much simpler if we could be uniform in SOME things. In California, the freeway lanes reserved for Carpools are called just that...CARPOOL LANES. In some states they're called Express Lanes, and in Tennessee they are called HOV Lanes. I just recently learned HOV lanes don't require High Octane fuel. I had steered clear of them since I use the lowest grade gasoline available. *lol* I finally figured out HOV means High Occupancy Vehicle. Now I'm challenged to discover how many people you must have in your car. A Volkswagen full of clowns...three people, two. Me and a blowup doll? *lol* See, we aren't even uniform in that. In my old home state it's two, in some places it's three. I can just picture the committees that make up these rules. "Well, Let's show California we can go them one better. We'll require three adults, a child and a dog."

I guess I'll have to slow down and read the signs when I pass. You can't just assume you know the answer, can you? I'm beginning to understand why people just stay home. It's easier. Besides, I don't have a dog. :)

I’ve found writing to be no less frustrating. Each publisher, editor and critiquer has their own preferences and styles, and they change from house-to-house and person-to-person. House A requires their font to Times Roman, but House B prefers, Georgia, C wants Arial, and D demands Abadi Condensed. House F wants double spacing, while G wants 1.5. Agent Orange wants a five page synopsis, but Agent Apple wants it crunched into one. Critiquer C thinks I need to say ‘she felt’, but during edits in another work, I’ve been warned away from using ‘felt’ and instructed that if you are in the character’s POV, it’s assumed she did the feeling.

Stay clear of gerunds, avoid those ‘ly’ words and use stronger verbs instead; don’t combine identifying and action tags, instead eliminate the identifier in favor of action. Example: “Don’t’ cry,” he whispered, wiping the tears from her cheeks. Better: “Don’t cry.” His voice came in a whisper while he wiped tears from her cheeks. But, I’ll bet you’ll find ten people who like the first one better. Who do you believe?

I’m about to chuck the critique groups and go with what I think I know. I’m sure somewhere along the line, I’ll get a new opinion that will convince me to change mine. Oy Vey! And I can say that because I come from Jewish lineage. *lol* And people think this writing thing is easy. Sort of walking across broken glass with bare feet.

February 22, 2009

Western Words 2 - Quiz Answers

Here's the answers to Friday's quiz. How'd you do?

1.Arizona Tenor E. A coughing tubercular
2.Velvet couch G. Bed roll
3.Meat in the pot A. Rifle, because it's used by a hunter
4.Chopper J. A man employed in cutting out cattle
5.Gut-robber F. A cook
6.Fold up B. Said when a horse starts bucking
7.Die in the house's nightcap C. To be hanged
8.Knobhead I. A mule
9.First rattle out of the box H. Prompt action
10.Heart and hand woman D. Mail order bride

Congratulaitons to Kathy for winning a copy of SALVATION BRIDE. Send me your e-mail at annaklanier@aol.com and I'll send you the e-book. Thanks for playing

Anna Kathryn

Win a $10 gift certificate by leaving a comment on my website's guestbook. I'll draw one name from those who comment for a The Wild Rose Press Gift Certificate. FMI http://www.aklanier.com/. The link is on the bottom of the HOME page,

February 21, 2009

The Chevalière d’Eon

"There are some real characters in history whose names we know, either because they were part of our education or, their fame is so great, it has transcended time. " ~ Carole

Read about a real-life eccentric person who's not so well known at The Romance Blog'sThe Punch Line. You won't be disappointed!

Anna Kathyrn

February 19, 2009

The Friday Record - Western Words 2

I haven't had time to search for something to write about this week. My life never seems to slow down as I keep thinking it will....lol.

So, I decided to do a quickie lesson again and have you match up Western words again. The words and definitions are taken from Ramon F. Adams' book WESTERN WORDS: A Dictionary of the Old West.

Once again, just match the Numbers to the Letters. Ex. 15 X, 16 Y, 17, U

1. Arizona Tenor
2. Velvet couch
3. Meat in the pot
4. Chopper
5. Gut-robber
6. Fold up
7. Die in the house's nightcap
8. Knobhead
9. First rattle out of the box
10. Heart and hand woman

A. Rifle
B. Said when a horse starts bucking
C. To be hanged
D. Mail order bride
E. A coughing tubercular
F. A cook
G. Bed roll
H. Prompt action
I. A mule
J. A man employed in cutting out cattle

I'll draw a name on Saturday for everyone who tries to match up the words to their definitions. The winner will receive an e-copy of my novella “Salvation Bride.”

***Enter to win a $10 The Wild Rose Gift Certificate by signing in on my website guestbook. The link can be found at the bottom of my home page. http://www.aklanier.com/

Anna Kathryn

February 18, 2009

eXaminer.com Highlights Houston Romance Authors

Teri Thackston, a published romance writer in her own right, has taken on the job of writing a daily article for the online newspaper http://www.examiner.com/. I just wanted to pass on the information to my fans.....

Today she's interviewed the past president of Northwest Houston's RWA chapter, Cheri Jetton.


Check it out and leave a comment. Let Teri's bosses know you like news about romance!

Anna Kathryn Lanier

February 17, 2009

Wednesday's Chow - Chicken Tetrazzini

I was probably 22 before I ever had Chicken Tetrazzini. It wasn't something we had in our house growing up. I think because my father didn't like pasta too much. I was at a friend's parent's house (there for the friend's wedding a few days later) when they served tetrazzini. For the next 2-3 visits to my friend's house (with her new husband), she served tetrazzini. I don't think she did it on purpose. It was a quick, easy and inexpensive dish to make. That was okay by me. I like Chicken Tetrazzini.

So, here's a recipe I found many years ago. The recipe card has been dripped and dribbled on, so many times that now it's hard to read. But I think I can manage. At least, I hope I can.....



8 oz spaghetti
¼ cup butter
3 tbsp flour
2 cups chicken broth
¾ cup milk
1-3 tbsp sherry (optional)
1 tsp salt
dash pepper
1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
1/8 tsp nutmeg
3 cups cooked chicken, chopped
4 ½ oz mushrooms, drained
½ cup Parmesan cheese

Heat oven 350º F and spray 9x13 cooking pan with cooking spray. Cook spaghetti as directed on package. Meanwhile, in dutch oven, melt butter. Stir in flour. Gradually add in chicken broth, stirring with a whisk until thickened. Remove from heat. Stir in milk, sherry, salt, pepper, parsley and nutmeg. Toss in chicken, mushrooms and spaghetti. Turn mixture into pan. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake 30 to 40 minutes or until heated through.

Serves 8.

Anna Kathryn

Comment on my website's guestbook for a chance to win a $10 The Wild Rose Press Gift Certificate. http://www.aklanier.com/

February 16, 2009

If it weren't for bad luck, I'd have no

book at all! Well, that's not exactly true. I just have in my head this crazy little ditty from Hee Haw, a show I used to watch as a kid.

The Jinx is about Rick Braswell having the worst luck of his life, and it all seems to tie in with a woman named Ellen. I had lots of fun coming up with horrible things to happen to Rick, but it all works out happily by the last page.

Speaking of bad luck, here are a few bad-luck-bringers I've been thinking about lately in honor of The Jinx.

It's bad luck if:

*A black cat crosses your path. Boy, ain't that the truth. We have a black cat named Midnight Rose. I have nearly killed myself getting up and going to the bathroom at night because I've tripped over her. You just can't see the dumb cat in the dark, and she's too stuck on herself to think she might actually need to get out of the way.

* You walk under a ladder. If you've ever seen Laurel and Hardy, you should be able to attest to this. Guy, walks under a ladder, bucket of paint falls and covers him with paint before bonking him on the head. However, it's great Slapstick. So, if you need a good cheap laugh, just get you a ladder, an open can of paint, and an idiot to walk under the ladder.

* You break a mirror. I've heard this is because mirrors used to cost a lot. And maybe it would take you seven years of bad hair days and smeared make-up before you could save up to buy a new one. After a little investigating, it seems that the Romans believed a little piece of your soul stayed in the mirror so if you broke it, your soul was also a little broken. They believed the rejuvenation period of the soul was seven years so there you go!

Rick and Ellen try to ward off Rick's bad luck by borrowing a rabbit named Hasenpfeffer (because four rabbit's feet should be four times luckier than one, right?)

Come check out The Jinx at my website! Click HERE to pop over there.

Are you superstitious? What do you consider to bring you good luck or bad luck?

May you have fabulously good luck today!
Jennifer Johnson

February 15, 2009

Why there was a STANK in our house.

So, for the past few days, there's been a smell in my house. Okay, I admit, I am not Miss Clean. My house is messy, but it's not so messy that there should be a stink. To me, it smelled a bit like rotten cabbage. I pinpointed that it was in my kitchen, so I started trying to find where it was coming from....it was near my double ovens, pantry, counter top. I cleaned off the counter top, looked in the pantry (which only has canned and boxed foods, nothing fresh....no cabbage). A couple of days ago, I decided it was probably my microwave, because that's where the smell was the strongest. (The microwave sits in a cabinet above my double ovens).

I put a cup of water and vinegar in the microwave and turned it on for 5 minutes, hoping the vinegar would get rid of the smell. It seemed to work.

But when I got home from church today, I knew something was wrong. It was getting worse, not better. So, I started to sniff around and again, it seemed to come from the microwave area. Maybe something was under or behind it. I thought, maybe I spilt some water/broth when cooking and that's the smell. I called my husband into the kitchen and we removed the microwave....nothing under or behind it. He sniffs and says, "It's coming from here," pointing to the crack between the upper oven and the cabinet. "There's something dead behind it." So, he proceeds to remove the double ovens. And sure 'nough, there was something dead behind the ovens.

We can't figure out exactly how it got into that space, except through the conduct hole...which was really small, but I know mice....er, rats?.... can get into very small holes. This mouse/rat is about 6 inches long. He's big...or was big. We don't think he was electrocuted. We think he may have gotten his foot caught on the wires and hung there for a while It didn't looked burned. Well, I won't go into all the grisly details, but it wasn't pretty.

At least now, I know why there was a stank in my house. Though I don't know what's worse, knowing what caused the stank, or knowing there's probably more where he came from.....

Anna Kathryn

February 14, 2009

You Need to Study More Geography If You Think...

~ The Balkans are an alien people on Star Trek

~ The Gaza Strip is a Middle Eastern folk dance

~ The English Channel is a TV sitcom about Charles and Camilla

~ The $20,000 Pyramid is in Egypt

~ Butte Montana is Joe's new girlfriend

~ The United Kingdom is a theme park with really big roller coasters (most notably, the Loch Ness Monster!)

~ Andes is an after dinner mint

~ The Dust Bowl is Granny's old favorite dish

~ The Tropic of Cancer is a sunscreen lotion

~ The Bermuda Triangle is a percussion instrument in a reggae band

~ The Cumberland Gap gives out a free pair of clogs with every set of jeans sold

~ The International Dateline is a new website for finding your soulmate

~ The Equator is a cartoon action figure
~ The Continental Shelf is a specialty section of the supermarket

~ An archipelago is a food stabilizer

~ A fault is what you find in other people

~ A fjord is a Norwegian car

Anna Kathryn

February 13, 2009


A Time Guardian anthology~
Get two Time Guardian tales for the price of one! This paperback includes:
Look out world. I started thinking...

Since tomorrow is Valentines Day, what is love?

I could ramble on about chemical reactions in bodies, about how there are two phases of love... The initial oh-I-can't-lose-him phase that's supposed to hang on three years from the moment of sexual union. Then the first phase is replaced by the oh-this-is-comfortable phase. But there would inevitably be comments posted that someone still loves her spouse as much as she did the day they met 24 years ago. Or I could talk about soul mates--the thing that usually pops up in my romance novels. But sometimes I feel like that's all I ever talk about. So, why not talk about the human condition?

Are we supposed to be here to love? Not love comparable to chocolate melting across your tongue. But the feeling of love for another human being. This is what my first Time Guardian novel, HE OF THE FIERY SWORD, is all about. I play with the idea of what it is to be human by taking a time-traveling shape-shifting dragon and transmuting him into human form (King Arthur) in medieval Ireland. He struggles with life in learning what it is to be human--his greatest fantasy. The focus is he must "live" before becoming king. And living involves his falling in love. He soon understands human loneliness and desires. But is the reason we are here to love? Or do you think love is just an aspect of the social nature of human beings? Must we fall in love to truly experience life?

This week I blogged about the Knights Templar http://blog.skhyemoncrief.com/. Their passion for their duty is still truly commendable. I'm not saying I agree with war. But I can appreciate why they felt driven. Is this love? Then Nadya Suleman just birthed octuplets. I'm exhausted just typing that whopping number. But she's thrilled to have what she deems a success. How does her perspective rank with the other situations for love? I even watched a documentary on Abraham Lincoln yesterday explaining how he loved his fiance so much that he was on suicide watch after she died of typhus. His lingering depression from her death is what is theorized to have kept him driven enough to become president. Although I've come full circle back to love between a man and a woman (or at least in a man's mind), what is this thing called love? Nature? Nurture? Are we hard-wired to yearn for connection with another human being, or something perceived to be as significant? Is this what the human condition is all about--making a connection with someone?

Oddly enough, that "connecting with something" other than the ourselves is what Joseph Campbell states drives the human subconscious. What the heck is Skhye rambling about? Campbell calls that moment the "metaphysical moment" when a person is driven beyond the self to do something selfless for another person... or even the planet. That's the kind of love I write about in romance. That's what romance authors write about. Love isn't about loving the self. It's about a person loving someone else enough to risk their own health and safety for that person they love. When you throw in something like the planet will explode if the loved one is allowed to live, well, you've got major conflict. ;) Alas, I digress too much. [Campbell is Mr. Mythology in he analzyed myth and legend (stories) in THE HERO WITH A THOUSAND FACES and is worth reading if you are a writer.]


What do you think is the purpose for love? Leave me a comment with your slant (anything goes!) by midnight, CST tonight to be in the running to win a paperback copy of HAUNTED HEARTS. Refer to the cover at the top of the blog post. I'll choose one winner tomorrow on Valentines Day! And remember, when you're trying to pick a suitable Valentines gift for your beloved, the symbolism is what counts. ;) Thanks for sharing your time with me! ~Skhye

Read my first chapters, free read, and buy my stories at
You'll find everything on my New Release page.

"Arthur is a masterpiece..." 4 hearts for He of the Fiery Sword's King Arthur
~Diane Mason at The Romance Studio

"Intense, original, suspenseful, and dramatic... an unpredictable topsy-turvy romance... the suspense builds with every page in SACRIFICIAL HEARTS. In a world where symbols mean everything, magic is the way..." ~Snapdragon at The Long and Short Reviews

All Skhye's works are available at http://www.thewildrosepress.com/


"Be the change you want to see in the world." ~Ghandi

February 11, 2009

Romance Febraury: Love and Marriage in the 19th Century

These days, couples 'date' – even if they're in fourth grade and only see each other in the lunchroom. In the 19th century couples courted, sparked, kept company, came to call or cavorted. When it turned serious, it became a courtship. In the early part of century, couples were given much more freedom than in the second half, when Victorian attitudes took over and women of genteel families had chaperons.

Still couples found ways to carry on. They'd meet at harvest celebrations, apple parings, go for walks, dinner and theater, attend lectures and even meet in their family's parlors. This private time often led to premarital sex, which led to 33% of all brides in New England being pregnant when they married in the early part of the century. As contraceptives improved and the staunch Victorian attitude moved through society, that statistic dropped to 10% by the 1850's.
Princess Charlotte's Dress

When courting became engagement, weddings soon followed. The familiar white wedding dress didn't become popular until after 1840, when Queen Victoria married in one. Prior to that, a bride wore her best dress, regardless of the color. This poem predicts the happiness of the marriage depending on the bride's dress color:

Married in White, you have chosen right,
Married in Blue, your love will always be true,
Married in Pearl, you will live in a whirl,
Married in Brown, you will live in town,
Married in Red, you will wish yourself dead,
Married in Yellow, ashamed of your fellow,
Married in Green, ashamed to be seen,
Married in Pink, your spirit will sink,
Married in Grey, you will go far away,
Married in Black, you will wish yourself back.

In the early 1800's most weddings took place in the bride's home, usually during the week, as opposed to the weekend. And they were small, family-type gatherings. However, by the end of the century, most weddings took place in a church.

The broom, in many African regions symbolized sweeping away evil spirits and beginning a new life with a clean slate. In the United States, slavery prevented couples from marrying legally and, so they 'jumped the broom' to seal their vows.

In the less populated West, couples would often set up household, then married whenever the circuit minister came through, which could be months or years away. Often time, children would be baptized at the same time.

Also common in the West were mail-order brides – women who came West to marry men they'd only met through ads and correspondence. Thousands of couples married this way. Sometimes, they'd marry as soon as they met, other times, they'd court a few months then marry. The success rate was most likely the same for mail-order brides as it was for typical marriages.

Thanks for stopping by my Romance Feburary blog. Be sure and leave a comment, WITH YOUR E-MAIL, to be eligible for one of my prizes: A $10 The Wild Rose Press gift certificate or a copy of my e-book SALVATION BRIDE.

Check out Skhye Moncrief's blog tomorrow for your next clue. http://blog.skhyemoncrief.com/

~Anna Kathryn

Wednesday's Chow - Black Forest Cake

With Valentine's Day just around the corner, here's a quick and delicious recipe for a desert. This recipe calls for an oblong pan, so it won't look like the one in the picture (and even if the recipe asked for round pans, my cake wouldn't look like the one in the picture.....it would be a mess!)


1 18 oz box devil's food cake mix
1 20 oz can cherry pie filling
1 3.4 oz package vanilla instant pudding
1 cup milk
1 8 oz carton whipped topping
Chocolate shavings (if desired)

1. Prepare cake mix according to package directions and bake in sprayed, floured 9 x 13-in baking pan.

2. While cake is still warm, poke top with fork several times and spread cherry pie filling over cake.

3. While cake cools, prepare pudding with milk. Fold in whipped topping.

4. Spread pudding mixture over cake, and carefully cover cherry pie filling. Sprinkle shavings on sides. Refrigerate.

From "Heavenly Chocolate Recipes."

Anna Kathryn Lanier

February 9, 2009

Rejections…yes, they can be good for you

What do you hate most about writing? Cranky editors, staring at a blank computer screen when the muse doesn’t want to cooperate? No, I’m guessing it’s those dreaded rejections.

If there was ever a downside to the writing life, it’s opening up your mailbox and finding a returned manuscript with a letter saying, sorry, not this time. As an author and freelance writer, rejections are an inevitable part of my life. So after all these years of writing, have they got any easier to tolerate? Nope, I still hate them, they still drive me crazy, but I have found some good things about rejections.

Rejections Mean You're a Working Writer
Getting one rejection after another doesn’t make you feel good, but it does mean you’re actually writing and having the courage to send your work to editors. Think of all the writers who just talk about getting published and never do. Not because of lack of talent, but because they’re scared to be rejected. You’ve taken the first step and for that you should be proud.

Rejections Can be a Gauge for your Writing Skills
My writing career started with short stories. And it seemed every single one came back with the standard rejection letter. You know the ones that start with Dear Writer….Then as my writing career progressed the standard ones turned into more personal rejections with handwritten notes on the bottom of the paper. And I gradually worked my way up to actually receiving typed letters outlining what worked and what didn’t for that particular editor. Had the publishing world got kinder, editors less busy? No, my writing got stronger and those rejection letters were a gauge of the improvement I’d made over the years.

Rejection Letters Can Be a Free Critique
Have you see those ads in writing magazines for book doctors who can show you what you’re doing wrong? And have you seen how much they charge per word or page? Sometimes your rejection letter can be a free critique. Maybe the editor feels you need to work on making the characters stronger, the pacing tighter. Take their advice, work on those weak areas and learn from your mistakes.

Repeated Rejections Can Be a Way to Get to Know an Editor
If you keep submitting to the same editor…and I don’t mean the same manuscript they’ve just rejected, he or she will get to know you. Hopefully, they’ll see your writing skills improve. And they’ll know you’re serious about making a career for yourself.

Rejections Can Make You More Determined
Maybe it’s just me, but when a rejection lands in my mail and or e-mail box, it makes me just that more determined to find a home for it. I’ll let it sit for a week or so and then take second look. Sometimes I’m surprised at just how quickly I can find what’s wrong with it.

Rejections Can Make You Write More
I know some people who send in their first story and won’t work on their next piece until the first one sells. Sometimes it takes 4-6 months to hear back from an editor and you’re writing skills are going to get rusty. Call this a silly superstition of mine, but I try and get the first draft of my next manuscript finished by the time and hear back from an editor. Sometimes being so involved with a new plot, creating new characters takes away some of the sting rejections can bring.

Susan Palmquist is a freelance writer and author of three novels. A Sterling Affair published by The Wild Rose Press. And Death Likes Me and The One and Only both published by Hearts on Fire Books. You can read excerpts and see book covers by visiting her Web site at www.susanpalmquist.com

February 6, 2009

The Friday Record - Medicine on the Frontier

On January 21, my novella SALVATION BRIDE came out.

The hot dusty town of Salvation, Texas has more than its share of secrets in 1873 when Laura Ashton's stage rolls into town. Sheriff David Slade has no idea what baggage his mail-order bride is bringing into his life. Throw in the nightmares from his Civil War days and he's got more than courting to contend with. Laura's a woman ahead of her time, a woman trained in medicine. And she's got a will that could move mountains. Unfortunately, the only mountains in Salvation are in Sheriff Slade's memory. Can the determined doctor heal his pain, or will the dark secret in her past turn up to steal his Salvation Bride?

As you can see from the blurb, Laura is a trained medical doctor. Though this was unusual in the 1800's, it was not unheard of. There were 2000 women in 1880 with medical degrees. This doesn't count those who were midwives or 'healers.' A good part of these women, university trained or not, were practicing in the new Western Frontier, where doctors of any kind were scarce.

Women have always been the care-givers of the family and they played a major roll in family medical care throughout history. It was only natural that as they moved West, they became the care-givers of the community when there was no doctor. One woman, Nannie Alderson, who suffered a miscarriage, exclaimed to the hired men on her ranch when they wanted to call a doctor, "I don't want a doctor. I want a woman!" A newly arrived woman to the territory came to Nannie's aid and nursed her back to health.

When a doctor could be more than 100 miles away, and the nearest town ten miles, it became important for the frontier families to be self-sufficient when faced with a medical crisis. Most people on the frontier had what we might call first aid kit which would include sheets of surgeon's plaster to bind up broken limbs, dried herbs such as feverfew, oak of Jerusalem, thyme and marjorman, and even intoxicants, such as opium tincture, better known as laudanum.

Also kept in many of these kits were contraceptives or abortifacients. Usually these items were handed down from mother to daughter or from a friend, since birth control was a taboo subject at the time. While some of the information is questionable (such as using coal oil as a douche) others were tried and true.

Women learned from their mothers, aunts and friends how to handle emergencies, but relied on common sense to get them through the broken limbs, child birthing and epidemics. With the advent of science and disease control, we don't have to worry about the same diseases that the frontier women did - whooping cough, small pox, measles and even an infected cut. When you think of the conditions they lived in, the amount of schooling they had and the resources available to them, we really should praise these frontier mothers of ours! I mean, we're alive today, aren't we?

***Facts and quotes from Bleed, Blister and Purge: A History of Medicine on the American Frontier by Volney Steele, M.D.
Anna Kathryn

February 4, 2009

Wednesday's Chow - Mississippi Mud Brownies

I'm back and with a great desert recipe from my mother-in-law's cookbook - Mississippi Mud Brownies. Very fattening, I'm sure, oh, so delicious.

Mississippi Mud Brownies

1 bag Martha White chewy brownie mix
1 cup nuts or more
1 bag chunky chocolate chips
1 cup miniature marshmallows
1 jar caramel sauce

Preheat oven to 350º Mix brownie mix as directed. Then add nuts, chips, and marshmallows. Bake in a lightly greased and floured 9x13-inch baking dish for about 15 minutes. Heat caramel sauce in microwave and pour over brownies. Bake another 15 minutes.

What's your favorite brownie recipe?

Anna Kathryn

February 2, 2009


Twenty-eight romance authors invite you to participate in a month-long event of love and laughter. Each day starting Feb. 1, 2009 an author will throw a romance party at her blog and host a contest with a prize.

The link to the next day's blog location will also be provided at each location. Just drop by and enter the contest. And get ready to heat up the cold wintery days of February. You could win a prize a day! On February 28th, one person will be awarded the grand prize of a $75 WRP gift certificate. All you have to do to enter the grand prize contest is make a list of each author in this blog event and name one title she has available.

Submit your list to Christmasrideblog@live.com by midnight CST, February 27, 2009. The winner will be announced on February 28th--just in time to warm up that person's February.

Visit http://www.amberleighwilliams.blogspot.com/ to begin.

My day to sponsor the blog is February 12th, so join me for a day of fun, romance, and prizes.

Guest Bloggers

Normally on Mondays I have a guest blogger. However, since my computer crashed, I lost my spreadsheet of who I'm supposed to have as a guest. I'm hoping the computer shop can retrieve that today and then I can start having my guests back -- and reschedule those who missed being a guest. I just wanted to give you all an update.

Anna Kathryn