A Room with a View: What’s yours? RWW authors share on this week’s blog hop! #LoveChatWrite

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Romance Writers Weekly is a group of romance authors who have joined forces to help each other in this crazy publishing business. Each Tuesday we host a blog hop where we answer a set of questions or maybe share a piece of flash fiction. RWW also has a WebsiteBlogNewsletter, and can be found on Facebook and Twitter (@LoveChatWrite). This week I’ve posed the question to my fellow authors to consider.

“Our surroundings influence our mood and view of the world as much as setting in any story. What is the view outside your window, or what would you like the view to be?”

I asked this question as a result of the workshop I taught about setting and how characters interact with their surroundings (objects, landscape, weather, etc.). That started me thinking about how our surroundings influence how we, as people, feel and react. Especially as I remembered the day when we moved from a rustic log home with dark log walls into our present home with lots of windows and light colored walls. My heart soared and my mood went right along with it. I hadn’t realized just how much the dark brown walls had damped my spirits.

So to answer my own question…

My current home is on 22 acres of Tennessee farmland. Out my front windows, I see trees along a collection creek (which only has water in it after a hard rain) and fields where once my daughter rode her horses. Out back, is a screened porch and in-ground pool, and a bit farther back an ancient barn and pastures and more trees. The lines of trees provide a screen between the house and road and between our property and our neighbors. It’s very private and secluded. I consider this piece of land my haven. It’s peaceful and calm most of the time, with an occasional small emergency (a neighbor’s horse coming for a visit, for example).

Bolte-Reading-writing spotWhile I love my home and surroundings, I hope to one day live either at the ocean or on a lake with water and trees and accompany flora and fauna. The rhythm of the waves soothes any troubles I may be experiencing and I don’t have the option to visit the beach often, typically years between trips to the sandy shore. Would I worry about hurricanes at the beach? Probably. Thus I’d settle for living on a lake, instead.

I believe that having a calm place to retreat to ensures my own emotional stability when I’m not at home and faced with uncertainty and new situations. What do you think? Do you have any instances when you realized just how much your surroundings impacted your emotions or actions?

Be sure to hop on over to Jo Richardson’s blog to find out the view from her domain.

Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts and opinions!

Betty

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You #Googled What? RWW Authors reveal! #LoveChatWrite

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Romance Writers Weekly is a group of romance authors who have joined forces to help each other in this crazy publishing business. Each Tuesday we host a blog hop where we answer a set of questions or maybe share a piece of flash fiction. RWW also has a Website, Blog, Newsletter, and can be found on Facebook and Twitter (@LoveChatWrite). If you hopped here from Leslie Hachtel’s post, welcome!

This week the lovely Sarah Heggar asked: “What did you Google? The internet is an invaluable research tool for writers, but sometimes we google some searches that would raise more than a few eyebrows if seen out of context. So this week I challenge the Romance Weekly writers to ‘fess up on what the strangest thing they googled was, and then give them a chance to explain why they were grubbing around in that particular search string.”

Because I write 18th century American historical romance/fiction, I frequently Google for specific details for all aspects of life and war during the American Revolution and the 1700s in general. Most recently, I searched on how a woman would have nursed an infant given the layers of clothing she had to wear for propriety’s sake. To see what I found, visit Maternity Fashions at Colonial Williamsburg. Why did I need to know this detail? Because Evelyn, the heroine in Evelyn’s Promise (coming spring 2016) has an infant and I needed to understand her reality so I could portray it accurately in the story. I mean, how did a woman breastfeed wearing shifts and stays and such? Turns out that they fashioned a gown or two with flaps over the breasts for access by the baby.

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Courtesy of Colonial Williamsburg

I also learned from that search that diapers were called “napkins” or “clouts” and were typically fastened with straight pins. Um… Ouch! In fact, a frequent gift was a pretty pin cushion with pins stuck into it for the new mother’s use. Some women sewed ties onto the diapers to avoid pricking the child. I like that idea much more than pins, I have to say! For my story, I didn’t use this detail but it was interesting to finally locate the information. Who knows when I might need it for another story?

Be sure to hop on over to Collette Cameon’s blog to see what she’s been hunting up on the Internet.

Thanks for stopping by and sharing your thoughts and opinions!

Betty Bolte