Want to be sure they know what you think?

Debbie Gruber

Write a letter they'll read after you're gone. In these days of electronic communication, fewer people put pen to paper. Gone are the days when everything from the mundane to the momentous made its way on to paper and into the mail. As a writer … [Continue reading]

What to do with 30,000 “excess” kids?

Orphan Train Riders

Dealing with homeless children 100 years ago In the 1800s, boatloads of immigrants arrived in U.S. port cities. They came seeking the American dream; the reality they faced was often more a nightmare.  Large families, poverty, and untimely deaths … [Continue reading]

Walking through Iowa; reading through Europe

Shoes & Book

Goals to keep mind and body fresh. I've set two goals for myself this winter: one walking and one reading. In just the first few weeks of the year, I've found some interesting links to these goals, beyond the fact that I do them at the same … [Continue reading]

What did rural life look like in 1910?

A good day hunting.

Early 20th century photos inspire writing. Whether writing memoir or novel, I've found photos a great source of inspiration. Today, almost everyone has the ability to take photos. Digital cameras allow us to take pictures with abandon, of subjects … [Continue reading]

Who’s reading historical fiction?

Results of second annual reader survey released. If you're a reader or writer of historical fiction, you may enjoy digging into the results of the 2013 Historical Fiction Survey. In the second year of the survey conducted in cooperation with the … [Continue reading]

Historical Fiction Reading Challenge – 2014


January 1 is a time for resolutions and I just made one I know I'll have no trouble sticking with throughout the year.  This afternoon, I learned about the Historical Fiction Reading Challenge, and since impulse serves me best in situations like … [Continue reading]

A waffle iron for Christmas?

Making waffles on Christmas Eve.

The humble gift of long-lasting love. As Christmas Eve rolls around, I check to make sure I have all the fixings for our waffle supper.  Waffles mark Christmas Eve in our house as surely as Santa and the Christmas tree.  It's a tradition that goes … [Continue reading]

Good things come to those who don’t wait

Trigger a trip down memory lane with Growing Up Country - On Sale! We've all been told that "good things come to those who wait." But this week, the best deals come to those who act fast. If you have a Kindle, a wealth of happy memories can be … [Continue reading]

What challenges would you like to tackle?

My Gutsy Story Anthology

Inspiration to take big steps often comes from others.When I was 51 years old, I screwed up my courage and left behind the title, the pay check, and the prestige of the corporate world to become a writer. Many things contributed to my ability to make … [Continue reading]

We will not grow old together


Finding perspective and gratitude after suicide. When I thought about my senior years, I imagined spending a good deal of time with my older sister, Jane. Though she lived in Pennsylvania and I in Iowa, we found increasing time together as we grew … [Continue reading]