Skip to main content

Historical Research Hijacked The Friday Five--Not My Fault

I fully intended to hand The Friday Five off to Basil this week, but we started arguing about whether he was confident or arrogant and then I decided to ignore him until he could admit that I'm right. You can totally read The Turncoat's Temptress and decide which of us is right. Your opinions are welcome.

As you know, I'm in that death race called Camp NaNoWriMo for the second week. Second week is, does, has, and always will suck. Second week is my enemy, but never fear I shall prevail (probably). Along side the novel I'm cobbling together at camp, I'm working on a historical romance. I haven't set a year for it yet, but it's post-Civil War. Last night while I was trying to figure out whether people in the old days ate cucumbers (they had to to make pickles, right?), I decided to set it in Greene County, Missouri.

Hiking barefoot, over rough terrain!
I stay on the designated footpaths.
Now. After the time I almost
got arrest for parking in a
non-parking spot.
What? Well, as you also know, I'm a huge honking fan of hiking at Wilson's Creek National Battlefield. Okay, so I let my membership expire last year and I don't think I went walking but once there. But what a walk it was. PeeWee and I were almost devoured by wild turkeys.

But I was thinking about the layout of the Ray House, which we toured last December when I posted about the lanterns. Remember? And I thought about all the corn the park rangers (or whoever) grows there now and a year or two ago, they planted an orchard in front of the house.

 And I said, "The Ray House would be perfect!" Only fictionalized. So instead of writing, last night I drew up the house as I remembered it, only a little different, because the kitchen in the Ray House is tiny and it makes me feel claustrophobic and I imagine my heroine not liking that either. And I also think the front door opening to the master bedroom is dumb. That's a damn good way to get killed if you ask me. So in my drawing I moved it. The front room is kind of huge, but I figure like the Rays, the O'Dells are going to need a crap load of room for writing desks. Oops, I forgot to put a door to the second bedroom and the front room. Well, just pretend they're there. That gray rectangle in the kitchen is a fireplace, just so you know. The others are steps, in case you were worried I was blocking exits with stone walls.

So now they can happily grown corn and wheat and orchard-y fruits in the Ozark Mountains. While looking at great scenery like this:

Okay, actually they probably wouldn't be able to see that for the massive cornfields, but if they took a trip into Wilson township, they totally would be able to see that. And, it's super-awesome historical-ness because I have ancestors who lived up that way pre-Civil War. Largely the settlers in the area came from Tennessee, where my Turner ancestors migrated from after being granted land there for services rendered during the American Revolution. My father's side of the family decided to move into the twisty, turny hills and  run moonshine and cock fights. Ahem. And were bushwhackers who gleefully murdered random strangers for their pocket change. As my dad used to say, "We come from a very long like of very mean people." There will be no exceptionally mean people in this novel, though. Just a cantankerous hero struggling with a loss, a confused almost-widow carrying a baby, and a 160 acre corn/wheat farm.

You can read about the Ray House here. And Wilson township here. My favorite part of the township page is this: "They are also so moral and upright that they can dispense with churches." *snort* Uh-huh. Which means I'll have to run my characters 10 miles up the road to Springfield.

Happy Friday, kids. Now go, be, do.


  1. Hey, I'm reading TTT right--loving it--and I think Basil is a mixture of confidence and arrogance!!!


Post a Comment