The first thing we saw at Talbot House was the garden.  It was spacious and green.  There were beautiful flowering shrubs all over the grassy lawn.  Butterflies flitted everywhere.  It was a haven, and I let out a nice exhale.  In my first five minutes there, I saw why so many soldiers from the Great War and the nearby Ypres Salient found peace at Talbot House.  As Sgt. Jacob Bennett of the… Read More

When I first began research for my historical fiction novel about World War II, I wanted to include a scene that dealt with the bombs.  I collected many materials – first-hand accounts, histories, etc. and got to work.  It would be a very emotional experience for me, much more so than I expected.  Stories from survivors about these two attacks left me devastated and disturbed.  I could barely handle the accounts of… Read More

Well, it’s that time of year again. The leaves are changing, the nights are cooler, Halloween is upon us, and every store is stocked with candy corn. It’s my favorite time of the year, and all that candy corn is a big reason why. I wait all year long for the first sightings of the familiar, brightly-colored bags on the shelves, because candy corn has been one of my favorites since childhood…. Read More

Boy we’re moving fast through the first part of three for my poem epic.  Part I is split into seven segments and covers various angles of WWII.  Here for you is Segment 5 about the Battle of Iwo Jima and the flag raising atop Mt. Suribachi, a moment that I always find moving when I read about it.  Just think, two whole other parts (also each containing seven poems) to go!  Thanks… Read More

If you ask me, it started off on the wrong foot.  It was so hot out, and we intended to beat the heat with an early start.  We had too much to do though, and by the time we arrived in the small town of Vossenack just inside the German border, it already pushed the lunch hour.  The sun walloped on us without mercy.  We walked through the quiet streets in search… Read More

It was a hot afternoon in the small town of Ypres, Belgium.  My husband and I had spent the whole day running around the surrounding countryside and visiting World War I battle sites.  There was plenty to see too.  The First World War was devastating for Ypres and nearby Flanders Fields.  The town was smashed to pieces, the ground was ripped up for miles, and the soil was filled with hundreds of… Read More

Well, we’re home.  The adventure is over.  It was so amazing that I’m still processing a lot of it.  I saw places with my own eyes that I’ve read about and written about for over a decade.  I ran my fingers through the sand at Omaha Beach and Sword Beach.  I wove through a real trench from the WWI Ypres Salient that was once surrounded by shell craters and mud, but it… Read More

The story of Joshua Chamberlain, the 20th Maine, and their heroic stand on Little Round Top is one of the most famous from the battle of Gettysburg.  While entire books have been written on the subject, a basic summary is this.  On the burning hot day of July 2, 1863, the second day of fighting between Lee and Meade at Gettysburg, the slopes outside of town dubbed “the Round Tops” came to… Read More

Welcome back to the Poetry Break and the poem epic that I fell way behind on posting!  I do apologize to those of you who were waiting for the next segment.  I kept getting distracted with new finds and historical places that I was excited to write about, which I suppose is a good thing.  To those of you just tuning in, this is the latest segment of a 21 part poem… Read More

Once upon a boring Saturday, my husband and I retreated to the Echo Mountain hiking trail located in Alta Dena, California.  Like most trails around here, it was a good workout, and the views were staggering.  Then there was the summit, and I didn’t just love it for the view.  I’ve always believed that somehow, the history finds me.  True to form, when I wasn’t even looking for it, I stumbled on… Read More