The first thing we saw at Talbot House was the garden. It was spacious and green, with beautiful flowering shrubs all over the grassy lawn. Butterflies flitted everywhere. It felt like 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 beckons, 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. Candy corn has been one of my favorites since childhood. Perhaps because I grew up in Iowa, and we love corn in all its many varieties there. Or maybe it’s… 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, the whole thing started off on the wrong foot. We had intended to beat the heat with an early start, but typical travel snares in a foreign country got in the way. 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… 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.  The First World War devastated Ypres and nearby Flanders Fields. It smashed the town itself to pieces, ripped the ground up for miles, and packed the soil with hundreds of thousands of dead. One hundred years later, the scars… 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 is… 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. The workout and the views left us breathless, but there was so much more. I’ve always believed that somehow, history finds me. True to form, when I wasn’t even looking for it, I stumbled on some amazing history on that mountain top. Right on that summit rested the remains of a… Read More