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Showing posts from January, 2016

Broadway Con!!!

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Not only was yesterday, the 22nd, my birthday, but it was also the first day of the very first BroadwayCon! My friend Jess pointed out that last year, the week of her birthday, we went to Elsie Fest, so the fact that BroadwayCon was on the weekend of my birthday was fortuitous.

We got day passes for Friday only, which was plenty fine because we saw and heard a lot! Plus, there's a blizzard hitting us this weekend as well.
We arrived at the Hilton Midtown Hotel, where this "Comic Con for Broadway nerds" is being held on two floors of conference rooms, at 9 am, where we joined the back of a snaking line for check-in. Check-in went quickly once we got to the booth and we both received bright yellow swag bags, which included a Playbill for the entire weekend, a Sharpie, a pen, a sticker, some sponsors' advertisements, and we received badges!
If I qualify at all as a musical theater nerd, it's a combo of loving storytelling, memorizing lyrics quickly for some freaki…

Update + WWI Poetry

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I haven't been on my computer very much lately because the stupid thing has reached its expiration date. The hinge is broken, so the screen is trying desperately to detach, the spacebar sticks (makes it so hard to type properly), and now the battery is dead and won't recharge!

C'est la machinery! It's okay, guys. Everything's backed up and there will be a new computer on the horizon quite soon. I'm holding off on actual writing until then.

I just finished reading a collection of WWI letters called Letters From a Lost Generation: First World War Letters of Vera Brittain and Four Friends. If you're at all interested in World War One, you must read this. I'll post more in depth about Vera Brittain when I've finished Testament of Youth, her memoir, but in short, Vera was a literary-minded young woman with a younger brother, Edward. Vera fell in love with Edward's school friend Roland Leighton and the two became engaged. Vera also was friends with tw…

The Reynolds Pamphlet: Part 2

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It's 1796. Alexander Hamilton has resigned from his post of Treasury Secretary to return to practicing law in New York City. He is still involved in public life, still writing long essays against Jefferson under pseudonyms, including one where he hinted very broadly about Jefferson and Sally Hemings.

Then in 1797, he comes across a pamphlet called A History of the United States for the Year 1796.

In this, James T. Callender, trashy pamphleteer extraordinaire, repeated the allegations that Hamilton was speculating, that Reynolds was an agent of his and that's why Reynolds was paid off, by using the documents from the night in December 1792 when Hamilton was confronted by Monroe, Muhlenberg, and Venable. Yeah. Callender printed some of the letters Hamilton handed over.

Hamilton was furious. Hamilton first wrote to these men to ascertain that they didn't give this information to Callender. Muhlenberg and Venable replied quickly, saying no, they kept the information confidenti…

The Reynolds Pamphlet (Have You Read This?): Part 1

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One of my favorite songs in Hamilton comes in the second act. It's called "The Reynolds Pamphlet."

Thomas Jefferson sings, "Well, he never gon' be President now."

It also happens to be one of my favorite parts of the biography on which the show is based, Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow because it's so ridiculous.



Alexander Hamilton was the first Treasury Secretary of the United States. He is not only on the ten dollar bill...he created our entire financial system. The reason Wall Street is Wall Street is because of Hamilton. Our currency is due to him. All of these complicated financial and economic things that my hopelessly math-stupid brain can't comprehend are due to Hamilton.

But.

Hamilton was also a loudmouth. He didn't know when to stop. And he was painted, at least by his enemies, as a licentious man, this upstart immigrant who wanted to strengthen the federal government and executive power because they alleged that he was in love with …

White Light by Anna Simpson

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Today we have a special guest on the blog. Anna Simpson, who is known on the Internet as Emaginette, has released her new book White Light. Here, she tells us what her top ten challenges of writing White Light were. Thanks for having me here today, Michelle. At first, I wasn’t sure if I could come up with ten things, but it didn’t take long to get into the mind set. This is a cozy, gall darn it. The most inspiring fun of all. Here were my challenges: 1.The personal challenge of writing a mystery – Like all stories, there are rules I needed to follow. I slipped a little when I added Great-Aunt Alice, but I couldn’t help it. 2.Hiding the clues – I’m not sure if I should get into it but slipping those clues in so they don’t have a blinking sign above them wasn’t easy.  3.Making the people laugh – The one thing that all cozies need are a sense of humor. Heck, until my editor told me, I thought I’d need to hire a comedy writer. 4.Ghost, who doesn’t love ghosts – okay not everyone. I’ll let that s…

IWSG: 2016!

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This is the first IWSG post of 2016! We post about our writing insecurities every first Wednesday of the month, following our leader Alex J. Cavanaugh. This month's co-hosts are G. Keltner, Denise Covey, Sheri Larsen, J.Q. Rose, Chemist Ken, Michelle Wallace.


It's 2016 and I am determined to be less insecure about writing this year. 
I mean, last year, I published a novella and people I don't know have definitely bought it. It hasn't been talked about as being the worst thing people have ever read, which is comforting.

This year, I'll be participating in Randi Lee's Turning Points anthology and I have a novel idea that I'd like to get back into after being quite distracted from it. And I think I'd like to write another novella. I never thought I'd say it, but I've actually enjoyed writing short-ish works; it kind of suits my somewhat minimalist descriptive style.

But there are three things I'm insecure about:

1. Machinery. My laptop is gett…

Top Ten Favorite Historical Period Films

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I recently watched Testament of Youth and realized that it definitely hits my top ten favorite movies list. And then I began thinking of other historical period-set films that hit my top ten list. And then I wanted to post about historical fiction because that's how I roll and couldn't think of a related topic I hadn't already pedantically covered at some other point. And then I made this list. It's not in any particular order, but here you go.


Shakespeare in Love: I saw this movie around the time we started studying Romeo and Juliet in high school, I think. Of course, I already knew the basic story and the very basics of Shakespeare's life by this point; soon after, I went into my Tudors-obsessive phase. Shakespeare in Love is the very fictional story of William Shakespeare, playwright, actor, and currently suffering from writer's block. He's beginning work on a new play when Viola de Lesseps disguises herself as a man to audition--and the two fall in love…