Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Linda Nichols

This is a shout out for an author I've recently discovered. I've devoured four of her books. Well, three and a half--I'm in the middle of the fourth, don't want it to end, can't stop turning the pages. Oh the dilemma! Write fast, Ms. Nichols. I'll need another fix soon.

It's rare I find an author whose characters' journeys move me to tears and laughter, whose words make me stop, go back, read them again, then ponder and meditate (selah), and pray them in for myself and those I care about.

Linda Nichols is such an author. She's published by Bethany House. These are the books I've read:

In Search of Eden

At The Scent of Water

If I Gained The World

Not a Sparrow Falls

Prose that sings; richly drawn characters; contemporary settings so vividly realized they feel like characters as well; struggles that are real and deep and gut-wrenching; spiritual journeys that inspire; and endings that rise on wings of hope.

I wish this author would write historicals too!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Finding WILLA

I should blog. I really really should write a blog post. Today. I'm feeling neglectful but haven't too much to say. This early plotting/casting process is so inward-looking, with faces and names and personalities morphing all over the place, refining and redefining themselves every time I turn around, turn the computer on, sit down... and let them talk to me. Tell me your tales. Who are you? What do you want? What will you do to get it?

Loving it, hating it, embracing it. Celebrating It!

Getting to know you.... getting to know all about you... Willa and Neil and Joseph. Yes. And now there are the Warings. Oh, Richard, you bad boy. And Annie, I already love you! And Francis, you have come as such a surprise.

And the one I thought was dead... but is she really? I think I hear knocking... I think she's still with us. But what will that mean to the story, to Willa? To Neil?

And then there are the children. Breaking my heart. Where do you belong? Matthew and Margaret, you've lost so much and yet... there is a future and a hope! I can see it. Light lancing through the trees. All manner of things shall be well!

Such a joy, this world-building. A little comes each day, and it won't be rushed. But I have to show up, be ready to think it through, be ready to listen, be ready to analyze, find patterns, themes, call-backs. Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not (yet!) seen.

Left brain/right brain. Back and forth. Oh, let the little gray cells be fired up and working today!


Monday, August 17, 2009

Kindred Bibliography

I don't think I've posted this before. It's the bibliography of my research for Kindred. Each of these books I've read in full (in a few cases, in part). I'm sure I forgot to log a few along the way, and this doesn't account for the hours spent on internet sites, or discussion/correspondence with live people, or research trips to actual locations. But for anyone interested in learning more about these topics or time periods (late 18C), I found these books helpful:



MANY THOUSANDS GONE, The First Two Centuries of Slavery in North America. Ira Berlin. Cambridge, Massachusetts; The Belknap Press of Harvard University; 1998.

SUSPECT RELATIONS, Sex, Race and Resistance in Colonial North Carolina. Kirsten Fischer. Ithaca, NY; Cornell University Press, 2002.

REMEMBERING SLAVERY, African Americans Talk About Their Personal Experiences of Slavery and Emancipation. Ira Berlin, Marc Favreau, Steven F. Miller, eds. The New Press; New York, NY. 1998. “Sooty Brow”

SEX, LOVE, RACE, Crossing Boundaries in North American History. Martha Hodes, ed. New York University Press; New York, NY. 1999.

TELL THE COURT I LOVE MY WIFE, Race, Marriage, and Law—an American History. Peter Wallenstein. Palgrave Macmillan; New York, NY. 2004.

WHITE OVER BLACK, American Attitudes Toward the Negro 1550-1812. Winthrop D. Jordan. Chapel Hill, NC; University of North Carolina Press, 1968.

FORBIDDEN LOVE, The Secret History of Mixed-Race America. Gary B. Nash. New York, NY; Henry Hold and Co., 1999.

AGAINST THE PEACE AND DIGNITY OF THE STATE, North Carolina Laws Regarding Slaves, Free Persons of Color, and Indians. William L. Byrd, III. Westminster, MD; Heritage Books, 2003.

THE APPROACHING FURY, Voices of the Storm, 1820-1861. Stephen B. Oates. New York, NY; HarperPerennial, 1997.

INCIDENTS IN THE LIFE OF A SLAVE GIRL. Harriet Jacobs. Mineola, NY; Dover Publications, Inc., 2001.

AR’N’T I A WOMAN? Female Slaves in the Plantation South. Deborah Gray White. New York, NY: W. W. Norton & Company, 1985.

LIFE ON A PLANTATION. Bobbie Kalman. New York, NY: Crabtree Publishing Company, 1997.

SLAVES IN THE FAMILY. Edward Ball. New York, NY; Farrar, Straus & Giroux, 1998.

RUNNING A THOUSAND MILES TO FREEDOM, The Escape of William and Ellen Craft from Slavery. William Craft, R. J. M. Blackett. Baton Rouge, LA; Louisiana State University Press, 1986, 1999.

NO MAN CAN HINDER ME, The Journey from Slavery to Emancipation through Song. Velma Maia Thomas. New York, NY; Crown Publishers, 2001.

GROWING UP IN SLAVERY. Sylviane A. Diouf. Brookfield, CT; The Millbrook Press, 2001.

BACK OF THE BIG HOUSE, The Architecture of Plantation Slavery. John Michael Vlach. Chapel Hill, NC; The University of North Carolina Press, 1993.

SOUL BY SOUL: LIFE INSIDE THE ANTEBELLUM SLAVE MARKET. Walter Johnson. Cambridge, Mass.; Harvard University Press, 1999.

THE TROUBLE I’VE SEEN, the big book of Negro Spirituals. Bruno Chenu. Valley Forge, PA; Judson Press, 2003.

THE BLACK FAMILY IN SLAVERY & FREEDOM, 1750-1925. Herbert G. Gutman. New York, NY: Pantheon Books, 1976.

THE BLACK EXPERIENCE IN REVOLUTIONARY NORTH CAROLINA. Jeffrey J. Crow. Raleigh, NC: Division of Archives and History, 1977.

MY FOLKS DON’T WANT ME TO TALK ABOUT SLAVERY. Belinda Hurmence, ed. Winston-Salem, NC: John F. Blair, Publisher, 1984.

THE FREE NEGRO IN NORTH CAROLINA 1790-1860. John Hope Franklin. New York, NY: W. W. Norton & Company, Inc., 1971.

IN FULL FORCE AND VIRTUE, North Carolina Emancipation Records 1730-1860. William L. Byrd III. Bowie, MD: Heritage Books, Inc. 1999.

UNDERGROUND RAILROAD BOUND FOR CANAAN, The Underground Railroad and the War for the Soul of America. Fergus M. Bordewich. New York, NY; Harper Collins, 2005.

PASSAGES TO FREEDOM, The Underground Railroad in History and Memory. David W. Blight, ed. Washington, DC; Smithsonian Books, 2004.


SHAW’S FORTUNE, The Picture Story of a Colonial Plantation. Edwin Tunis. Cleveland/New York; The World Publishing Company, 1966.

AGRICULTURE IN NORTH CAROLINA BEFORE THE CIVIL WAR. Cornelius O. Cathey. Raleigh, NC; State Department of Archives and History, 1966.

GREEN LEAF AND GOLD, Tobacco in North Carolina. Jerome E. Brooks. Raleigh, NC; Division of Archives and History, North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources. 1997.

BIG COTTON, How a Humble Fiber Created Fortunes, Wrecked Civilizations, and Put America on the Map. Stephen Yafa. New York, NY; Penguin Group, Inc. 2005.


THE CULTURAL LIFE OF THE NEW NATION, 1776 – 1830. Russel Blaine Nye. New York, NY; Harper & Row, 1960.

WORK AND LABOR IN EARLY AMERICA. Stephen Innes, ed. Chapel Hill, NC; University of North Carolina Press, 1988.

INHERITING THE REVOLUTION, The First Generation of Americans. Joyce Appleby. Cambridge, Massachusetts; The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press. 2000.

HUSKINGS, QUILTINGS, AND BARN RAISINGS, Work-Play Parties in Early America. Victoria Sherrow. New York, NY; Walker and Company. 1992.

THE TAVERN BY THE FERRY. Edwin Tunis. New York, NY; Thomas Y. Crowell Co. 1973.

GROWING UP IN REVOLUTION AND THE NEW NATION, 1775-1800. Brandon Marie Miller. Minneapolis, MN; Lerner Publications Co., 2003.

AMERICAN HYMNS, Old and New. Albert Christ-Janer, Charles W. Hughes, Carleton Sprague Smith. New York, NY; Columbia University Press, 1980.

ONE HUNDRED & ONE FAMOUS HYMNS. Charles Johnson. Delavan, WI; Hallberg Publishing Corporation, 1983.

THE REVOLUTIONARY SOLDIER, 1775-1783, An Illustrated Sourcebook of authentic details about everyday life for Revolutionary War Soldiers. C. Keith Wilbur. Old Saybrook, CT; The Globe Pequot Press, 1969, 1993.

GEORGE WASHINGTON AND THE NEW NATION (1783-1793). James Thomas Flexner. Boston, MS; Little, Brown & Co. 1970.

LETTERS FROM AN AMERICAN FARMER, And Sketches of Eighteenth-Century America. J. Hector St. John de Crèvecour. New York, NY; The New American Library of World Literature, Inc., 1963.

EARLY LOGGERS AND THE SAWMILL. Peter Adams. New York, NY; Crabtree Publishing Co., 1981.

AFTER THE REVOLUTION, The Smithsonian History of Everyday Life in the Eighteenth Century. Barbara Clark Smith. New York, NY; Random House, Inc., 1985.

EVERYDAY LIFE IN COLONIAL AMERICA. Louis B. Write. New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons, 1965.

THE WRITER’S GUIDE TO EVERYDAY LIFE IN COLONIAL AMERICA, From 1607-1783. Dale Taylor. Cincinatti, OH: Writer’s Digest Books, 1997.

ALBION’S SEED: Four British Folkways in America. David Hackett Fischer. New York: Oxford University Press, 1989.


UNITED STATES FIREARMS, THE FIRST CENTURY 1776-1875. David F. Butler. New York, NY; Winchester Press, 1971.

A GUIDE TO THE HISTORIC ARCHITECTURE OF PIEDMONT NORTH CAROLINA. Catherine W. Bishir & Michael T. Southern. Chapel Hill, NC: The University of North Carolina Press, 2003.


A MIDWIFE’S TALE, The Life of Martha Ballard, Based on Her Diary, 1785-1812. Laurel Thatcher Ulrich. New York, NY; Alfred A. Knopf, 1990

SUSPECT RELATIONS, Sex, Race and Resistance in Colonial North Carolina. Kirsten Fischer. Ithaca, NY; Cornell University Press, 2002.

FANNY KEMBLE’S JOURNAL. Fanny Kemble, edited by Catherine Clinton. Cambridge, MA; Harvard University Press, 2000.

THE PLANTATION MISTRESS. Catherine Clinton. New York, NY; Pantheon Books, 1982.

WOMEN’S LIFE & WORK IN THE SOUTHERN COLONIES. Julia Cherry Spruill. New York, NY: W. W. Norton & Company, Inc. 1972.

LYING-IN, A HISTORY OF CHILDBIRTH IN AMERICA. Richard W. Wertz & Dorothy C. Wertz. New York, NY: The Free Press, 1997.


BIRTH CHAIRS, MIDWIVES, AND MEDICINE. Amanda Carson Banks. Jackson, MS; University Press of Mississippi, 1999.

THE FIRST AMERICAN COOKBOOK, A Facsimile of “American Cookery,” 1796. Amelia Simmons. New York, NY; Dover Publications, Inc. 1958 (Dover edition, 1984).

BRING OUT YOUR DEAD, The Great Plague of Yellow Fever in Philadelphia in 1793. J. H. Powell. New York, NY; Time Life Books, 1949, 1965.

AN AMERICAN PLAGUE, The True and Terrifying Story of the Yellow Fever Epidemic of 1793. Jim Murphy. New York, NY; Clarion Books, 2003.

REVOLUTIONARY MEDICINE, 1700-1800. C. Keith Wilbur, M.D. Old Saybrook, CT. The Globe Pequot Press, 1980.

THE SCOTS HERBAL, The Plant Lore of Scotland. Tess Darwin. Edinburgh, Scotland. Mercat Press, 1996.

PRIMITIVE REMEDIES. John Wesley. Beverly Hills, CA; Woodbridge Press Publishing Company. 1973.

AMERICAN GARDENS IN THE EIGHTEENTH CENTURY, “For Use or for Delight.” Ann Leighton. Amherst, MA; University of Massachusetts Press, 1986.

SOUTHERN FOLK MEDICINE, 1750-1820. Kay K. Moss. Columbia, SC; University of South Carolina Press, 1999.

THE AGE OF AGONY. Guy Williams. Chicago, IL; Academy Chicago Publishers, 1975.


EVERYDAY DRESS OF RURAL AMERICA, 1783-1800, With Instructions and Patterns. Merideth Write. New York, NY; Dover Publications, 1990.

EIGHTEENTH CENTURY CLOTHING. Bobbie Kalman. New York, NY; Crabtree Publishing Company, 1993.

DRESSED FOR THE OCCASION, What Americans Wore, 1620-1970. Brandon Marie Miller. Minneapolis, MN; Lerner Publications Company, 1999.

WHAT CLOTHES REVEAL, The Language of Clothing in Colonial and Federal America. Linda Baumgarten. Williamsburg, VA: The Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, 2002.

TIDINGS FROM THE 18TH CENTURY. Beth Gilgun. Texarkana, TX; Rebel Publishing Co., Inc., 1993.


THE QUIET REBELS, The Story of Quakers in America. Margaret Hope Bacon. Philadelphia, PA; New Society Publishers, 1985.


ATLAS OF GREAT LAKES INDIAN HISTORY. Helen Hornbeck Tanner. Norman, OK; University of Oklahoma Press, 1987.

THE WOODLAND INDIANS Of The Western Great Lakes. Robert E. Ritzenthaler, Pat Ritzenthaler. Prospect Heights, IL; Waveland Pres, Inc., 1983.

OJIBWAY CEREMONIES. Basil Johnston. Lincoln, NE; University of Nebraska Press, 1982.

THE OJIBWA, Indians of North America. Helen Hornbeck Tanner. New York, NY; Chelsea House Publishers, 1992.

ATLAS OF THE NORTH AMERICAN INDIAN. Carl Waldman. New York, NY; Facts on File Publications, 1985.

AFTER COLUMBUS, The Smithsonian Chronicle of the North American Indians. Herman J. Viola. Washington, DC; Smithsonian Books; New York, NY; Orion Books (distributor), 1990.

WHITE INTO RED, A Study of the Assimilation of White Persons Captured by Indians. J. Norman Heard. Metuchen, NJ; The Scarecrow Press, Inc. 1973.

ININATIG’S GIFT OF SUGAR, Traditional Native Sugarmaking. Laura Waterman Wittstock. Minneapolis, MN; Lerner Publications Company, 1993.

INDIAN NATIONS OF WISCONSIN, Histories of Endurance and Renewal. Patty Loew. Madison, WI; Wisconsin Historical Society Press, 2001.

500 NATIONS, An Illustrated History of North American Indians. Alvin M. Josephy, Jr. New York, NY; Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. 1994.

AMERICAN INDIANS IN U.S. HISTORY. Roger L. Nichols. Norman, OK; University of Oklahoma Press, 2003.


THE AULD SCOTS DICTIONARY, A Concise History of Scottish Words, Their Meaning and Origins. Charles MacKay. Glasgow, Scotland; Lang Syne Publishers, Ltd., 1992.

THE CONCISE SCOTS DICTIONARY. Alexander Warrack (compiler). New York, NY; Crescent Books, 1988.

THE SCOTS THESAURUS. Iseabail MacLeod (editor). Aberdeen, Scotland; Aberdeen University Press, 1990.

ENGLISH THROUGH THE AGES, From Old English to modern-day slang, a word-by-word birth record of thousands of interesting words. William Brohaugh. Cincinatti, OH. Writer’s Digest Books, 1998.

A CONCISE DICTIONARY OF MINNESOTA OJIBWE. John D. Nichols and Earl Nyholm. Minneapolis, MN; University of Minnesota Press, 1995.


COLONIAL CRAFTSMEN, And the Beginnings of American Industry. Edwin Tunis. New York, NY; Thomas Y. Crowell Co. 1965.

THE ART AND MYSTERY OF THE CABINETMAKER, Crafting a Card Table. Mack Headley, Jr. Master Cabinetmaker. Video; Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, 1999.

THE PENCIL, A HISTORY OF DESIGN AND CIRCUMSTANCE. Henry Petroski. New York, NY; Alfred A Knopf, 2002.

MAKING FURNITURE IN PREINDUSTRIAL AMERICA. Edward S. Cooke Jr. Baltimore, MD., London, England; The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1996.

AMERICAN FURNITURE OF THE 18TH CENTURY. Jeffrey P. Green. Newtown, CT; The Taunton Press, Inc., 1996.

EARLY AMERICAN TRADES Coloring Book. Peter F. Copeland. New York: Dover Publications, Inc., 1980.

EARLY ARTISANS. Bobbie Kalman. New York, NY: Crabtree Publishing Company, 1983.


THE GREAT DISMAL, A Swamp Memoire. Bland Simpson. Chapel Hill, NC; The University of North Carolina Press, 1990.

TOURING THE WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA BACKROADS. Carolyn Sakowski. Winston-Salem, NC; John F. Blair, Publisher, 1990.

THE GERMAN INVASION OF WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA, A Pictorial History. Jacqueline Burgin Painter. The Overmountain Press; Johnson City, TN, 1992.

SOCIETY IN COLONIAL NORTH CAROLINA. Alan D. Watson. Raleigh, NC; Office of Archives and History, NC Dept. of Cultural Resources, 1996.

AN AFTERNOON HIKE INTO THE PAST: Roving in the Uwharrie Mountains, Maps – Trail Lore, The Way Settlers Lived, Old Herb Remedies, Ghost Stories and Much More. Joseph T. Moffitt. Self Published? 1975.

AN INDEPENDENT PEOPLE, The Way We Lived In North Carolina, 1170-1820. Harry L. Watson. Chapel Hill, NC; University of North Carolina Press, 1983.

REMINISCENCES OF RANDOLPH COUNTY. J. A. Blair. Greensboro, NC; Reece & Elam, Book and Job Printers, 1890.

JOURNEY TO THE PIEDMONT PAST, Source Book. Kay Moss. Gastonia, North Carolina; 18th Century Backcountry Lifeways Series, Schiele Museum of Natural History, 1997, 2001.

PIEDMONT PLANTATION, The Benneham-Cameron Family and Lands in North Carolina. Jean Bradley Anderson. Durham, NC; The Historic Preservation Society of Durham, 1985.

NORTH CAROLINA, A History. William S. Powell. Chapel Hill, NC; University of North Carolina Press, 1977.

THE HIGHLAND SCOTS OF NORTH CAROLINA, 1732-1776. Duane Meyer. Chapel Hill, NC; University of North Carolina Press, 1961.


WHERE TWO WORLDS MEET, the Great Lakes Fur Trade. Carolyn Gilman. St. Paul, MN; Minnesota Historical Society, 1982.

EMPIRE OF THE BAY, An illustrated history of the Hudson’s Bay Company. Peter C. Newman. Toronto, Ontario; The Madison Press Limited, 1989.


INTO THE WILDERNESS. National Geographic Society. Washington, D.C., 1978.

WILDERNESS CALLING, The Hardeman Family in the American Westward Movement, 1750-1900. Nicholas Perkins Hardeman. Knoxville, TN; The University of Tennessee Press, 1977.


THE COMPLETE BOOK OF FOALING, An Illustrated Guide for the Foaling Attendant. Karen E. N. Hayes, D.V.M., M.S. New York, NY; Macmillan Publishing Co., 1993.

COMPLETE FOALING MANUAL. Theresa Jones. Tyler, TX; Equine Research, Inc., 1999.

THE COLOR OF HORSES, The Scientific and Authoritative Identification of the Color of the Horse. Dr. Ben K. Green. Flagstaff, AZ; Northland Press, 1974.


MOUNTAIN SPIRITS, A Chronicle of Corn Whiskey from King James’ Ulster Plantation to America’s Appalachians and the Moonshine Life. Joseph Earl Dabney. New York, NY; Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1974.

MIND OF THE RAVEN. Bernd Heinrich. New York, NY: Cliff Street Books, 1999.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Don't Stop Now

Just pointing you to an awesome and encouraging blog post by agent Wendy Lawton..... here.

"What kinds of things stop us as writers? I decided to look at ten of the roadblocks, detours and dead ends we encounter on the way to finishing our books.... If we can recognize them, we can avoid them."

I needed this blog, just exactly now. Thank you, Wendy.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Plodding... I mean Plotting

Plotting. Outlining. Maybe it's not for me after all. I was doing well there for a while. I started off plotting Willa's inner journey, and Neil's. Hadn't gotten as far as Joseph's, although without thinking it through I sense what it will be.

Then I started trying to plot the story framework--those external events, story beats, plot turns, happenings, whatever you wanna call them, on which these inner journeys hang. Sigh. Brainstorming is not a strong point with me, obviously. Aside from the main story beats, I can't seem to force/squeeze/entice this stuff out of my brain so early on in the process.

See, how this writing thing works for me is, I write what I can see, what I know happens, what I'm sure about. That could be one scene, or ten, or half the book. Once that's skimmed off the top of the soup pot that is my brain and ladled onto the screen, then What Happens Next comes bubbling up from the bottom, often surprising the heck out of me by its shape and texture. Only then can I can grab it and add it to what's already on the table. But if I try to go fishing around in there I'm only going to pull out something half-baked. Or half-boiled. Whatever.

Not that this plotting experiment didn't help at all. It did. I got some good stuff written down in little boxes on a worksheet. But I've reached a point where I'm only frustrating myself trying to fill out charts and make lists with plot points I can't be sure of until I've lived with these characters for a while--that means writing them, discovering what they have to say and do and think--and continue my research.

I want to be an outliner. I really do. It seems like it would make this writing process so much faster if I could look on my outline and see what scene is up today, and tomorrow, and the day after that. But that isn't how my brain wants to work. So I'll finish reading through that workbook on finding your story, without filling in any more boxes. Then I'm going to spill out everything I know about the characters and this story into a messy sprawling synopsis.

Then we'll see.

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

writing... what a high

Over the past two days I've written what may be the first scene in WILLA (a working title much easier to type out over and over than The Quiet In The Land, so that's what I'm gonna call it for the sake of brevity).

Wow. It has been quite a few months since I wrote first draft anything. I'd forgotten what a high it is, and how addictive. It made it hard to go back to plotting this morning. I did so anyway (after indulging in a read-through of the scene).

I'm liking how Jeff Gerke approaches plotting in his How To Find Your Story workbook. There are two arcs, the inner journey of the main character and the external plot events, or the story framework. He starts off by having the writer develop the inner journey, the emotional arc of the character, first. I'm still in that part, taking my time and analyzing the choices I'm making, because I don't want to get halfway through this process and realize I could have dug deeper and found an aspect of my character that rings truer, or is more complex, than I had initially thought.

If that happens anyway along the way, well, so be it. But I don't want to rush this plotting thing.

Even for my next writer's high fix. :)

Monday, August 03, 2009

And we're off

I'm embarking upon a plotting adventure this week, attempting to create a strong inner journey and story framework for my three main characters, Willa, Neil and Joseph. I'm starting with Willa, who is the true main character, although Neil and Joseph have their journeys as well, and are each tied up with Willa's. Whether or not they will be viewpoint characters, I haven't decided. I might just stick with one POV this time around. But if Neil, in particular, starts talking to me, I'll write down what he says, and we'll see.

While plotting out the story, I'm keeping a list of subjects I'll need to research. So far that list includes:

~Iroquois history and culture
~Oneida participation in the Revolutionary War
~White captives among the Iroquois
~New York history, particularly Tryon county, which became Montgomery County in 1784, the year this story opens.
~The court/judicial system of Montgomery County at this time. How often and where did they meet?
~What happened to confiscated Loyalists lands after the Revolutionary War? Who got them? How might one have contested the confiscation?
~Oneida names for certain characters (or perhaps Mohawk. I haven't decided yet which tribe of the Haudenosaunee is most appropriate).
~Location of Willa's frontier farm (I think it will be east of Rome, but north of Herkimer and Little Falls. I want it in the foothills, north of the Mohawk River, but just how far north remains to be seen. Not sure how far whites had settled by 1772, an important year in Willa's back story. Must find out.).
~18th century Scottish naturalists and their travels in the New World, and how they went about their business here, who sent them over, who did they answer to? My particular naturalist is from Edinburgh, but I'll have to pinpoint a society or somesuch to which he is affiliated.

That's for starters, after a few hours work on plotting. I've ordered books, am already reading several, and will do much Googling in the next few weeks.

Am I feeling overwhelmed already? I could be, but I'm not letting myself go there. One little bite at at time is how I'll eat my way through this mountain of research.

If anyone happens to know a thing or two about any of the subjects listed above, I'd love to hear from you. Comment here or send me an email. lori _ benton 26 (at) hotmail dot com (without the spaces, of course).