Saturday, November 01, 2008

Guest Blogger: Mechele Armstrong

Title: Getting it right

It used to be to research things, you had to find a book and read it. Go talk to an expert on the subject. Read journals and papers.

Now we have Google. And Yahoo and several other Internet search engines that provide a myriad of results on a variety of subjects. We have International Movie Database (a show biz roster of who’s who and what’s what), many question and answer forums, and Wikipedia. And there are still books and experts out there to read and write to. Email makes conversations with experts even easier when you can jot off something to someone a half a world away.

When I write something, either set in a place I don’t know as well as I know where I live or in a different time period, I’m terrified I’m going to get something wrong. And unfortunately, I did get something wrong. I didn’t double check a fact and…busted, though it’s now fixed.
It taught me the importance of checking about three times from several different sources whatever I research.

But oddly enough, I’m not the only one who gets things wrong. I was amazed that Night at the Museum has a few facts wrong. The little monkey, for example, was in the wrong exhibit. He’s a Capuchin but is in the African Wing. Capuchins live in South America. I was quite shocked to find that out, especially as the museum is based on the Museum of Natural History in New York City.
But them I remember my mistake. And how we are all human. My father used to say, "Nobody’s perfect. That’s why they put erasers on pencils." And he was right. We all do slip up from time to time.

But, with all the resources available, I really don’t want to screw up a factoid in my books. I definitely try to minimize my errors.

A few my favorite links to research: (guide for writing slash fanfiction *not work safe*)

Feel free to list any good reference sites in comments.

I usually try and verify facts with a number of different sites. And read a book if I can on the subject. There is a lot of misinformation on the Internet.

A good rule of thumb to follow: Check your sources. Check your facts. And most of all, try to get it as right as you can.

Mechele Armstrong aka Lany of Melany Logen

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

New Paperback Release!

Winter's Daughter is now available in Trade Paperback. I am OVER the moon.

Latest Reviews for Winter's Daughter

"I can not wait for the rest of the Coven series. It is an absolute keeper!" Enchanting Reviews

"I read Winter's Daughter one Saturday, totally ignoring everything around me. Engaging, gripping, and page-turning are a few terms I would use to describe Matt and Syn and their path to the truth and lasting love. I will be keeping a close eye on Ms. Wilder's site to see when the next sister's book is going to come out. For all of these reasons and some I can't seem to put words to, I Joyfully Recommend Winter's Daughter." - Joyfully Reviewed

"Winter's Daughter is an excellent tale that is well balanced and one of those rare finds that you will want to revisit again." eMuse Mag

"The depths of J.C. Wilder's story drew me in immediately. Her characters walked right off the page and engaged me, as real as any person I know. Intrigue, magic, romance--Winter's Daughter captivated me and left me wanting more." ~Cheyenne McCray, USA Today bestselling author of SEDUCED BY MAGIC

"If you buy no other book this month you have to get this one" - Fallen Angel Reviews, Recommended Read

Monday, October 27, 2008

Hero: Inez Milholland-Boissevain

Inez Milholland-Boissevain (1886-1916) was born a child of privlege in 1886. The daughter of John Milholland, a newspaper editorialist and a reformer with the NAACP. She graduated from Vassar in 1909 and earned her law degree from New York University - a very gutsy move for a young woman in the early twentieth century.

After college, Inez joined a Greenwich Village group of progressives and socialists who created The Masses - the first magazine to fuse radical art, political commentary and graphic satire. She also protested the US entering into WWI, going so far as to travel to Europe to spread her message.
After meeting Alice Paul, Inez was recruited to join NAWSA Congressional Committee's. She soon revealed a powerful ability to move crowds at rallies on behalf of the Congressional Union for Woman Suffrage (CU).

In 1913, Inez led the first woman's sufferage parade in Washington DC on the same day Woodrow Wilson was sworn into office. Dressed as a warrior on a white horse, Inez became the icon of the sufferagist movement.
By 1916 Milholland had become one of the highest-profile leaders of the CU. She traveled all over the US making speeches, gathering women to join the cause. Despite warnings from her physician she persisted in touring despite pronounced ill health. While speaking in Los Angeles, Inez collapsed at the podium while delivering a suffrage speech. She was rushed to the hospital and, despite treatment for pernicious anemia, she died weeks later on November 25, 1916.
Her dedication, iconic idealism, and tragic death made her a martyr of the suffrage movement. Her last public words were, “Mr. President, how long must women wait for liberty?”
In January 1917, Woodrow Wilson spurned a delegation that attempted to present him with resolutions crafted in Milholland's honor. The National Women's Party (formerly the Congressional Union) changed tactics from a focus on lobbying to more direct action. Within days the NWP began a new campaign of picketing the White House and three and half years later, women received the right to vote.

Those we honor...

Next Tuesday is election day. It is on that day that we, as citizens of the United States, have a chance to have input into our government. It was only 88 years ago that women, after many years of sacrifice by thousands of women, received the right to vote.

88 years.

That really isn't that long ago. And if you think about it, it's only been 31 years since the Equal Rights Amendment was passed. Remember the ERA? The amendment that was added to the constitution stating women should be paid and treated as equals to men. Its such an antiquated idea in my mind that people would presume that because we have breasts that we must not have brains...or ability....or talent.

It wasn't that long ago John McCain was quoted as saying the reason women don't make the same amount of money as men is that we don't have the training to do so...

Screw you McCain - bet mine is bigger than yours.

So anyway - in an effort to honor those who fought for the right, nay, obligation to vote, I'm going to post a few profiles of the women who put their lives on the line to stand up and demand democracy for citizens of this country. These are my heros.