A New Start

As I happily and hopefully write my query letters, I have come to a crossroads. Different agents ask for different information. In a form some use, there is a place to fill in your website and blog address. Until I sent out Uncharted to an editor, I had always thought of my website as a place to display my paintings and my blogging extended that.

While the editor did her work, I reorganized my website to highlight writing more than painting. I failed to improve my blogging and now I realize my posts are less than stellar. Inviting agents to look at uninspired writing is a problem. It’s been more conversational than informational. I paid little attention to spelling (relying mostly on spellcheck), punctuation, and sentence structure. It’s now time to “up my game.”

La Bourgogne, May 1887

That leads me to my change of focus. I plan on writing about a variety of topics with greater deliberation. I did a lot of historical research when writing Uncharted about the places I mentioned in the book. Most of it I didn’t use. I looked for lesser-known historical tidbits that would add some depth to the places we traveled. I’m particularly intrigued by questionable “facts.” Those bits teeter between legend and history. Pirate stories are a fine example of the blurring that happens.

Travel will always jump into the mix. In fact, a month from now I will be in Montbéliard, France. Why? It is the town my great-grandmother came from and a mystery solved. Until recently, all we knew was that she came from France. I’m headed there to learn more about that side of our family and perhaps feed my desire to write some historical fiction about her story. It’s the genre I love to read most, so why not write it?

Perhaps as interesting as the places we’ll be traveling to is our mode of transportation getting there. We will travel to Europe on the Queen Mary 2. I can’t explain why, but I want to stand on the deck in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, a thousand miles from anywhere.

In a strange twist of fate, we will depart New York Harbor, on May 26. My great-grandmother, Suzanne Viennot, arrived in New York Harbor on May 26, 1887, aboard La Bourgogne. I only wish I could have shared all I’m learning with my mother and her siblings. They always wanted to know more about their grandmother from France. Their mother was only three years old when Suzanne died. No one has been able to tell Suzanne Viennot’s story until now. I’m anxious to learn all I can and then begin to write about her.

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