I discovered so much about my Scots-Irish ancestors, and maybe yours.
What could possess hundreds of thousands of writers around the world to grab their key boards and wrestle a novel from it in a month? I have no idea but it grabbed me. And I did it. For whatever it is worth.
I googled facts and figures, I had to know. Did they have parsley in Scotland in 1860? It was important, one of my characters Mrs McGee was good with herbs and potions. She developed a concoction that would promote miscarriage after a rape. It was the most effective form of medicine they had. She added parsley to make it palatable. If I did not check, and if some one other than my husband does read this novel, some one will know. I have to save them the energy and time it takes to write me a "gotcha" email.
Life was hard. No running water, no inside toilets in most homes, infrequent bathing. Poor nutrition. But the most startling thing I discovered was that the entire human race was going through what looked like death throes, it turned out to be the birth pangs (they are easily confused) of a brave new industrial revolution and world.
The population redistribution that occurred must have been distressing beyond destress at the time, but paved the way for America and Australia's transformations. The Sutherland clearances in Scotland, the Irish fleeing famine, the British engaging in population relocation by sending "criminals" to the US and Australia, the selling and shipping of slaves coupled with mass voluntary immigration depopulated some areas and populated others.
My hero, a Scots blacksmith, was loosely borrowed from my grt grt grandfather, a master blacksmith in Falkirk. The foundry there became as central to the industrial revolution as Bellevue Washington has been to the computerization of our lives. So if no one else reads my work I gained a sense of life in Scotland,and indeed the world at that time.
Follow the link to read more of my discoveries. (I would love to read about yours.)
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