Writing is slow as usual, glad to be in Camp where I get to hear others whine about their difficulties too. One of the other authors, we all are anonymous to each other which enables greater sympathy, as most things on the Internet do. Strange how candid you can be to a total stranger.  She wrote, “Every time I sit at the computer lately I experience writer’s block, but not the kind where you can’t come up with something, it’s the kind where you know where you want your characters to end up, but you have waaaayyy too many options on how to get them there. I’ve been trying to suck it up really but what if I choose the wrong direction? Blah.”

It is great to know you are not the only one. In this novel, I’m going back to minor characters in Fires Down the Shenandoah, the invading couple who take over Joanna and Charles home. Katherine and Robert Michelson are the enemies, but in their story, they will be the heroes. I was struck by how awkward it would be to be a Yankee, demanding that your enemy the Rebels, wait on you and give up their bedroom, etc. But part of the conflict for the couple is that it happened before when Robert came to Charleston to spy on the troops at Fort Sumter and he and Katherine Carlton met getting ready for the Debutante Ball. I know where I want A Picnic to Start the War, to begin and where it needs to end. But oh, the sticky, sticky middle.

The reason I’m writing it is I wanted to explore how you could hate someone’s politics, but love and cherish them at the same time. What is it like to live among enemies, which they both have to do at different points? Knowing you are not just unwelcome but hated. That if you aren’t careful, there is the real danger you or your loved one might be hurt or worse. Then there is all the danger of the battles to be fought between the start and the ending of this book. I’m forever researching too since there are many, many Civil War experts in this country and I want to get things right.

It is a maze and every day there are new decisions. Because once you create a scene or event in your story, it helps to change the next and every event after that.

Part of why I love writing. The open ended questions and the never ending problem-solving. Still, I’m looking forward to the end and hope my aim stays true on the target.


4 thoughts on “MID-BOOK”

  1. Oh, I still remember that couple. What a wonderful idea to give them a book of their own.
    I am particularly fond of your work and love to experience an event through the perspective of different persons. I’m still fascinated by how you managed to transform me first into Lynne, than Bonnie (my fav), and finally even into Claire in your Western Wives series.
    I am looking forward to any books of yours, no matter how long I may have to “anticipate” it ;-). So take your time!
    By the way, “Wildwood Flower” is my favorite book among my favorite books from you. You are really gifted. How you interlace the rough reality of the old, wild America with all its harshness, atrocities, and dangers with the magic of a human touch, and the force arises from being there for of each other… Again and again you revive a bygone America and enrich our lives herewith. Thank you!


    1. Oh Anne-Rosa, thank you so very much, you are a darling to write this when I needed it most. Always wonder if I am going too far, but I just drop into the world of these women as they try to survive their lives and achieve love and happiness for themselves and everyone around them. Like you enjoyed my three factory girls. Received a few critical reviews that some of the incidents in the books were repeats – but I was trying to explore their journey from each woman’s perspective. Find real life is like that, so much of it is attitude and personality that determines whether something is a total disaster or just a temporary set-back. Bless you for writing. So appreciated. If you’d like to be an early reader on this next book, just email me at biery35@gmail.com


      1. I’d love to! I’ll send you an email right away ;-).

        I understand that it could be difficult for some people to get involved in a story told from different angles. At first, I also was reluntant to read Bonnie’s story. While reading “From Darkness…” I always thought, what a stupid girl this Bonnie is. Oh man, was I wrong! The only stupid person in this mix was me! How could I not recognize her gentle soul with backbone made of steel? Thus each of your stories opens a door to another world, to a new treasure chamber.

        And this treasure chamber between two book covers is your gift to captivate authenticity in narrative art without losing the magic of poetry!

        For example: “Wildwood Flower” starts slowly like the first sunrays weave their way through the early morning mist in the mountains. The foggy veil never loses itself completely, since you describe a lot in this book and only let them speak cautiously. No one explains him- or herself completely, no one asks all the questions. Thus a magic spell remains over the book, which never completely unveils the mystical of the mysterious people from the ‘Smoky Mountains’, the vision, the twist of fate…

        And yet your books are more. They are authentic. You create people in their time with all the brutality of their harsh reality. Thereby, you allow us to meet these people in their misery, their hardship, their hopes and their fears. You never shy away from a blow, you allow your characters to suffer. And that’s the way to give them dignity and respect.

        In “Erin in New York” you set a memorial to generations of emigrants. I feel like I know where Erin is from. Once I’ve been to Ireland and I have seen the Famine monuments, the emigration port in Cobh. I’ve made my way through the ruins of a Famine farm. Its simplicity and roughness was in stark contrast to the elaborate fortifications of the Stone Age “next door”…

        You never shy away from the harshness of everyday life, especially the heavy burden of women. How hard their lot was! Even in the generation of my Italien grandmother it was still palpable. Whole generations emigrated to America, Australia or Argentina. The people remaining were in constant struggle with the elements, the archaic social structures, women and children at the mercy of men. Always hoping that the men won’t spent their meager wages on drinks with their friends in some taverns, while their children suffering from hunger…

        You see your books inspire me. Sorry for my loooong remarks … I love your work!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Got it, hope it won’t be too long before I can send the book, goal is to have it live by the end of next month.

    When I say, a fan email is exactly what I needed tonight, I really mean it. Someone gave my “Milch Bride” a 2 or 3 star, and my rating dropped enough that all my book sales tanked today. Hopefully they will recover tomorrow. Thank you, all the gushing was balm to my bruised ego.

    For as an author, you always wonder is it the book, or is it someone having a bad day, or someone who sees other authors as competitors, or maybe even someone hoping to sell their editorial services.
    I’m going through that book again today and tomorrow, editing this time with Grammarly, although I’ve been over and over it, and over a hundred readers have left some pretty sweet comments. The nice part of this is I’m enjoying the story and have cried in a couple of places again today. Love Hattie, Jackson, the baby, Rubye and James, it’s fun to fall back into their lives.

    So, the vagaries of selling feel out of my control, and definitely so are the reviews. But capturing the emotion and the strength in my characters is always my goal and it felt wonderful to hear you echo that at least that message is coming through. Thank you sweetheart for the love.
    Love to you too.


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