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Posts Tagged ‘historical fiction’

Doc Maynard had a wife. Two of them, actually, and simultaneously, some say.

David S. “Doc” Maynard, one of Seattle’s more colorful founders, married Catherine Simmons Broshear Maynard, a widow he had met along the Oregon Trail. He married her almost immediately upon divorcing Lydia, his first wife, a decree granted via questionable–and later, contestable–conditions. (Doc may have implied that Lydia was…deceased….)

Catherine Maynard proved to be as legendary as her husband, helping thwart an attack on the settlers of Seattle, accepting for a time her husband’s first wife under her own roof, and traveling the state on horseback, riding from Seattle across the Cascades to Ellensburg, well into her 70s.

But she did one other thing which, 150 years later, affects every single Seattle homeowner.

Catherine Maynard brought the dandelion to Seattle. (more…)

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Kurt R.A. GiambastianiBack when I had a writing career, I was given some advice. I was having lunch with my agent and the editor of the Science Fiction Book Club. (My first novel, The Year the Cloud Fell, had been a featured alternate at SFBC.) When the conversation swung around to my work, the editor said, “your books have too much history.” My agent nodded, sagely, as if this was the most obvious thing in the world.

I’m very good at not reacting immediately to bad news. It’s a defense mechanism, really. Treat me with rudeness or disrespect, tell me my dog died, or drop a pithy little bomb like “your books have too much history,” and I shut down. The smile stays up. The amenities and little etiquettes are still observed. Platitudes and small talk continue to be exchanged. “How nice.” “It was a pleasure meeting you.” “Until next time.”

Meanwhile, my inner child is weeping, my reptilian brain has fled for a safe, dark corner, and my intellect has gone all blue-screen on me.

“Too much history”? That’s like telling Mozart his music has “too many notes.”

(more…)

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