Bent’s Old Fort – an Exercise in Chatting About Something Fun

I read an article today about 40 blog post ideas for writers. You’d think, as writers, that our brains could create dozens of blog ideas, but yes, we do get stuck. That’s why I picked #1 on the idea list – writing about a vacation. I choose a trip along the Santa Fe Trail to Bent’s Old Fort in Colorado.

You see,  Bent’s was a famous landmark on the Santa Fe Trail, visited by just about everyone who traveled the area – from trappers and traders to soldiers and Indians. I went on one of their Living History weekends because I love talking to reenactors. The slide show above is just a sampling of the folks I chatted with over the weekend.

By the way – if you write any kind of history, either fiction or non-fiction, – you won’t find people more informed about the period than reenactors. These folks pride themselves on the authenticity of their costumes as well as their knowledge about the period in which their “persona” lived. Continue reading

Visiting Mission San Luis Rey – a Possible Writing Project

I’m thinking about doing a series of articles or possibly a book on the California Missions. Although Mission San Luis Rey (King of the Missions) is only 45 minutes from where I live, I’ve never visited. Took a few hours on Sunday to stroll through the historic grounds and the original mission church.

Join Me in Mind-Mapping Your Next Flash Non-Fiction (or Fiction)

mind mapp

Yesterday I wrote about  creating a mind-map in preparation for a flash non-fiction piece. Today I’m inviting you to do the same. (If you write fiction, please join in!)

If you’ve never done mind-mapping, I’ve included links below to a few quick guides.  I have mind-mapping software (Simple Mind) but I prefer using pen and paper. My technique is a simple one: I begin with a central idea, which I circle, and then (like spokes on a wheel) begin free associating outwards from the central hub. In my example from yesterday’s mind-map, Fort Robinson was at the hub of my mind-map, from which I added other ideas/observations (black butterfly, wind, elms, cottonwoods, officer’s row, bluffs, sky,etc). Continue reading