Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Research for Historical Mystery Novel

I’m writing my first historical mystery. I’m in edit mode and reworking my rough draft at the moment. The whole research world for a historical novel is fascinating. Since my novel takes place in June, 1919, I’ve been reading old newspapers at our local library. The daily paper is on microfilm, so I’ve learned to use the machine (with the patient assistance of the librarians). There was also a weekly newspaper at that time that is available in paper form in the archive. I’ve enjoyed reading about national events, local events, advertisements and reports about local people in the newspapers. I’ve used specific references but also a lot of the research entails becoming acquainted with that point in history, the words and phrases used, how people dressed, what they did for entertainment, etc. I’ve also perused a number of old photographs that are in the archives. Although this research could consume all my time, hopefully I’ve achieved a balance of finding what I need without going overboard.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


I always get a kick out of unexpected coincidences. Today I went to the Carnegie Library in Boulder to do research on the Switzerland Trail. One of the books I used from the reference section was titled, The Mining Camps: Salina and Summerville by M. M. Anderson. After making some notes, I returned it to the librarian to be re-shelved. She said, “Did you know the author of this book is our other librarian, Marti, sitting right over there?” So I had a nice chat with Marti Anderson who showed me a web site to track further information about mines in Boulder County.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Along the Switzerland Trail

I had an opportunity today to spot one of the scenic sights of the Switzerland Trail between Wall Street and Sunset in Colorado. Given that I’m writing a historical mystery set along the Switzerland Trail railroad route in 1919, I like to find the places I’ll be writing about. The attached picture shows Copper Rock on the north side of Four Mile Creek. The railroad had a flag stop on the south side of the creek here. If you study the picture you’ll notice a swatch of bluish-green, a stain from corroded copper.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Eliminate Politics

Too much energy is wasted in many organizations because of politics. It is idealistic to think that there will be no politics, but I believe the objective should be to eliminate it whenever it crops its ugly head. The importance of eliminating politics can be shown in a simple graphic. In mathematical terms politics result in two vectors pointed at each other.

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The result is no energy, because the energy of each vector is neutralized by the other. Without politics, you are aligned and the two vectors point in the same direction and you get positive results and energy.

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