Tuesday, June 28, 2011

North Bloomfield

We just returned from North Bloomfield, and I can't express the excitement bottled up inside my chest. We walked every inch of the town and I learned more than I could have imagined. I've been there before, but its memory has dulled in my mind. Now it seems alive and vivid.

I can still see the little winding, forested road that leads into town; slightly inclined. I can see the small Victorian style homes coming into view, and finally the park museum. Opposite the museum, I can see the large grassy lawn and the Skidmoore house with all its historic beauty. I can see the McKillican and Mobley general store and the drug store,barber shop and the King's saloon across from that. The volunteer fire house too! Right next to the drug store with the foundation of the skidmore saloon in between!

And the little road that leads down to Humbug creek... That stands out in my mind's eye. Ian takes Sonny down to the creek in my story. Although, I laugh now. The creek was a "red light" zone. The Chinese and the unscrupulous lived down that was on what I believe was "relief hill road" or something like that. Sonny and Ian would have had to walk a ways before finding a proper place to enjoy the creek.

Many buildings were dismantled when the little mining town came to it's end, but the town still holds a magic to it. It's not like other ghost towns. Bloomfield almost feels like its still alive in many ways. The buildings aren't so run-down and sad looking. I can almost imagine someone from the town's hay day walking out of one of the buildings and greeting some passer-by.

Readers: North Bloomfield is scheduled to shut down by labor day along with many other California state parks. If you don't mind, Write Gov. Brown and tell him not to! North Bloomfield is one of the few sites that tells the history of HYDRAULIC mining - a fantastic part of California history. It would be so sad to see it go and all the artifacts with it.

Happy Reading.


Monday, June 27, 2011

Nevada City

I spent the afternoon walking the inclined streets of Nevada City. Mining relics line the streets and historic buildings keep you moving forward. I kept my eyes open, searching for building that would have existed during the time period I'm writing in.

I peeked into the National hotel and took pictures of the items they had on display. It's been some time since I saw it last. My fresh eyes will better be able to describe it's "L" shaped staircase adjacent to the front entrance and the long, hallway shape to the lobby.

I took pictures of the other buildings, including the church, the Mason's building and one I believe was firehouse.

I discovered that the "Carriage House" was much too far for Allison to walk to - she would have had to send a note =)

Tomorrow we're on our way to North Bloomfield itself. I've been eating up any literature or photographs I can find of the town, but being able to stand in the middle of Main Street and ask all the questions that I long to have answered will be exciting. Allison, Ian and Evelyn are becoming more and more alive!

Happy Reading,


Monday, June 6, 2011

Allison Tisdale

Dearest Diary,

I cannot remember the date. It's quite a shame. I've been napping on and off during my travels and sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night or early in the morning. I've really lost track of time. No one else traveling with me seems to know either. Sooner or later, I'll have to solve this mystery.

I'm laughing as I write this, The stage keeps throwing its passengers about, slamming them into the sides of the interior. I'm shoulder to shoulder this a heavy set man who tends to stare at the horizon constantly, I have no fear of him seeing my writing. But as I try to write, the stage throws my hand to the left or right so that my handwriting is illegible. I shall not be able to read this very well at at later date.

When we stopped for supper at a rather run-down hotel, I found myself sketching on the corner of a piece of paper. I was trying to imagine Samuel's face. Papa always said I have quite the imagination, whereas Brenton said I amazed him on a daily basis. I'm sure they didn't mean talent. I'm not sure that I'm quite so accurate at sketching people's faces, I believe they were primarily referring to the images that seem to haunt my head and then come out through my pencil.

But now that I look down upon my sketch, I wonder just how marvelous my imagination is. Samuel said his hair is black (or at least he hinted at it). I did not shade in his hair when I drew it, I left it pale, which is absurd. Samuel is not blonde. But looking at my sketch, wouldn't he be handsome if he was? With brilliant blue eyes! Our children would be blonde then, or have dark, gold-colored hair like mine.

Daydreams will get me nowhere. I cannot change who Samuel will be when I meet him.


Sunday, June 5, 2011

The Spring Valley Girls

I'm not sure if you've met them yet, but some of my favorite characters, who constantly haunt my head, are apart of this series. You might have already met Astrid in my novella, "Into Astrid's Heart." But the Spring Valley Girls series includes many others... members of her family, and some friends. Learn about being Swedish in America during those early days.

As always... I have way too much fun with GIMP.

(Astrid & Lucia, Rebecka, Sari, Ingalill, Amanda, Ella, Christin and Carita)

Just an illustration mind you... to help you get a visual.

I hope you come to love my girls through their stories. They truly have personalities of their own.