Today is the first Wednesday in May, and you know what that means.
Purpose: To share and encourage. Writers can express doubts and concerns without fear of appearing foolish or weak. Those who have been through the fire can offer assistance and guidance. It’s a safe haven for insecure writers of all kinds!
Posting: The first Wednesday of every month is officially Insecure Writer’s Support Group day. Post your thoughts on your own blog. Talk about your doubts and the fears you have conquered. Discuss your struggles and triumphs. Offer a word of encouragement for others who are struggling. Visit others in the group and connect with your fellow writer - aim for a dozen new people each time. Be sure to link here.
Ninja Alex J. Cavanaugh is the founder of the IWSG.
His awesome co-hosts for the May 3 posting of the IWSG will be Nancy Gideon, Tamara Narayan, Liesbet @ Roaming About, Michelle Wallace, and Feather Stone!
The question for May 3 is:
What is the weirdest/coolest thing you ever had to research for your story.
The question is optional.
I always enjoy research, sometimes so much that I never want to quit. But there comes the time when I have to start writing. I've researched a lot of different subjects during the years I've been writing. I learned a lot about the American Civil War in Vicksburg, when I wrote my Civil War novel. I discovered that tumbleweeds can make lovely Christmas trees, when I wrote my early reader.
One of the coolest things, however, has been the Orphan Trains and the children that rode on the trains. It's a little known part of America's history, but it's becoming better known because of different organizations that spread the word.
Maybe you've heard of them. Maybe not. Some of the stories have happy endings. Others end on a sad note. I wrote to several different places in New York for information. The Children's Aid Society sent me great stuff. I learned about the man who started the Orphan Trains, as they later were called. I learned about homeless children and the fate of many of them. I found pictures of the trains and children, and pictures of what a tenement house, where so many families lived, was like.
What made the subject so interesting to me, is the fact that my mother was one of those Orphan Train Riders, in 1921. So I had to write a story about those children. I was afraid, at first. It was such a tender story. Would I be able to show the good things as well as the bad about the program? I had to try.
Do you have an Orphan Train Rider in your family history? It is estimated that some 2 million people in the U S today are descendants of these children. You might be one of them.