My Dear Hamilton: a Novel of Eliza Schuyler Hamilton.

Wow!

I just finished this historical fiction jointly authored by Stephanie Dray and Laura Kamoie. It has consumed me for several weeks. Hence the gap in my postings. With my first attempt at this genre, Panama Goldlisters, a work in progress, I have concentrated my reading effort in historical fiction. I did not realize until I downloaded the kindle version of My Dear Hamilton that it was a 700-page tome. But, well worth the time.

Not only is My Dear Hamilton a memorable read that keeps you turning pages, but it is also a gem for anyone interested in writing historical fiction. The authors extensive notes at the end will give you a real picture of why this is a difficult genre. Research, research, research.

Dray and Kamoie chose a unique perspective to write a book as if it were written by Eliza herself, including the prologue and afterword. The authors then expand on their views, and how they researched and wrote the book in an extensive “Interview with the authors.” This section alone is a must for anyone tackling the historical novel genre.

The impetus for the authors stemmed from their seeing the Broadway production Hamilton: An American Musical. In their words, “As historical fiction authors, we were humbled.”

They found tons of material on Hamilton, of course, including Ron Chernow’s definitive biography of Alexander, although, they thought he played little attention to Eliza. They did not find a single biography of her. The most outlandish historical bits: the court martials, riots, plagues, duels, sex scandals, revolutionary balls, and battles, are all real. To interpret her character, motivations, and contributions, however, they had to depend on the letters, and writings of the founding fathers around her.

Highly recommend this work for your reading pleasure.

Merry Christmas

It is a bit harder to say that this year. With the dearth of uplifting occasions in 2020 to share, thanks to COVID 19. I’m left with a mundane, but heartfelt,

 “Friends, we are well, and hope you are too.

Perhaps 2020 is what recalled my memoir of another not too good year–– 1944. I share my memoir, The Christmas of ’44, on a new menu page, “Short Stories.” You can find it here.

By the way––that year did end well. I have faith, this one will too.

Merry Christmas to all

And

For God’s sake lets pray for a Happy 2021

Life Events Interfere with Life

Isn’t it weird how life events can somehow interfere with life? I know you have all been there. That’s what happened to me over the last few weeks, some good things, some not so good. I won’t burden you with details, suffice to say my writing routine (if I can even say I have one) has suffered. I must admit I had been struggling with structure to the point it was easier to put my Panama story aside and zone out waiting for the magical inspiration to hit. Finally, with the healing effect of time, I got a handle on structure for a few scenes, and even a few hundred words down on paper. Bumps in the road do go away. Now, Dick, get back to work!

Binge Watch or Work

“Writers stuck at home during the pandemic can either binge more Netflix or get down to work.”

That headline from Carman Amato’s lead article in the November issue of “Booklife” ( the Indy Author version of Publishers’s Weelkly) struck a nerve.

 I can’t claim the pandemic has robbed me of time––I’m retired. I have time-use issues for other reasons. Sure, Amato suggests the overall depressed feeling caused by unsolved pandemic and national leadership doldrums, can be a problem. I get that. Whatever reason, I’ve lost momentum in my effort to get my historic fiction piece onto paper.

The Booklife goes on to quote life coach, Tim Mahr’s, suggestion that “motivation stalls out when tasks become overwhelming.” It’s easier to binge watch than create something new.  So when my crazy sleep pattern gets me up at 2:00 AM, I may think about working, but end up watching another episode of a Netflix program. (I have seen some pretty good stuff, though which makes it easier to justify the value of time spent)

I’ve got to do a better job of breaking down my creative effort into doable chunks, Then sit down and ––Just do it!