Wednesday, June 19, 2013

What it Looks Like.

My publisher emailed me sample pages.

There it was. Something About Sophia in black and white, but not in a way I had seen it before. It was my story, but it was coming from somewhere else. My name was in the top corner, and it looked like it was torn out of... a BOOK.

I talked to the manager of the local Barnes&Noble tonight. Ya know what? They put local authors on the shelf. Can you imagine? Can you already feel it? Within reach of the cafe` and North Dakota History, will be my labor of love for my grandma's legends.

It's all becoming so real now. Tomorrow I hope to receive the cover art...

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

No place like home.

My first job in college was transcription. I became so adept at typing, I would transcribe my own conversations, lightly, with my hands, while they were taking place. Thankfully, I walked into the newspaper office one day and put that new skill to use. 

One of my "grown-up" jobs was medical sales by phone, during which I would transcribe a medical interview, then question the patient about their needs in their home environment. I have become so familiar with the details of thousands of homes across this nation, that I feel like I have lived in them all.  I am about to make my twenty-fifth move, thanks to college, radio, and dissatisfactory apartments, but this will be a very good living arrangement. These home details, I am very comfortable recommending as safe and sleep-worthy. 

My new place has a writing office, in which I promise myself I will flesh out the rest of my story boards. In a recent visit to my great-great grandfather's house at the historical society, it took my breath away to note that my desk is not dissimilar to his. I stepped into his library and perused his volumes. To think-- one hundred years ago, he was sitting at that desk, reading David Copperfield and making plans with the NDAC for the Extension Service. Perhaps in one hundred years from now, someone will be sitting at their desk, and will come across one of my amusing little novels. They will ponder a Dakota Territory from centuries past, which their imagination may not be able to touch, if we, who have heard the stories, do not write it down.

I have no children. If I don't tell Sophia's story, it dies with me.

#somethingaboutsophia #northdakotahistory #historicalfiction #johnchristiansen #salemsue

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

I'm gathering testimonials for my four-year project. My darling friend, the Lieutenant Governor's wife, an expert in history and family, read my story the other evening.

Kathleen Wrigley:

I read "Something About Sophia" in nearly one sitting; Sophia's voice
envelopes your heart. Immigrant women lived the adage: "Strength is honor."
With a culmination of grit and determination, faith and hope, strength and
sacrifice they helped to build a better life--and risked everything-- for
the love of their families and future generations, whom they'd never even
meet. This is a beautiful, compelling story of courage and love.

#somethingaboutsophia #northdakota #northdakotahistory #historicalfiction

Friday, June 7, 2013

Bringing my history home.

Grandma told me its stories since before I could speak. When I was eleven, I learned to play the very piano handled by generations of women in my family, and now, it will advance to its new home.

#somethingaboutsophia #northdakotahistory #pioneerwoman