Saturday, December 12, 2009

The Seasons: Chinese Moon Festival

By Jacquie Rogers

The Chinese Moon Festival is an ancient festival over 3,000 years old, and is celebrated in autumn, the 15th moon day of the month of the Chicken. It's the night of the full moon, of abundance, the festival to honor family ties and romantic relationships. Families, even those divided by oceans, try to come together during this time. But if a family or a couple is unable to unite, separated by hundreds or thousands of miles, they can still share the moon on that night and be together.

Legends

There are four legends primarily associated with the Moon Festival: the story of the lady, Chang Er (or Chang'e); of the man, Wu Kang; of the hare, Jade Rabbit;, and of the Moon Cake.

Chang Er was the wife of Hou Yi who shot down nine of the ten suns that were scorching the earth. As a reward, Hou Yi was given the elixir of immortality for himself and his wife. When villains tried to steal it, they killed Hou Yi, and Chang Er swallowed the elixir so the bad guys wouldn't get it. Turned immortal, she flew to the moon, where she lives to this day. There are many versions of this story, one of the nicest told on Laputan Logic, where links to several other versions are given as well.

Wu Kang's story is also about immortality. He was a man who sought challenges, and hopped from job to job to find new adventures, until he decided the greatest adventure of all would be immortality. He headed for the mountains to study under an immortal. Not one area of study could hold Wu Kang's interest, though, so the immortal got frustrated and told Wu Kang to chop down the cassie tree, and he couldn't return to earth until he did. But the cassie tree grew back to its full size if it wasn't felled by sundown. Since the job couldn't hold his attention, Wu Kang never did keep on task to fell the tree in one day, so to this day, he's still on the moon, chopping on the cassie tree.

The Hare didn't fare so well, but is well-remembered. A hungry old man needs food. A monkey, an otter, and a fox, hoping to do a good deed, each offer the man some food, but the hare, knowing he has nothing to offer but himself, throws himself into the fire and cooks himself. The old man was really a monk, and in gratitude, gave the Jade Rabbit immortality on the moon, where he serves Chang Er even now.

Moon Cakes are the newest legend of the Moon Festival. It is said that in the 14th Century, when the Chinese were ruled by the Mongols and assembly was illegal, that the fomenters of revolution passed their plans and instructions to the people inside moon cakes. On the night of the festival, the people revolted and thus began the Ming Dynasty.


Celebration


The festival is at harvest time, a time of bounty, and celebrated by a family feast similar in spirit to the modern Thanksgivings of Canada and the USA. Moon cakes, filled with bean paste, meat, lotus seeds, or a few other popular foods, are both given and traded. It's a time filled with joy. and the children love getting to stay up until the wee hours during the lantern parade--and are especially delighted if they get to carry a lantern in it.

I'm using the Chinese Moon Festival as a ticking clock in my novella, Faery Hot Dragon. It's a time for lovers to sit on hilltops gazing a the moon. And perhaps other things. :) A perfect opportunity for a romance novel!

Whatever the season, have a happy one!

Jacquie
Faery Merry Christmas (a Kindle novella)
Down Home Ever Lovin' Mule Blues (See the Book Video featuring Justin Saragueta)
Faery Special Romances * Book Video * Royalties go to Children's Tumor Foundation, ending Neurofibromatosis through Research
Jacquie's website * 1st Turning Point * Myspace * Twitter * Facebook



Monday, October 19, 2009

Research: 12th Century Armor

When I wrote Faery Much In Love, a short story in Faery Special Romances, I knew very little about 12th Century Europe, let alone about the specifics of armor. To lend authenticity, I had a lot of work to do. Here's what I learned about the nuances regarding armor and defense of this century.

Misconceptions

When most of us think of armor, we think of the full plate armor of the 16th Century, which soon became obsolete with the introduction of firearms. But armor took many hundreds of years before it finally evolved into such finely tuned equipment. One of the first things I learned was that my knight needed a bit more armor than was actually used in 1199 A.D., so my 12th Century knight wears late-13th Century armor. So far, no one has noticed (and now you know my secret). :)

But back to the 12th Century . . .

Before we get into the specifics, we need to know the weapons in use. Swords were the weapon of choice but very expensive. A warrior carried his sword in a sword belt worn around his waist, and sported a diamond-shaped shield held by a shoulder strap on his back. Crossbows came into popularity along about this time, as well as the Welsh longbows. Infantrymen used spears and whatever else they could afford and/or carry; and the cavalry, which became vitally important in this century, carried heavy maces as well as swords, and sometime battleaxes.

Well, then, what did they wear?

So the armor had to defend primarily against swords, arrows, spears, and maces. Let's take a look at some of the individual pieces of equipment.

Mail

Warriors used mail since the 4th or 5th Century, so it was nothing new. Skilled armorers created complicated hauberks, chausses, and even gauntlets out of mail. Under the mail, they wore heavy quilted garments to protect their skin from the rough mail, and also to cushion the blows from their enemies' weapons. Mail protected against slashing, but not piercing, nor did it protect against bone-crushing strikes.

We'll talk a little about most of the parts of armor.

Helm

In the picture to the right, we see he's wearing a steel helm (or bascinet) with mail to protect his throat and neck, with no facial protection other than a bar over his nose.

Hauberk

A hauberk is a mail shirt, usually long-sleeved and knee-length, with a slit up the front and back so the warrior could ride a horse. It's made of iron wire, was very expensive, required a lot of maintenance, and was quite heavy. (Remember, your knight will be wearing a heavy quilted shirt underneath the mail hauberk.)

Gauntlets

Gauntlets were worn over the hands. Gloves, if you will. They were sometimes made of mail but leather gauntlets were more common in the 12th Century.

Chausses

Chausses were leg protection made of mail, and very similar, although more form-fitting, to cowboy's chaps of today.

Sabaton

To protect their feet, warriors wore sabatons. These chain mail foot coverings extended past the toes and ended in a point. This grew longer and longer over the years, and toward the end of the armor era, some classes could wear sabatons with toes two and a half feet long!

Plate armor

Nope, not in the 12th Century. Sometimes plates of heavy leather were sown together and worn over the mail hauberk, and in the 13th Century, they started wearing plates of steel armor attached in much the same way, but the mail hauberk was still the main piece of equipment.

Pros and Cons

The advantage of 12th Century armor over later armor is that these knights were much more agile and mobile. The disadvantage is that they weren't nearly as well protected as the 15th and 16th Century warriors. In any century up until modern times, warriors had to buy their own armor, and a good suit cost more money than most common men would see in a lifetime.

Sources
European Historical Overview by David Kuijt
12th Century Arms and Armour

Jacquie

Down Home Ever Lovin' Mule Blues (See the Book Video featuring Justin Saragueta) Jacquie Rogers * Myspace * 1st Turning Point * Twitter * Facebook
Faery Special Romances * Book Video * Royalties go to Children's Tumor Foundation, ending Neurofibromatosis through Research

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Faery Merry Christmas


'Tis the season for reading Christmas stories! And I have one for you. :)

Faery Merry Christmas



Details (blurb and buy link) coming soon!

Jacquie Rogers

Down Home Ever Lovin’ Mule Blues (See the Book Video featuring Justin Saragueta)

Faery Special Romances (See the Book Video)

Royalties donated to Children’s Tumor Foundation, ending Neurofibromatosis through research

Website *** 1st Turning Point *** Myspace *** Twitter *** Facebook

Friday, August 28, 2009

Please Help Find a Cure for Neurofibromatosis

As many of you know, my daughter and her two daughters have neurofibromatosis (NF), a genetic disorder in which tumors grow on nerve endings all over the body, inside and out. These tumors are disfiguring at the least, and debilitating and sometimes fatal at their worst. Our family is commited to NF awareness and research, hoping one day to end this dreadful disorder.

To that end, here's a message from John Risner, president of the Children's Tumor Foundation
http://www.ctf.org



I am sending this email to all supporters of NF research to ask for their help this year. We are proud of the advances in NF research that we have been able to be a part of, but we readily acknowledge that federal funding has been critical to this progress. In 1996 neurofibromatosis (NF) was added to The Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program (CDMRP)as one of eight disease groups. Since then this program has funded over $125 million in NF research and has been the driving force in the development of NF cell lines, drug target identification, animal model development and now is moving into clinical trial funding.

The House of Representatives included a $25 million appropriation for NF research as part of the CDMRP for FY2010. This restores the program to its FY2005 level, which had declined to $10 million in FY2009. The Senate will begin their deliberations on this bill when they return after Labor Day.

I am writing to ask you to take five minutes in the next two weeks to contact your Senators to ask for their support. A personal letter, faxed or mailed, has the most impact, but calls and emails will help as well. While all voices are important, the Senators below are members of the Appropriations Committee and key subcommittee. If you live in one of these states, your letters and calls are particularly important.

Key points to include in your communications are to thank them for the Senate's past support of this vital program, and ask for their support this year to preserve the $25 million that is included in the House budget. A history of our advocacy program, recent updates and sample letters for downloading can be found on our website at http://www.ctf.org/How-You-Can-Help/advocacy.html.

Thank you for your past support. I hope you will take the time not only to act on this modest request, but to leverage your action by forwarding this email to family and friends and ask them to join you. The more supporters that reach out to their Senators, the greater our chances of preserving this vital funding.

If you have any questions about our advocacy program, or the legislative process for NF research, please don't hesitate to contact me by phone or email.

Best regards,

John Risner, President
Children's Tumor Foundation
Ending Neurofibromatosis Through Research
95 Pine St. 16th Floor
NY NY 10005
212 344-6633 x249
http://www.ctf.org


Democratic Subcommittee Members

* Senator Daniel Inouye (Chairman) (HI)
* Senator Robert C. Byrd (WV)
* Senator Patrick Leahy (VT)
* Senator Tom Harkin (IA)
* Senator Byron Dorgan (ND)
* Senator Richard Durbin (IL)
* Senator Dianne Feinstein (CA)
* Senator Barbara Mikulski (MD)
* Senator Herb Kohl (WI)
* Senator Patty Murray (WA)
* Senator Arlen Specter (PA)

Republican Subcommittee Members

* Senator Thad Cochran (MS)
* Senator Christopher Bond (MO)
* Senator Mitch McConnell (KY)
* Senator Richard Shelby (AL)
* Senator Judd Gregg (NH)
* Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison (TX)
* Senator Robert F. Bennett (UT)
* Senator Sam Brownback (KS)

~~~~~

It's me again. :)

My daughter recently married, despite the very real possibility that she's spend the rest of her life alone. People with tumors all over their bodies aren't prime candidates in the marriage mart, after all. You can read all about it and see some pictures here:
http://www.textyladies.com/2009/08/24/romance-is-in-the-air/


Down Home Ever Lovin' Mule Blues (See the Book Video featuring Justin Saragueta)
Jacquie Rogers * 1st Turning Point * Myspace * Twitter * Facebook
Faery Special Romances * Book Video * Royalties go to Children's Tumor Foundation, ending Neurofibromatosis through Research

Read a book by Jacquie Rogers

Friday, August 21, 2009

Scandal: Little Joe Monaghan

Joe Monaghan rode into Ruby City, Idaho Territory, on a quality mare in 1867. Like others there, he was looking for a bonanza at the gold and silver mines to create a new life for himself. Unlike the others, he was too young to grow a beard, slight of stature, and didn't carry firearms.

Historian Mildretta Adams wrote, "A man could live a lifetime in the early days, known only by a nickname. His "handle" may have been acquired by an incident in his life, his profession, or some distinguishing characteristic. By the same token a man could live and work among others, and be accepted at face value, and no questions asked about the past."

The old-timers (those who'd managed to survive the harsh climate, high altitude, and heavy labor for a year), reckoned it would only be a matter of time before Little Joe headed back East with his tail between his legs, the same as most greenhorns.

The rugged men of Owyhee County scoffed at greenhorns throwing down their shovels and heading for softer country. Little Joe, however, soon earned the respect of even the toughest of men because even though the work was back-breaking, he never faltered. As it turns out, the backaches and the blisters on his hands, didn't faze him, but the scanty findings soon forced him to seek other work, as with so many other optimistic miners.

Soon, he quit his claim and went to work at odd jobs, then started raising small livestock and sold meat, milk, and eggs to the residents of Ruby City. He lived frugally in a small shack for several years, minding his own business and staying away from the bars and bawdy houses.

Eventually, he took the lonely job of a sheepherder; later, a cattle hand. Eventually he settled down on a homestead ten miles from Rockville, Idaho. A responsible citizen always, he never missed voting in an election and always served on juries and posses when called upon.

All along,he was known as an outstanding bronc buster as well as horse trainer, and wrangled the remuda on several roundups. He even performed as Cowboy Joe in Whaylen's Wild West Show: the Greatest Show on Land or Sea. Whaylen would pay $25 to any man who brought a horse that Joe couldn't ride.

But after a year, Joe couldn't tolerate city life any longer and went back home to Rockville, where his closest friend and only company was his Chinese cook. When the cook died, Joe became even more withdrawn from friends and neighbors. In late 1903, Joe took sick and died in January, 1904, of a coughing fit.

The neighboring ranchers came over to prepare him for burial. But . . .

He was a SHE! The tough old ranchers had been fooled for over 30 years. Little Joe Monaghan, the miner, bronc buster, and rancher, was a woman. The tiny town of Rockville was, well, rocked. News spread far with headlines splashed on newspapers across the nation.

No one knows for sure exactly who Joe was. Anna Walters in Buffalo, NY, claimed the Joe was actually Johanna Monaghan and at age eight, had been adopted by the Walters family. They had a picture of Joe with short hair, in masculine attire. Another possibility is the theory that Joe was a Buffalo, NY, debutant who bore an illegitimate son and was disowned by her family. Joe's sister raised the child, Laddie, who grew up to become a lawyer.

Either premise is plausible--neither can be proved or disproved.

Joe was buried in the local cemetary at the Hat H Ranch near Rockville. She took her secrets with her, leaving us to speculate what made a lovely young woman chose to live and die in one of the roughest of lifestyles.

Sources:

Websites
Owyhee County History

Books:
More Than Petticoats: Remarkable Idaho Women
Lynn E. Bragg

Historic Silver City: The Story of the Owyhees
by Mildretta Adams
Owyhee Publishing Co., Inc., 1969 (tenth printing 1999)

Jacquie

Down Home Ever Lovin' Mule Blues (See the Book Video featuring Justin Saragueta) Jacquie Rogers * 1st Turning Point * Myspace * Twitter * Facebook Faery Special Romances * Book Video * Royalties go to Children's Tumor Foundation, ending Neurofibromatosis through research.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Places You've Never Heard Of: Silver City, Idaho

It was 1863 in the Owyhee Mountains located in the southwest corner of Idaho Territory. The War Between the States raged in the east, but out west, men had dollar signs in their eyes, looking for that next bonanza. They could get rich raising cattle, or logging, but fastest of all, gold. And silver.

The mining boom town of Ruby City was formed--a hotel, several business and residents, and the county seat. A few years later, Silver City sprang up as well. Ruby City hung on for a while but after a series of floods and a few other things that went haywire, the Idaho Hotel and the county seat were moved to Silver City.

Silver City was born on mining. Silver mine tunnels numbered in the hundreds, and dotted the countryside as well as the city. Here's a pan view of Silver City I found you YouTube. There's even a mine under the church! 60 million dollars worth of silver was taken in the 1900s, and if converted to today's currency, that would be a whole lot more for this little area. The silver lodes were the richest in Idaho Territory.

Historic Silver City Idaho writes:
During its "heydays", Silver City had about a dozen streets, seventy-five businesses, three hundred homes, a population of around 2,500, twelve ore-processing mills, and was the Owyhee County seat from 1866 to 1934. Some of the largest stage lines in the West operated in the area, and Silver City had the first telegraph and the first daily newspaper in the territory in 1874. Telephones were in use here at least by 1880, and the town was "electrified" in the 1890's.

(Picture to the left: the bar at the Idaho Hotel.)

Never heard of it? Most people haven't, but it was truly the wild west in all manner of ways. It's located in Owhyee County, which is a large county in southwest Idaho. The newspaper they refer to is The Owyhee Avalanche, the longest operating newspaper in Idaho and one of the oldest in the West. I subscribe to it--it's a very high quality publication. There was never a shortage of news from the tough men who risked their lives in the mines every day for the promise of a life of luxury.

From The Owyhee Avalanche, October 17, 1868:
SHOOTING SCRAPE
Between seven and eight o'clock last Monday evening a shameful shooting affar occurred at Sommercamp's saloon, between two of our citizens. On account of the hitherto respectability of the parties and for the sake of their friends we suppress names. On the evening in question, we, together with the twenty-five or thirty others were in the saloon, when the two valiant shootists commenced banging away at each other with revolvers . . .
Silver City and the surrounding ore-rich area drew men from all over the world to mine the silver lodes. Many Chinese came to make their fortunes, and several did. Of course, as with the Anglo immigrants, most didn't. Still, the Chinese established a strong presence and the economy couldn't have survived without them. Not that there weren't a few problems along the way:

From The Owyhee Avalanche, October 17, 1868:
MORE SHOOTING
Last Tuesday night a Chinaman was shot and severely wounded in a Chinese gambling house on Jordan Street. It appears a Chinaman who was bucking at a game wanted to bet five dollars on jaw-bone, the dealer objected, the other fell back on his dignity and shot the almond-eyed gamboiler through the right shoulder. The next day we noticed Deputy Sheriff John Springer and a posse of mounted Chinamen hunting for the shootist. We learn from Dr. White, who is attending the wounded Chinaman, that he will get well.
And yes, there were Cyprians--the ladies of the evening. Men out-numbered women at one point by 200 to 1 so every woman, no matter what her status, was highly regarded. The women, however were not so impressed with one another.

From The Owyhee Avalanche, February 26, 1870:
FEMALE PUGLISTS
One evening this week be observed two frail females in the vicinity of Catalow's stable, engaged in commintting assault and battery upon each other. For some time the fur flew in all directions. The finally sank down in the snow through sheer exhaustion. Jealousy was the cause of the muss.
And, yes, confrontations with the Indians were frequent. Be warned, this next quote is even worse than the one about the Chinese. "Politically Correct" was not yet invented. But we must also avoid revisionist history--Anglos were, for the most part, of the opinion that Native Americans were sub-human. This is why I avoid the entire issue in my westerns. I write humor and there isn't anything the least bit humorous about the treatment of the Indians.

From The Owyhee Avalanche, September 12, 1868:
LO THEY COME!
Tho's H. Smith Esq. just in from Camp Three Forks, informs us that last week the military of that place gobbled up and brought into Camp six-teen Indians as prisoners. Under promise of bringing in for-teen more, three bucks, whose squaws were retained as hostages, were allowed to go out into the mountains. The miserable wretches profess a desire to give themselves up and stop robbing and scalping the whites--at least till they recruit and obtain a fresh supply of arms and ammunition.
Silver City was difficult to get to and from (travel can get a bit dicey even today), so the subject of roads was always prominent in the news. Keep in mind "highways" is a subjective term here. The road into Silver City from the east isn't two-lane all the way even now. It's a dirt road and depending on the season, you drive on the high side of the ruts in order not to high center your vehicle. In those days, horses, stagecoaches, and wagons traveled the very same road.

From The Owyhee Avalanche, May 16, 1868:
THE ROADS
We are pleased to know that Mr. Abbott, Supervisor for the Road District No. 2, has commenced repairing the roads. As a consequence of the ground's thawing out and the melting of the snow, our highways in many places were in bad condition, but now the ground is becoming dry and the money now on hand in the road fund, with the taxes yet to be collected for that purpose will serve to put the roads in good order.
But most of all, people need entertainment, and the residents of Silver City weren't any different. There was a theater, several saloons, and lots of parties and receptions at the I.O.O.F Hall. In the dark of winter, entertainment was even more sought after.

From The Owyhee Avalanche, January 4, 1868:
ON WITH THE DANCE!
seems to be the motto just now--just what we expected, as soon as it became known on the outside that times were lively and money plenty in Owyhee, in comes a batch of hurdies to gobble up their share. It is an easy matter to find out where the hold forth --watch the crowds of suffering manhood as they emerge from cabins along the creek in the dusky twilight, or silently wend their way, in Indian file, down the mountainside; their steps are directed to Gabriel's large building, corner of Jordan and Second Sts., where, seated on a bench at one side of the spacious hall, are four coy and blushing damsels. . .

Jacquie
Down Home Ever Lovin' Mule Blues (See the Book Video featuring Justin Saragueta) Jacquie Rogers * 1st Turning Point * Myspace * Twitter * Facebook Faery Special Romances * Book Video * Royalties go to Children's Tumor Foundation, ending Neurofibromatosis through Research

Read a book by Jacquie Rogers

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Where the Heck is Grasmere, Idaho?

In fact, whoever heard of Grasmere, Idaho?

It's in Owyhee County, located in the southwest corner of Idaho. This is one of the largest counties in the lower 48 states, and has about the same area in square miles as New Jersey. Population is a about 1 person per square mile (twice as many people as when I lived there), although far less dense than that around Grasmere. (New Jersey's population density is about 1,170 people per square mile.) You'll find Grasmere . . .

South of Grandview.
Farther south of Murphy.
Way south of Marsing.
And way, way south of Homedale.
North of the Duck Valley Indian Reservation.

This is what Grasmere looks like.



At the bottom of the page, you'll see my fictional world of Grasmere.



My editor was a bit stunned when I told her that there are twice as many characters in Down Home Ever Lovin' Mule Blues as there is actual population in Grasmere, Idaho, where the story is set. Last I knew, Grasmere had phone service but not electricity, and outlying ranches have neither. All appliances and electrical devices are run with generators or propane.

In high mountain desert, Grasmere's elevation is a mile high: around 5,200 feet. Precipitation is scarce, about 8" per year, so even though the altitude is high, Grasmere ususally only receives less than a foot of snow total--a dusting here and there that blows away with the incessant, biting wind. In the summer, there is no wind at all, sometimes not a hint of a breeze. Temperatures can get up into the 100's, although average temperature in August is only 86 degrees.

So who lives In Grasmere? I'm not sure, at this point. Grasmere is a city with a post office, but last I knew, only one family lived in the city proper, and they were looking for a buyer. The buildings there are: restaurant/gas station/post office, a house, a garage, and I think a shed. Take a look at the Mapquest Aerial Map.

And exactly why did I set Down Home Ever Lovin' Mule Blues in Grasmere? Because I wanted to make communication a little more difficult, the lifestyle more contrasting to the urban life, and my heroine just a little bit ashamed of her roots. In fact, that's her external character arc, to become proud of her family, her roots, her childhood home. To contrast that, the hero comes from an urban family and settles in one of the most rustic places he can find. His external character arc is to learn that happiness comes from what and who you are, not where you live.

I just don't see how this story could have worked anywhere else. The long drive to the hospital, the infrequent shopping trips to the city, and whole joke about Triangle--these elements are integral to the story.

And, as promised, here's the fictionalized Grasmere:


To get an idea of how I envisioned the story world, take a look at the book video.

How important is setting to you? Let me know and you could win an autographed copy of Down Home Ever Lovin' Mule Blues and a Mule Blues T-shirt (USA mailing only. All others responsible for postage.)

This is a Classic Romance Revival GROUP event. You MUST have commented on EACH and EVERY blog in order to qualify for a prize. To see the contest rules and other prizes and to find more fabulous blogs, please go to:


(Don't forget to include your email address when you make comments here and at the other sites, so we can reach you in case you win!)

Cheers!

Jacquie
Down Home Ever Lovin' Mule Blues (See the Book Video featuring Justin Saragueta)
Jacquie Rogers *** Myspace *** Twitter *** Facebook

Faery Special Romances * Book Video * Royalties go to Children's Tumor Foundation, ending Neurofibromatosis through Research

Read a book by Jacquie Rogers

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Monday, May 18, 2009

One-Room Schoolhouses

by Jacquie Rogers
Copyright© 2011 Jacquie Rogers

One-room schoolhouses were the norm in 19th Century America, especially in the rural areas. In the West, they lingered on for many decades more, into the mid-20th Century. A one-room school in the area where I grew up closed in the late 1950s, and I remember that even years later, many residents mourned its closing.

Why were one-room schoolhouses so successful?

In a word: efficiency. All the children attended one school, so the townspeople could put their expendable resources into a single source of education. The building was generally used for other purposes as well, such as town council meetings, court room procedings, and sometimes church services. This concentration of resources enabled a small town to offer much more in the way of civic services than would otherwise be possible.

How did these schools operate?

In some districts, a trustee was appointed. His job was to hire the schoolteacher, acquire supplies, keep the building in good repair, and oversee any contentious situations. Other district elected a school board to do these jobs.

Students numbered from 5 to 50. One schoolteacher could handle many children because older childern mentored the younger children. While the schoolteacher was working with one grade, the other students were studying, unually together. And of course the older students learned well since they also taught the lessons.

Children also did chores--cleaning the blackboard, sweeping, hauling in wood, and all the general duties required to keep a building in operation. Many times, a chore was an award for a job well done.

Most schoolteachers were female, young, single, and well-spoken, which meant they attracted young men. The trustee never knew if one of the young farmers would steal their schoolmarm out from under their noses. It happened. A lot. A this is probably why rules for schoolteachers came about.

Not all schools used these rules, but I did find them associated with schools on the East and West Coasts, and all the way through the Midwest. From New Hampshire Historical Society:

Rules for Teachers
  1. You will not marry during the term of your contract.
  2. You are not to keep company with men.
  3. You must be home between the hours of 8 p.m. and 6 a.m. unless attending a school function.
  4. You may not loiter downtown in ice cream stores.
  5. You may not travel beyond city limits unless you have the permission ofthe chairman of the board.
  6. You may not ride in a carriage or automobile with any man unless he is your father or brother.
  7. You may not smoke cigarettes.
  8. You may not dress in bright colors.
  9. You may under no circumstances dye your hair.
  10. You must wear at least two petticoats.
  11. Your dresses must not be any shorter than two inches above the ankle.
  12. To keep the school room neat and clean, you must:
sweep the floor at least once daily;
scrub the floor at least once a week with hot, soapy water;
clean the blackboards at least once a day;
start the fire at 7 a.m. so the room will be warm by 8 a.m

I wonder who was in charge if checking her petticoats.

Have a great day!

Jacquie
Down Home Ever Lovin' Mule Blues (See the Book Video featuring Justin Saragueta)
Jacquie's website * 1st Turning Point * Twitter * Facebook
Faery Special Romances *Royalties to Children's Tumor Foundation, ending Neurofibromatosis through Research


Read a book by Jacquie Rogers

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Contest: Author Jane E. Jones

This is from my friend and sister Texty Lady, Jane E. Jones:

Hi everybody! This week I’m giving away a romance themed gift bag, with two ways to be entered to win.


All you have to do to for your chance to win is buy a copy of Puppy Love, or post this contest on your blog, myspace, facebook, etc. If you buy a book AND blog this contest, you’ll get two entries.


If you buy the book, just email a copy of your purchase receipt to
janejane07 @ gmail . com (take out the spaces). If you blog the
contest, leave me the link in comments. That’s it! You’ll then be
entered to win a gift bag full of goodies:


Four DVD movies-The Phantom of the Opera (Gerard
Butler), Music and Lyrics (Hugh Grant and Drew Barrymore), The
Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (Ernie Lively), and Divine Secrets of
the Ya-Ya Sisterhood (Sandra Bullock).


An adorable furry stuffed animal


Sweet Treats-Chocolate, anyone?


A scented candle


Two bags of microwave popcorn-to munch while you watch the movies :)


A cute little striped notebook


A Pair of fuzzy socks


And maybe a couple other extras that I pick up along the way.


The contest ends March 23 at midnight EST time; I’ll announce a winner on Tuesday, March 24.


To buy Puppy Love, click here.


Good luck!


~Jane


Monday, March 9, 2009

Texty Ladies special guest: John Klawitter



A Man of All Media at Texty Ladies


Please join producer, director, screenwriter, ad man, and award-winning author John Klawitter at Texty Ladies, where he gave us an interview and promised more to come later! John has done everything from jingle writing (Nestles makes the very best. . . choc-lit), to Disney movie trailers, with a few stops in between--penning the biography of football superstar Deacon Jones, as well as writing novel-length fiction.

http://www.textyladies.com/?p=333

And what a grand day! John won two EPPIE Awards!

EPPIE Award Winner John Klawitter





See you at Texty Ladies!




Jacquie

Down Home Ever Lovin' Mule Blues (See the Book Video featuring Justin Saragueta)
Jacquie Rogers *** Myspace *** Twitter *** Facebook

Faery Special Romances *** Book Video
Royalties go to Children's Tumor Foundation, ending Neurofibromatosis through Research

Read a book by Jacquie Rogers

Monday, February 16, 2009

Screenwriting: Secrets Revealed!

Screenwriting: Secrets
Revealed!


Please join me at Texty Ladies, where I posted
Screenwriting: Secrets
Revealed!
-- a guide from a major studio to help readers reject the pile
of screenplays crushing their
desks.

http://www.textyladies.com/?p=318

Here's an interview whereTammie King of Night Owl Romance
interviewed me about Down
Home Ever Lovin' Mule Blues
.


Night Owl Romance interviews Jacquie Rogers


Also,
I'll be chatting at Night
Owl Romance
tonight (Feb. 16) in the chat
room
at 5pm Pacific, 8pm Eastern. Yes, there will be prizes!


See you at Texty
Ladies
!



Jacquie

Down Home
Ever Lovin' Mule Blues
(See the Book Video featuring Justin Saragueta)
Jacquie Rogers *** Myspace *** Twitter *** Facebook

Faery
Special Romances
*** Book Video
Royalties
go to Children's Tumor Foundation, ending
Neurofibromatosis through Research

Read a book by Jacquie Rogers

Monday, January 12, 2009

Writing Contests: Give Em Your Best Shot!


Please join me at Texty Ladies, where I posted Contests: Give ‘Em Your Best Shot. I discussed some of the mistakes I've seen, which I hope helps make your contest entry better.

http://www.textyladies.com/?p=296


See you there!

Socrates the Pirate


Coming up Jan. 14: Gamblers of the Old West at Unusual Historicals. Be watching!


Jacquie

Down Home
Ever Lovin' Mule Blues
(See the Book Video featuring Justin Saragueta)
Jacquie Rogers *** Myspace *** Twitter *** Facebook

Faery
Special Romances
*** Book Video
Royalties
go to Children's Tumor Foundation, ending Neurofibromatosis through Research

Read a book by Jacquie Rogers

Friday, January 9, 2009

Famous Old West Gamblers

Westerners bet on anything that moved--how fast it could go and how high it could jump. They had foot races, boxing matches, flea-jumping contests, frog-jumping contests, bear and bull matches, dog fights, cock fights, as well as cow-boy tournament events such as saddlebronc riding.

But most of all, westerners like to play the ponies: “Gradually, as wealthy men made a hobby or a sideline of breeding horses, Western races became more carefully orchestrated, the crowds grew and betting flourished. Indeed, gambling and a day at the races became a virtually synonymous. And when Westerners got around to staging formal stakes races the prizes were sometimes much richer than those back East. In 1873 what was billed as “The richest race in the world” was run at Ocean View Park in San Francisco. The winner’s purse was $20,000 paid in gold. In the same year New York’s famous Belmont was worth only $5,200 and Maryland’s Preakness a mere $1,800.” [Gamblers of the Old West, p.200]

While horse racing was wildly popular, a close second was boxing. This sport wasn’t exactly the refined version we have today. Boxers wore no gloves and round lasted until one of them was knocked down--and no limit to the number or rounds. As long as both fighters could throw a punch, the match was active. The winner took the purse which could be as much as $10,000.

And of course there were the card and dice games. Professional gamblers in the Old West, the really good ones, were called “thoroughbred gamblers.” I’m listing several thoroughbreds and sources where you can get more information, as well as a few famous gamblers, not necessarily thoroughbreds, but definitely well-known.

George Devol
Mississippi riverboat gambler, born in 1829, who worked the river for 40+ years and made a fortune on 3-card monte, poker, and keno. He wrote a fabulous book, Forty Years a Gambler on the Mississippi, that I used when I researched a story I wrote a few years back. I've never found anything even close to this book as far as explaining how gambling and conning works. Mr. Devol was probably a charming, rough, genius from a good family who had no idea what to do with such a rambunctious boy. He won and lost many fortunes over the years.

Elanora Dumont (Madam Mustache)

Quoted from American Gambler Online:
“In the 1850's Elanora Dumont was a sexy young dealer who attracted love-starved players that gladly lost their gold to this expert player. As she grew in popularity so did her earning. Eventually she owned her own casino, "Dumont Palace" which also prospered, because she enjoyed a reputation for fairness and free food. The mustache appeared suddenly well after she'd made her money. Following a busted romance and a worse marriage which left her broke and alone, she poisoned herself 1879.”

Jefferson Randolf “Soapy” Smith

A very colorful character, indeed! Soapy is more in the spirit of con men than traditional gamblers, but his talents certainly can’t be overlooked. He was from Southern gentility and well-educated as a lawyer.

Originally running a shell game, he graduated to the soap scheme where he wrapped 5-cent bars of soap with either plain paper, or $20, or $100-dollar bills and sold the bars for $5 a piece. Of course, the only people who actually “won” were on Soapy’s payroll.

Always ready to make a buck, Soapy did everything from fixing elections to the more standard job running a poker hall.

While I never did find a biography (book form) of him, you can read more at
http://www.mtnguy.com/owlhoots/smith.htm
or
http://www.denvergov.org/AboutDenver/history_char_smith.asp
and a little about his Scagway adventures at
http://www.yukonweb.com/business/lost_moose/books/chilkoot/soapy.html.
His death photograph is at http://www.arcticwebsite.com/SoapyDead.html.


Wyatt Earp

Everything has been written about him, but I’m including him because he was a renowned gambler who owned games/saloons throughout the West. Here’s an interesting site about Earp’s life after Tombstone:
http://users.techline.com/nicks/later.htm
And here’s a more complete biography:
http://www.desertusa.com/mag98/mar/papr/du_earp.html


Poker Alice (Ivers)

Poker Alice was an amazing woman. Outstanding mathematical ability stood her well throughout the years while she made her way quite nicely through a man’s world.

There’s a really good article about her at
http://www.readthewest.com/billkellyWILDWOMEN08-2002.html.
and another (the year of her birth is different)
http://www.blackhills-info.com/quinn/Pokeralis.html
Her house in Sturgis, SD:
http://www.star-litemotel.com/pokeralice.htm


Martha “Calamity Jane” Canary

Her autobiography:
http://www.blackhills-info.com/calamity_jane/CALAMITY.htm
An article that carefully skirts the gambling issue:
http://adamsmuseumandhouse.org/clmtyjan.htm

And I love this quote from
http://www.geocities.com/Nashville/1926/gunfighters/calamityjane.html

“It takes disaster to bring the woman out in a female, even Calamity, who went around like a saint when the smallpox plague struck Deadwood. She nursed back people close to the door of death and didn't ask for so much as a thank you. Even old Doc Babcock had to admit there was a little angel of some sort in this hardboiled woman, yes, even a little bit of heaven itself when she tended children. ‘oh, she'd swear to beat hell at them,’ said the Doc, ‘but it was a tender kind of cussin'.’ ”

James Butler “Wild Bill” Hickok (1837-1876)

Family History (stats) and brief bio:
http://www.ukans.edu/heritage/families/hickok.html
An article on his life:
http://www.abacom.com/~jkrause/hickok.html
His portrait:
http://adamsmuseumandhouse.org/wildbill.htm


William Barclay "Bat" Masterson (1856-1921)

A good article on his life although his gambling is not mentioned much:
http://members.aol.com/Gibson0817/bat.htm
This one’s interesting but it, too, skirts his years as a gambler:
http://www.ashrael.com/oldwest/bat.php
Here’s an article that actually has his gambling mentioned!
http://www.ksheritage.org/hist04.html


And there you have a handful of gamblers--not all of them the thoroughbred variety, but well known, nevertheless.

Interesting Books

Forty Years a Gambler on the Mississippi, George H. Devol, originally published in 1887 by Devol & Haines, Cincinnati. Republished by Applewood Books, 18 North Road, Bedford, MA, 01730. ISBN 1-55709-110-2. This book is a series of vignettes by Mr. Devol recounting various adventures he had as a Mississippi riverboat gambler.

Gamblers of the Old West, from the Editors of Time-Life Books. ISBN 0-7835-4903-2. This is a terrific book with many fine illustrations the aid in the understanding of gambling in the 19th century. Please bear in mind that the terminology is often modern.

Games You Can’t Lose: A Guide for Sucker$, Harry Anderson and Turk Pipkin, Burford Books, 1989, 2001. ISBN 1-58080-086-6. While certainly not a historical reference, it certainly is an interesting read for anyone who’s writing a con artist character.

Card Control: Practical Methods and Forty Original Card Experiments, Arthur H. Buckley, Dover Publications, Inc., 1993 (first published in 1946), ISBN 0-486-27757-7. Need to deal from the bottom or stack the deck? This book shows you how. Not that I got anything but gales of laughter from my husband and friends when I tried cheating . . . (Remember the manual dexterity requirement?)


Interesting Sites:

Gambling in the United States
http://www.library.ca.gov/CRB/97/03/Chapt2.html

Famous Gamblers:
http://www.casinochecker.com/know/hist/famouspeople.htm

Western slang and phrases:
http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~poindexterfamily/OldWestSlang.html

Enjoy the ride!

Jacquie

Down Home Ever Lovin' Mule Blues (See the Book Video featuring Justin Saragueta)
Jacquie Rogers *** Myspace *** Twitter *** Facebook

Faery Special Romances *** Book Video
Royalties go to Children's Tumor Foundation, ending Neurofibromatosis through Research

Read a book by Jacquie Rogers

Monday, January 5, 2009

What Starts Your Engine? at Texty Ladies



Please join me at Texty Ladies, where I posted What Starts Your Engine?. I
wrote about a few of the ways I use to get my writing started, and I'd like to
hear what you have to say about it,
too.

http://www.textyladies.com/?p=293


See you there!

Socrates the Pirate


Coming up Jan. 14: Gamblers of the Old West at Unusual
Historicals
. Be watching!


I hope you have a healthy and prosperous
2009!
Jacquie
Down Home Ever Lovin' Mule
Blues
(See the Book
Video
featuring the music of Justin Saragueta)

Down Home Ever Lovin' Mule Blues

Jacquie Rogers
*** Myspace *** Twitter *** Facebook
Faery
Special Romances
*** Book Video
Royalties
go to Children's Tumor Foundation, ending
Neurofibromatosis through Research

Princess Keely, Star of Faery Special Romances