Monthly Archives: April 2014

The History of English Tea and Regency Era Cooking


One thing I am very good at is being a reader. I can read, ignoring all other distractions, for hours, days, (perhaps given the opportunity) months, or years.  (If only someone would pay me well for this skill.  Professional reader of fiction—this job has a ring to it.) This reading is what made me aspire to be a writer.

One aspect that I enjoy about being a writer is exploring different cultures and times.  This requires research, and while it is not fiction reading, it is still something that I enjoy. When I write about specific times/places, I research the culture, the habits of its people, and the rules of the different levels of society.

I have recently been researching the history and customs of tea in England for a project I hope to start soon.  The most surprising fact for me is that the tradition of tea drinking did not start until 1662 when King Charles II ruled England. 

The nicest aspect of this research are all of the recipes that I discovered.  My family and I will be trying them over the next several months with a few modifications for modern cooking.

The following web sites I have found to be very helpful:



This website provides a lot of information on the traditions surrounding tea time.

Of course, it is helpful to know how people were expected to behave at these meals.

This also provides a bevy of recipes for anyone wanting to host a Regency era dinner party.  (I plan on doing this themed-party someday—hopefully this fall.  I need time to practice with the recipes.)


The Literary Detectives

This website discusses the history of tea time as well.


The Historic Cakes of Spitalfields

This has some interesting recipes for baked goods.

I hope you enjoy!



Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Happy Easter!


Leave a comment

April 20, 2014 · 6:35 am

On Writing: What I Listen to When Editing

Pharrell Williams’s song “Happy” from Despicable Me 2 is not a song I listen to when writing. First–I would find myself singing along with it. Second–it is hard to get in the mood to write about murder mysteries, zombies, werewolves, and so forth while singing “Happy.” It is, however, a song I listen to when editing my work.

(This is also not a typical music genre for me. I tend to like alternative music and artists. However, my family and I are fans of the yellow minions in the movies and after watching the video, the song just grew on me!)

I have completed the first draft of a novel and I am in the process of editing it. I have a different MP3 list for this task than writing.

Please feel free to share your thoughts on music and writing. Do you have different songs you listen to during various stages of the writing process? Do you have MP3 lists (like I do) designed to help you concentrate on the task at hand?

As always–I hope the music inspires you to write (or edit!).



Leave a comment

Filed under On Writing

Cute Bunny-Themed Idea for Kids

A friend of mine sent this picture via email. She is going to decorate her daughters’ nails (10 and 8 years old) with this pattern for Easter.


I am not sure where the original design is from–but it is a cute picture and the kids are excited! I think it would be nice for some adults I know as well. :-)

(If anyone knows where the original idea started–please tell me and I will give the photographer/designer credit.)

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

On Writing: Inspiration from Other Authors

I really enjoy this quote by Doris Lessing.

‘Without me the literary industry would not exist: the publishers, the agents, the sub-agents, the sub-sub agents, the accountants, the libel lawyers, the departments of literature, the professors, the theses, the books of criticism, the reviewers, the book pages – all this vast and proliferating edifice is because of this small, patronised, put-down and underpaid person.’

I also found this video inspirational. Lessing was “ambushed” by reporters outside of her home after news was released of her winning the Nobel prize. It was obvious that she had gone to market and did not expect strangers to be waiting right outside her door. They pester her with questions, but she does not give them much satisfaction:

Leave a comment

Filed under On Writing

Seeing Clearly

Milwaukee Art Museum

This is an art installation piece at the Milwaukee Art Museum. Most people assume that it is a piece of coral or some sort of crystal sculpture, but if you look closely, you will see the reality:


It is made out of stacked buttons.

For me–this is a wonderful example of how distance changes perspective. Sometimes we need to be close to a subject to see it clearly.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Seconds Before Sunrise Press Release


A fellow author, Shannon A. Thompson, asked me to share this information and I am happy to do so. I really believe that we need to support each other with our creative endeavors. I have reviewed Shannon’s novel as well, which you can find here:

Shannon A. Thompson is a college graduate with a bachelor’s degree in English with an emphasis on creative writing. Whose YA, Paranormal book (AEC Stellar Publishing Inc., March 27th 2014) is the second installment in The Timely Death Trilogy.

Shannon A. Thompson

Two nightmares. One memory.

“Chaos within destiny. It was the definition of our love.”

Eric has weeks before his final battle when he’s in an accident. Forced to face his human side, he knows he can’t survive if he fights alone. But he doesn’t want to surrender, even if he becomes the sacrifice for war.

Jessica’s memory isn’t the only thing she’s lost. Her desire to find her parents is gone and so is her confidence. But when fate leaves nightmares behind, she decides to find the boy she sees in them, even if it risks her sanity.

Here’s what others are saying about it:

Lionel Green from The Examiner:

“Strong character development, a suspenseful climax and a potentially devastating twist of fate make ‘Seconds Before Sunrise’ a welcome addition to the crowded field of young adult paranormal romance novels.”

Desiree Putaski from The Bookie Monster:

“I love the premise of this book; it’s refreshing and unique. The other thing that I love is the author’s ability to create a world within a world. It’s easy to create your own mythical world; where the author gets to make up all the rules that govern that world, but Ms. Thompson has created this mythical world within the real world of Hayworth, Kansas.”

Seconds Before Sunrise
Seconds Before Sunrise

About the Author

You need the world and the world needs good people

Kansas, English graduate Shannon A. Thompson (, is very passionate about writing, reading, and drinking too much coffee. Since her debut novel in 2007, November Snow, she has signed with AEC Stellar Publishing, Inc. She is the Chief Operating Officer of AEC Stellar Publishing Inc., who happens to have a fantastic cat named Bogart, after her favorite actor Humphrey Bogart.


Seconds Before Sunrise

– AEC Stellar Publishing Inc. – ISBN: 1940820030

– Price: $10.51 ISBN13: 9781940820033

– Pub Date: March 2014 – Pages: 277, Paperback, 21 x 14.8 x 1.8 cm

Amazon, Goodreads


Filed under Reading