Wednesday, January 26, 2022

The Juxtaposition of History

         This blog is named Victorian Scribbles and the original idea was to write about all things Victorian—which normally we associate with England. You know: cobblestone streets, London fog, Victoria and Albert, Tennyson and all the famous Victorian poets, and, of course, Sherlock Holmes. What is strange to realize is that just short of the midpoint of Victoria's reign, the Civil War was raging in the U.S., and the following aftermath built up in southern states to what later became Jim Crow.

         Just recently I read Vicki Lane's new book, And the Crow Took Their Eyes, in my opinion, a masterpiece. 

When I think of the Civil War, in the past I've always imagined a unified Confederacy. But that wasn't the case. Slave owners fought to preserve their way of life, but a large proportion of of villagers in small out of the way places didn't have any desire for war. They had no desire for slaves, didn't want to be dragged into any fighting. They just wanted to be left alone and get by. If they did join the Conferate army, often it was at gunpoint. More often, they just vanished into the woods and hills until the recruiters left.

One such place was Shelton Laurel in North Carolina, where thirteen men who wouldn't fight were suspected of being Union sympathizers and were massacred. Apparently the history is factual, the massacre famous, but the story Lane tells is through the eyes of five fictionalized characters, all with different voices. And, fiction being a powerful tool for truth, the story unfolds, voice by voice, showing the ravages of war that alter communities and don't end when the shooting stops. It's a heartbreaking read, but a valuable one, and the writer's mastery of language and culture of the area make the community and the individual characters come alive for the reader. This is one of the best books I've ever read. 

If you click on the title above, you'll be taken to the book itself. Go there, please.

What books have you been reading? Please share.

Friday, January 14, 2022

Back from the Holidays


This year marked our very first Christmas and New Year's Eve/Day in Portugal. We had lovely holidays, sharing Christmas Eve with our "Portuguese family" and Christmas week with a series of Zoom, Skype, and WhatsApp get togethers with family and friends so far away. Thank goodness for the Internet. It does help close the distance so wonderfully.

Here is Christmas Eve with our "Portuguese family." What delicious food we had - a traditional Xmas Eve Portuguese meal! And wonderful company as always. Our hostess took the picture, so, alas you can't see her. The woman to your right is her mother. The young woman is her daughter. And across the table from the daughte ris her husband. They are such terrific friends. 

We also indulged in binge reading, since Covid kept us more indoors than out ("outdoors" being reserved for our daily walks.) As a result, for a while I will be sharing reviews of some of the books we read - most of them mysteries, and many on this blog related to Sherlock Holmes since his major era was the Victorian Era.

But first I have to share with you a charming children's book that you can back in a Kickstarter Project:
Sherlock Cat and the Missing Mousie. I had the opportunity ro read an advance copy, and it's just delightful! 

The book is already up on Amazon and you can pre-order if you wish, but it won't be released until March. Once it does come out, I'll review it here as well as on Amazon.

And here is the link to the Kickstarter project if you are interested.  

A more serious review of a "thriller" type book (i.e. dead bodies and the hunt for a killer) will be on my Fourth Wish blog tomorrow.

I hope all of you had a wonderful holiday season. I will look forward to reading your posts and catching up on your news. Any good reads you discovered, please share. 

Take care and stay well. 

Thursday, December 23, 2021



                                 "FELIZ NATAL E UM PROSPERO ANO NOVO"


Friday, November 12, 2021

It's Friday Again, and Time for THIF (Thank Holmes It's Friday)

Good morning fellow Victorian Era/Sherlock lovers. It's Friday again, with some incredible new offers HERE . Check them out

:#THIF - Thank Holmes It's Friday Offers Week 43

Are you a Sherlock Holmes addict as I am? A mystery lover? Every week MX Publishing offers new riches. 

Monday, September 27, 2021


 I'm posting this on both blogs, but when I finish my book, I will go back to having different posts.

BUT - I AM WRITING, which is why I haven't been posting. And I have all these pictures of Portugal I want to share!

My muse says otherwise, though. "Thou must write, and get to it right now, okay?"

The good news is that I'M ALMOST FINISHED WITH MY BOOK. I expect to finish this draft next week and send it to my beta readers. Oh Happy Day.

News about the arm? Ultra sound seems to confirm tendon damage. I see my orthopedic surgeon Wednesday, but at last meeting, when he order the ultra sound, he seemed to feel physical therapy can suffice. Thank goodness. 

Hope all is going well with all of you, and I look forward to when I can be back and interactive. But now I must hie to the keyboard for other reasons.

Everyone take care and stay well.

Sunday, September 5, 2021

New Developments

 One of these days I'll be able to write a post again where I am not reporting bad news. Recently we had another death in the famiy (one of my husband's brothers — so we've been on "WhatsApp" a lot with scattered family), and I also learned that the fall had done more damage to my shoulder than I had thought. I posted this on Facebook, but realized this morning I should do so here as well to expain why I'm not posting much lately. I'm also posting this on both blogs. 

I have an appointment with an orthopedic specialist this Friday about my shoulder — last week had more Xrays taken. I should learn more Friday about whethr surgery or physical therapy is the future.

Other updates: The cataract surgery went very well and Friday I'll have one last check before my opthomologist writes a new prescription. (Here in Braga, the same doctor is both opthamologist and optometrist, which I kinda like.)

Despite all of the above, I've been writing on my book, and I have about 6 chapters left to the end before I rewrite it and send it to my beta readers.

I hope all who stop by are having a good week filled with good activities and good news.

Take care and stay well.