The Stars Look Very Different Today: A Tribute to David Bowie

IMG_5998Usually when an artist, actor, or celebrity of note dies, the alert gives a quick one line explanation of exactly why you should know this person. “John Q, backup singer for the Flying Wallabees…” or “Adele McManohan, artist of the painting Godzilla in Spring…”—something like that.

This morning, I looked at my phone and read the alert.

David Bowie dies of cancer aged 69.

No preface. No lead-in. No explanation as to what he was famous for. Just—boom.

And not under “Entertainment” but “Top Stories.”

That’s how big Bowie was. The man lived a life in the arts for five decades. He pushed boundaries, lived a life both dangerous and glorious, and he continued to do what he loved right up to his death.

And yet I have not always been a fan of David Bowie. Continue reading

Endless Possibilities Blog Tour 2014: Linda Johnston on Historical Research

I have been somewhat delinquent in my duties on this blog tour. I went dark during a writers’ retreat (more on that coming on The Shared Desk, so watch your feed. I am probably going to extend my own blogposts another week, just to make sure everyone gets proper coverage, maybe even double-up on guests.

Hey, I got plenty of room here. My guests will just argue on who gets the bed and who gets the pull-out bed from the couch.

My first guest is Linda Johnston, a writer, artist, and naturalist.  In her writing, she brings together history, art, and nature, creating one voice, one passion for everyone to enjoy.  Last August, Linda published Hope Amid Hardship: Pioneer Voices from Kansas Territory, a narrated, illustrated collection of diaries and letters by settlers who wrote about the joyful side of life in their adopted communities during the years 1855 to 1861. Hope Amid Hardship is her first book.

Linda, the blog is yours…

linda_webI am addicted to historical research.  During the last year or so of work on the book, my husband would occasionally ask, “Isn’t the research phase about over?”  Even though my book was published in August, I continue to find little gems that I can use for book talks. I can’t help myself.

Research for my book began in 1986, although I didn’t know I was working toward a book then.  I just started reading pioneer diaries and letters and have never stopped.

The first diaries I read were on microfilm or occasionally, an original found in a local historical society, library, or the most incredible library, the Library of Congress. Available resources depended on where job transfers took my family and me.

Continue reading