Literary Links

May/June 2000


Good News and Announcements

May/June 2000--This issue marks the three-year Anniversary of Literary Links, our on-line newsletter. I thank you for your support. If you signed up for automatic delivery of this newsletter via e-mail, but stopped receiving them, please sign up again. We've had some e-mail addys come back as errors, and one of them may have been yours.

July 26-July 30, 2000--RWA 20th Annual National Conference in Washington, D.C. at the Marriott Wardman Park. Join RWA for Life, Love and the Pursuit of a Happy Ending. If you can't make the entire conference, be sure to stop in for the Literacy Autographing and meet your favorite authors on Wednesday, July 26, 1999 from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. All proceeds go to literacy foundations. This event is open to the public, so tell all your friends.  For more information and registration forms, see the RWA National web site at

July 30, 2000--Join the Golden Network Chapter of RWA as they announce the winners of their Golden Contract Contest. The event will take place at 9:00 a.m., in the Delaware A room. At that time, the Golden Network will also be awarding its newly-published authors their Alumni status certificates. Come help them celebrate!

RWA Favorite Book of the Year--Did you vote for 1999 Favorite Book of the Year? If so, check out the results on the RWA National web site. Click Here. And while you're at it, cast your vote for your 2000 Favorite Book of the Year.

Literary Links subscriber Donna G. Kordela is thrilled to announce her first sale!  She sold her historical, Summerhawk, to  To read a synopsis, or to purchase the book through, click here.  Congratulations, Donna!

New On Literary Liaisons

There are many new additions to Literary Liaisons. After reading about them below, check them out on the web site.

Author Donna G. Kordela


Chairs Through the Ages: A Pictorial Archive of Woodcuts & Engravings by Harold H. Hart

The Daguerreotype: Nineteenth-Century Technology and Modern Science by M. Susan Barger and William B. White

An Illustrated Guide to British Jugs: From Medieval Times to the Twentieth Century by R. K. Henrywood

Men's Fashion Illustrations From the Turn of the Century by Jno. J. Mitchell Co.

Metropolitan Fashions of the 1880s: From the 1885 Butterick Catalog edited by Carol Belanger Grafton Creative Internet Strategies to Advance Your Writing Career by Moira Anderson Allen 

Writing for the Web by Crawford Kilian


Featured Title

A History of Jewellery 1100-1870 by Joan Evans

Author Links

Stephanie Bond

RWA Chapters On-line

Carolina Romance Writers

Olympia RWA

Rose City Romance Writers (Portland, OR)

Researching the Romance

Chairs Through the Ages: A Pictorial Archive of Woodcuts & Engravings by Harold H. Hart

The Daguerreotype: Nineteenth-Century Technology and Modern Science by M. Susan Barger and William B. White

An Illustrated Guide to British Jugs: From Medieval Times to the Twentieth Century by R. K. Henrywood

Men's Fashion Illustrations From the Turn of the Century by Jno. J. Mitchell Co.

Metropolitan Fashions of the 1880s: From the 1885 Butterick Catalog edited by Carol Belanger Grafton Creative Internet Strategies to Advance Your Writing Career by Moira Anderson Allen 

Writing for the Web by Crawford Kilian



Writers' Resources Online


The Art of Self-Promotion

Costume Related Links

A List of Occupations

Mountain Tea Inn's Tea Room

The Mystery of Names

Page One

Resources and Links on Women in American History



Feature Article 


by Stephanie Bond

Your speaking voice—the way you express yourself verbally—is made up of different elements of tone, inflection, body language, and word choice. Similarly, your writing voice—the way you express yourself on paper—is also made up of corresponding elements of tone, inflection (using mechanics for emphasis), body language (character movement), and ta-da—word choice.

Your vocabulary determines your word choice, and typically, your spoken vocabulary will differ from your written vocabulary, as well it should. Regional accents, colloquialisms, slang, and plain old mispronunciations can hinder our spoken communication, but usually we can interpret the other person's misunderstanding and remedy the situation. Your written vocabulary, on the other hand, must be more foolproof to compensate for the lack of interaction between the writer and the reader. Word choice, therefore, in my humble opinion, should be the sharpest tool in your writing kit.

Word choice can lend different flavors to your characters and to your story:  southern, western, casual, sophisticated, literary, commercial, humorous, emotional, et cetera. Consider the following passages:

    Kate strode out onto the lanai, gulping her bloody Mary, her leg muscles still jerking from her two-mile run. She wiped at the sweat pooled above her eyebrows with a paper towel, then dropped into a wrought iron chair.

    Savannah strolled out onto the back porch, sipping her raspberry iced tea, her arm muscles still humming from hanging laundry on the clothesline. She dabbed at the perspiration pooled above her eyebrows with a cotton handkerchief, then eased into a glider.

Do you form a different mental picture with each of the passages? See how the words chosen for the first example accumulate to portray a high-energy character:  Kate (short, strong name with hard consonants), strode (implies quick movement), lanai (sophisticated term for deck or patio), gulping (impatient), bloody Mary (hard drink), leg muscles jerking (overworked), two-mile run (yuppie exercise), wiped (quick movement), sweat (more "crude" term), paper towel (disposable), dropped (quick movement), wrought iron chair (hard, cold).

Now, see how words chosen for the second example build to portray a softer character:  Savannah (long, soft consonants), strolled (leisurely), back porch (more down-home), sipping (casual), raspberry iced-tea (wholesome), arm muscles humming (melodious), hanging laundry on the clothesline (beloved chore since she probably has a clothes dryer), dabbed (gentle), perspiration (more "civilized" term), cotton handkerchief (feminine), eased (fluid), glider (fun, relaxed).

So, the art of word choice isn't merely choosing a more sophisticated word, but rather choosing the correct word, be it noun, verb, or adjective, to create a harmonious blend among connecting words. Consequently, developing a larger vocabulary will enable you to choose more wisely, so every writer strive to expand his/her vocabulary. How? A few suggestions:

Read. Read fiction, read non-fiction, read newspapers, read periodicals, read poetry.

Listen. Listen to talk radio, listen to conversations between professionals, between children, between teenagers, between couples, between siblings.

Watch. Watch financial news programs, watch learning channels, watch a play.

Research. Utilize resource manuals—keep a dictionary handy and look up words you don't know the meaning of as you encounter them. Use a hand-thesaurus or the thesaurus in your word processor to help provide a better choice for words you find yourself repeating too often in your writing.

Expand. Buy a book or tape program specifically designed to widen your vocabulary. Such programs typically require you to commit a new word to memory and use it throughout the day.

Invent. Can’t find the exact word you need? Make up one by combining two words with a hyphen (She was neck-deep in contracts.), or by giving a common word a new prefix or suffix (Her body sang with indignance). As long as it fits the context, your editor will probably leave the word alone. Jerry Seinfeld made a huge impact on pop culture by making up words and coining new phrases.

Do your critique partners write comments like "vague" or "confusing" on your work? Has an editor said your story doesn’t have the "magic" she’s looking for? The culprit could be your word choice. Review your work-in-progress (read aloud) and pay special attention to your written vocabulary. Remember, we’re wordsmiths, so go out there and smith those words, darn it!   

Copyright July 1999, S. Bond

Reprinted with permission from Stephanie Bond's website,  Original article appeared in The Galley.  Stephanie Bond writes romantic comedies for Harlequin Temptation Blaze, Too Hot to Sleep, 6/2000; and for St. Martin’s Press, Our Husband, 11/2000. 

Editor's Note

It is with great pleasure that I announce on this third anniversary of the newsletter the first sale of one of our subscribers, Donna G. Kordela.  She recently sold her historical novel, Summerhawk to  It is available for purchase either through or  Congratulations, Donna!  What a wonderful way to start our new year.  I am also grateful to multi-published Harlequin Temptation author, Stephanie Bond, for her article this month.  For more words of wisdom on writing and surviving the writing life, visit Stepahnie's web page at  So welcome to all our new members, and a special thank-you to long-standing members for their continued support.  Here's to another great year!  


FAQ Column

In honor of our third anniversary, I would like to share some reader feedback with you.

**I found the books you recommended while I was researching SUMMERHAWK invaluable. Everyday Life in the l800's was one of them I used for reference. I sold the book to .... Thanks for your newsletter and I feel like it's a visit from an old friend.  Donna K.

**I operate, and was delighted to see that I was getting visitors from your site. I checked it out and saw that you have listed as an online resource. That is fantastic! Thank you very much!  Jonathan L.


Historical Calendar of Events


Ludwig Ganghofer, German popular novelist

Marie Corelli, English novelist

Percival Lowell, American astronomer


March 2--Czar Nicholas I of Russia

Charlotte Bronte, English author

Soren Kierkegaard, Danish philosopher

J.B. Isabey, French painter


March 30--The Treaty of Peshawar signed  creates an Anglo-Afghan alliance against Persia. 

September 11--Russian forces abandon Sevastopol, sinking their ships and blowing up their forts to keep them from falling into enemy hands.

Alexander II succeeds Nicholas I to the Russian throne.

Britain and Afghanistan join against Persia in Treaty of Peshawar.

The Taiping Rebellion ends.

Japan’s Tokugawa shogun Iesada signs treaties with Russia in February and the Netherlands in November.

British diplomat Harry Smith Parke negotiates the first treaty with Siam, obtaining rights to establish consuls and trade throughout the kingdom of Rama IV.

Savoy’s premier Count Camillo Benso di Cavour  brings his country into the Crimean War on the side of England and France.


The Arts

Interior of the Studio by Gustave Courbet 

The Horse Fair by French painter Rosa (Marie Rosalie) Bonheur
Personal Narrative by Sir Richard Francis Burton

Familiar Quotations by Boston publisher John Bartlett

The Age of Fable by Boston scholar Thomas Bulfinch

Principles of Psychology by English philosopher Herbert Spencer
Little Dorrit by Charles Dickens

Le Demi-monde by Alexandre Dumas fils

The Warden by Anthony Trollope

Westward Ho! by English clergyman-novelist Charles Kingsley

Men and Women by Robert Browning

"The Song of Hiawatha" by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

"Maud" by Alfred Lord Tennyson

Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman

The Sicilian Vespers by Verdi premieres in Paris

Popular songs:
"Listen to the Mockingbird" by Richard Millburn, lyrics by Alice Hawthorne

"Star of the Evening" by James M. Sayles

"Come Where My Love Lies Dreaming" by Stephen C. Foster


Daily Life
A professorship of technology is created at Edinburgh University.

Scottish missionary David Livingstone discovers Victoria Falls on the Zambezi River.

The Daily Telegraph is founded in London.

London sewers are modernized after a cholera outbreak.

Florence Nightingale introduces hygienic standards into military hospitals during the Crimean War.

The Paris World Fair is held from May to November.

August 29--An accident on the Camden and Amboy Railroad near Burlington, N.J., kills 21, injures 75.

The Amana community is founded on the Iowa frontier at a site christened by Prussian-American sectarian leader Christian Metz.

The New York State Immigration Commission leases Castle Garden at the foot of Manhattan to receive immigrants. 400,000 arrive in the course of the year.

A new law in Australia’s Victoria colony restricts immigration of Chinese and provides for a poll tax of £10 on each immigrant, in response to the influx of 33,000 Chinese who helped swell the population to 333,000 from 77,000 in 1851 when gold was discovered in New South Wales. 

Wood engravings of some of Fenton’s scenes appear in the Illustrated London News, giving a new sense of reality to war.  Action shots are still impossible.

Boston hotelman Harvey D. Parker opens the Parker House hotel in School Street.  The hotel  serves à la carte meals at all hours of the day instead of requiring that guests sit down at mealtimes to be served a meal dished out by the host. Its kitchen will become famous as the birthplace of the soft Parker House roll.

The Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA) is founded at London to improve the condition of working girls by providing good food and a decent place to sleep for young women living away from home.

Prohibition laws are adopted by Delaware, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, New Hampshire, New York, and the Nebraska Territory.

Fairmount Water Works, built at Philadelphia, will be the basis of 3,845-acre Fairmount Park, largest public park within any American city.

The first U.S. kindergarten opens at Watertown, Wis., where the wife of German immigrant Carl Schurz has started the school for children of other immigrants.

Elmira Female College, founded at Elmira, N.Y., is the first U.S. institution to grant academic degrees to women.

Pennsylvania State University is founded.

Michigan State University is founded at East Lansing.

The Chicago Tribune founded 8 years ago comes under the control of Cleveland publisher Joseph Medill.

Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper is started at New York by English-American publisher Frank Leslie.

Some 16 million bushels of U.S. wheat are exported to Europe, up from 6 million in 1853.


George Audemars takes out first patent for production of rayon.

David E. Hughes invents the printing telegraph.

Austrian engineer Franz Koller develops tungsten steel.

The first iron Cunard steamer crosses the Atlantic in nine and a half days.

Ferdinand de Lesseps is granted concession by France to construct the Suez Canal.

An electric telegraph begins operating between London and Balaklava.

Congress authorizes a telegraph line to link the Mississippi River with the Pacific Coast and commissions James Eddy and Hiram Alden to construct it.

Scots-American James Oliver, invents a steel plow whose working surface is smooth without being brittle.

The Chicago & Rock Island Railroad works to extend its line to Iowa City, Iowa, in response to an offer of $50,000 if the road reaches Iowa City by December 3. With only minutes to spare, workers drag the locomotive the final 1,000 feet with ropes in -30° weather.

John A. Roebling completes a suspension bridge across Niagara Gorge after Charles Ellet has quit in a dispute over finance. A 368-ton train crosses the 821-foot single-span Roebling bridge March 6 and is the first train to cross a bridge sustained by wire cables.

Australian rail transport is thrown into confusion as New South Wales changes from a 5-foot 3-inch gauge to a narrower 4-foot 8.5-inch gauge while South Australia, West Australia, and Queensland adopt a 3-foot 6-inch gauge for reasons of economy.

The Lehigh Valley Railroad has its beginnings in a line built between Easton and Mauch Chunk by Pennsylvania coal mine operator Asa Packer. 

Engineers dredge the malodorous Chicago River to create landfill on which an enlarged city will rise.

French chemist Henri Etienne Sainte-Claire Deville pioneers commercial aluminum production with a practical method for producing the metal.

Celluloid is patented by English chemist Alexander Parkes.

The Sault St. Marie ("Soo") River Ship Canal opens to link Lake Huron and Lake Superior and to make the Great Lakes a huge inland waterway navigable by large ships. 

The new Cleveland Iron Mining Co. started by Samuel Livingston Mather ships the first load of ore to go through the new "Soo" Canal.

English physician Thomas Addison gives the first description of a kind of anemia that is inevitably fatal and will later be called pernicious.

A £25 domestic gas oven introduced by the English firm of Smith and Phillips is one of the first such stoves to be put on the market in an age of coal and wood stoves. Cooking fuel is so costly that hot meals in most British homes are prepared only two or three times a week, but gas ovens will not come into common use for another 40 years.

Gail Borden obtains a patent for his condensed milk containing sugar to inhibit bacterial growth.

Miller’s beer has its origin as Milwaukee brewer Frederick Miller buys the Best Brothers brewery.

Physician Abraham Gestner of Newtown Creek, New York, makes kerosene from raw petroleum and promotes it as a patent medicine.

English-American inventor David Edward Hughes patents a teleprinter.


Subscribe to this Newsletter via e-mail!  Click here!

To The Top | About Literary Liaisons | Author Links | Bookstore Index | Fiction | Non-Fiction | Feature Title | Newsletter Index | Research Articles | Reference Books | On-line Resources | RWA Chapters | Sign Our Guestbook | Contact Us | Home

Copyright 2000, Literary Liaisons. Ltd.