Literary Links

May/June 2004


Good News and Announcements

Upcoming Releases--Look for these upcoming releases by our family of authors!  In Your Eyes by Laura Moore is a June 29, 2004 release from Ivy Books. West of Heaven by Victoria Bylin is a July 1, 2004 release from Harlequin Historicals. And available now from Allie Pleiter, is Facing Every Mom's Fears.

May/June 2004--This issue marks the seven-year Anniversary of Literary Links, our on-line newsletter. This past year saw the publication of our Victorian Research Guide in CD format, and a growing family of on-line authors.  For more information, click here

RWA National Conference--July 28-31, 2004--Dallas, Texas--Romance Writers of America will hold its 23rd annual conference at the Adam's Mark Hotel.   Workshop Presentation--Michelle Jean Hoppe will be presenting a workshop at the RWA National conference on Thursday, July 29 at 8:30a.m.  The title is "Interweaving the Writer and the Web".  It will cover the benefits of having an internet presence, and how to design/publicize a web site.  Moonlight Madness Bazaar--Literary Liaisons will once again be selling copies of the Victorian Research Guide at the Moonlight Madness Bazaar on Thursday, July 29, 2004, from 8:00p.m. to midnight.  See the RWA website for more information. 

Victorian Research Guide--This 252-page guide, Researching the British Historical--The Victorian Era, is now available either in print format or CD-Rom.  For more information, click here


New On Literary Liaisons

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





In Your Eyes by Laura Moore

West of Heaven by Victoria Bylin




A Little History of British Gardening by Jenny Uglow

No More Rejections by Alice Orr

The Sound of Paper by Julia Cameron

Victorian London's Middle-Class Housewife: What She Did All Day by Yaffa Claire Draznin

Victorian Splendor by Connie Case (



The Video Library


The Onedin Line--Set 2



Researching the Romance


A Little History of British Gardening by Jenny Uglow

No More Rejections by Alice Orr

The Sound of Paper by Julia Cameron

Victorian London's Middle-Class Housewife: What She Did All Day by Yaffa Claire Draznin

Victorian Splendor by Connie Case (



Writers' Resources Online


The Costume Gallery

Medallion Press

Museum of London--Learning

Queen Victoria--Images of Her World

Victorian Timeline in Fashion and Events


Feature Article 

Organizing Your Writing--Part One--Preparation and Process

by Michelle Jean Hoppe

In a previous article, I showed you how to organize your work space to create more time, and be more productive.  This article (Part one of two) will explore ways to organize your writing.  We'll cover both paper and electronic filing systems to help you keep track of all your projects--past, present and future.

The first step in starting a writing project should be to create a new file, both in your file cabinet, and on your computer.  You will be duplicating some of the items in these files, and that's okay. This will serve as a backup, should anything happen to the originals in either place.

The size of the file you'll create depends on the project.  If you're writing a non-fiction article or short story for the magazine market, you'll need a simple accordion folder with pockets, or separate file folders which can later be kept in an expandable folder, for your hard copies.  In these folders, you should keep the following:

  • Hard copy of article or short story
  • Cover letters of submissions
  • Replies to submissions
  • Correspondence with markets, both pre- and post-sale
  • Sources
  • Payments received

Your computer storage will be similar.  If you write both non-fiction and fiction, start with a folder for each of these, then create individual folders for each project within them.  Within your project folders, keep an e-copy of the article or story, proposals, cover letters you've sent out, and copies of e-mail correspondence regarding that project. 

For a larger project, like a novella or novel, use a portable file box with either hanging file folders or standard file folders.  You may also need binders, depending on the size of your files.  Start with your research materials.  Depending on your preference, you can either use a binder with index tabs, or file folders. 

Keep research material sorted by subject so it's easier to find when you're looking for it.  Whenever you copy material out of a book, include a copy of the title page.  That way, you can easily find the reference if you need it again. If you borrow a book from the library, write the call number on any copies you make so you won't have to look it up again.  If you take handwritten notes, write the title, author and call number of the book in your notes.  This way, you can easily locate a source if you need to prove something to an editor, agent or reader. Finally, if you interview someone, include the name, title and phone number of that person, along with the date of contact and a written transcript of the interview if possible.

You will find over time that you will be using many of the same references over and over.  This is when it's best to create general research folders for easy access. Rather than linking them to any work in particular, keep a separate file drawer for these research materials.  Again, create a folder for each subject and file them either alphabetically or by theme--whichever system works best for you.  File 'Craft' materials separate from 'Research' materials.  As you come across articles in magazines or newspapers, tear them out or copy them (be sure to include the source).  File them in the appropriate folder. For more efficiency, create a "To File" folder, and remind yourself to file those articles either monthly or weekly.  You may also wish to create a "Story Ideas" folder for any miscellaneous articles which pique your interest, but don't apply to your current projects. 

As for reference books, if you're a writer, you're sure to have started your own personal library.  Even this can be organized to make your writing easier.  Sort books on your shelves by subject, and within that subject, sort them alphabetically either by title or author. If you're using particular books for your work in progress, keep those books nearby on a separate shelf.  Write down the titles of any books you loan to friends, along with the date loaned, so you know where it is should you need it.  For references you used, but do not own, such as library books, keep a bibliography either in a database or spreadsheet program.  Spreadsheets are easy to work with because you can easily sort the data by any of the columns.  If you prefer to work with paper rather than electronic files, write the bibliographic information down on index cards and file accordingly.

For online research, create folders and subfolders in your "Favorites" file as your needs require.  For example, you may have a general "Research" folder, then within that folder, "Fashion" and within that folder, subfolders for Men, Women and Children's clothing. In addition to saving the page in your Favorites folder, you may want to print it out if it is not too lengthy.  This sounds like extra work, and extra storage space, but with the internet in such a state of fluctuation, what you may find one day, may not be there three months later.  If the URL does not print on the page, be sure to write it out, along with the title of the site, as some sites change URLs as well as content.

When you save a page to your Favorites folder, take a few extra moments to also save it to a spreadsheet file.  Include the name of the site and the URL in this Research file, and site content if not clearly indicated by title.  If you lose your "Favorites" file, you will still have this backup list.  Print this list out periodically and save in a separate folder. 

Once you begin work on your novel, you need to start another set of files.  These will go in the file box with your research material.  Keep copies of your character sketches, plotting worksheets, chapter outlines, floor plans, maps, etc. , in this file.  If you are working on a more complicated plot with many characters, you may want to map out a family tree and include that in your file.  This way, you can keep all your characters straight, and not contradict yourself.  I use genealogy software for this purpose.  The cost outlay is reasonable, and well worth it for stories which span decades or centuries. 

Once you begin writing, create a new folder in your computer files.  Have a separate file for each chapter or section, as well as the synopsis and any correspondence for that project.  Smaller files are more manageable, and can be easily combined into a Master File for printing and auto-collating later on.  Save your work as you go.  Some word processing programs allow you to save files automatically every few minutes, and a backup file is created in a power failure or other emergency.  Perform daily backups to a disc on any files you've worked on that day.  Once a project is complete, copy all pertinent files to a disc or CD and store the disc off site or in a fire-safe box.  If you choose off-site back-up, trade with another writer.  You keep her backups, and she'll keep yours.  Make sure the disc is easily accessible should you need it quickly.  And if you should happen to part ways with the other writer, get all your discs back and return hers. 

As you write, you will create another set of files for your file box.  Print out hard copies of your synopsis, chapters, cover letters, and all correspondence just in case all e-copies are destroyed.  Discard old versions, and keep only the most currently edited files.  Keep a master copy of your manuscript within easy reach so you can take it to a copy center when you get a request, rather than having to spend time printing it again.

Now that you've made good progress on your writing, or you've completed a project, it's time to start submitting to contests and editors.  Check back for Part Two of this article--Submitting and Networking.



Organize Yourself! by Ronni Eisenberg and Kate Kelly, Macmillan, 1997

Organizing from the Inside Out by Julie Morgenstern, Henry Holt & Co., 1998

Organizing Plain and Simple by Donna Smallin, Storey Books, 2002


For more resources on Organizing, see the "Writer's Resources" section on our Researching the Romance page.

Editor's Note

Wow, it's hard to believe I've been running this web site for seven years.  It's even more difficult to comprehend all the changes in my life over those seven years.  I've made some wonderful and supportive friends in the writing community, as well as in my personal life.  The two overlap so often, though, I am lucky in that my writing friends are also my personal friends.  They've helped me through some pretty tough rejections, both in writing and life.  I'm happy to say that this begins seven more years, and many more after that.  In the next six weeks, I'll be getting married, moving, and vacationing in London with my new family.  So by the time you receive our next newsletter, my life will have undergone a complete makeover.  (I wish I could say the same for my closet. <g>)  I'll return to you as Michelle Jean Prima, and will be speaking under that name at RWA National this year.  So until then, have a great summer, and happy organizing!

--Michelle Hoppe

President, Literary Liaisons, Ltd.

Q&A Column

In recognition of our anniversary, I'd like to share some comments left by guests at the web site:


--I would like to congratulate you on a great website, that I as a Historical Fiction (Vic) writer, will find very useful. I appreciate the amount of time it must have taken to compile so much information.
I have listed your site in my favourites column, and will return very often.  (Anne)


--You have a wonderful web site.  (Donna)


--I am getting married in May, well after reading this I may need to change it to June..LOL We are having a Victorian style wedding and this was so perfect!  (Carolyn)


Thank you for your praise and support over the years...Michelle


Historical Calendar of Events


E.M. Forster--English novelist

William Beveridge--British economist

J.C. Maxwell--English physicist

Albert Einstein--German physicist

Paul Klee--Swiss painter

Joseph Stalin--Russian Communist dictator

Leon Trotsky--Russian Communist leader



Honore Daumier--French painter



British churchman W.L. Blackley proposed a scheme for old-age pensions.

The Irish Land League was founded to campaign for independence from Britain.

Zulus massacred British soldiers in Isandhlwana.

The Zulu nation founded by Shaka in 1816 ended as British breech-loading rifles killed 8,000 Zulu warriors and wounded more than 16,000.

Peace treaty signed with Zulu chiefs.

Congress gave women the right to practice law before the U.S. Supreme Court.

President Hayes vetoed an act of Congress restricting Chinese immigration.

French Prince Imperial, son of Napoleon II, killed in action.

French Republicans gained 58 seats in the January 5 senatorial elections but faced a hostile majority in the senate and chamber.

French President MacMahon resigned January 30 with 1 year of his term to go. He was succeeded by Jules Grévy.

Anti-Jesuit laws introduced in France

Germany’s policy of free trade ended July 13 with a new protective tariff law.



The Arts

"Portrait of Sarah Bernhardt" by Bastien-Lepage

"Mme. Charpentier and Her Children" by Auguste Renoir

"The Cup of Tea" by Mary Cassatt


Daisy Miller by Henry James

The Egoist by George Meredith

The Red Room by August Strindberg

"The Tar Baby" by Uncle Remus

Under the Window by Kate Greenaway


Progress and Poverty by Henry George

Essay on Finance by Robert Giffen


A Doll's House by Henrik Ibsen premiered January 21 at Copenhagen's Royal Theater

The Heart is Not Stone by Aleksandr Ostrovsky premiered November 21 at St. Petersburg's Alexandrinsky THeater


"Eugen Onegin" by Tchaikovsky, premiered in Moscow March 29 at the Moscow Conservatory

"The Pirates of Penzance" by Gilbert and Sullivan premiered at New York's Fifth Avenue Theater on December 31.

Popular Songs: 

"In the Evening by the Moonlight" by James Bland



Daily Life

The public was granted unrestricted admission to the British Museum.

The Tay Bridge collapsed in Scotland under the weight of a train in a winter storm.

The first large-scale skiing contest was held at Huseby Hill, Oslo, Norway.

Australian frozen meat went on sale in London.

Britain had her worst harvest of the century, while crops failed throughout Europe.

Ireland’s potato crop failed again and the widespread hunger produced agrarian unrest.

India had a poor crop and much of the harvest was consumed by rats.

Famine continued in China.

McCormick’s reaper sold for $1,500 in the United States, up from $150 in 1861.

The Atlanta Constitution founded in 1868 got a new editor, Henry Woodfin Grady, who will increase the paper’s vitality.

Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. of New York began offering small policies for wage-earners, pioneering mass insurance coverage.

F. W. Woolworth Co. had its beginnings at Watertown, New York, where store clerk Frank Winfield Woolworth persuaded his employer to install a counter at which all goods were priced at 5¢.  

The May Company was started at Leadville, Colorado by German-American merchant David May. 

Radcliffe College had its beginnings in classes for women started at Cambridge, Massachusetts, by Elizabeth Cary Agassiz.

Leadville, Colorado became the world’s largest silver camp with more than 30 producing mines, 10 large smelters, and an output of nearly $15 million.

Carlisle Training and Industrial School for Indians was founded at Carlisle, Pennsylvania by former U.S. Army officer Richard Henry Pratt.

The Boston park system was completed by Frederick Law Olmsted.

Thomas Lipton’s British grocery store chain made him a millionaire at age 29.   

A large exodus of Southern blacks to Kansas began as restrictions against former slaves increased in states of the old Confederacy.

Detroit acquired Belle Isle in the Detroit River for $200,000 and will enlarge the 768-acre island into a 985-acre park.

Buffalo hunters killed the last of the Southern bison herd at Buffalo Springs, Texas.

The Church of Christ, Scientist was chartered at Boston by Mary Baker Eddy. 

Canadians observed their first Thanksgiving Day November 6; the day will be observed on a Monday in October beginning in 1931.

William K. Vanderbilt acquired New York's 5-year-old Gilmore’s Garden, renamed it Madison Square Garden, and announced that it would be used primarily as an athletic center.

Rev. John Hartley won in Wimbledon singles play.

Le Train Bleu began thrice-a-week service as an all-sleeper express between Calais and Rome via Nice.




London's first telephone exchange was established.

U.S. engineer Leroy B. Firman invented the multiple switchboard.

New York merchants urged Bell Telephone to open its exchange for calls at 5 o’clock in the morning rather than 8 and to remain open later than 6 o’clock in the evening.

The first electric tram was exhibited by E.W. Siemens at the Berlin Trade Exhibition.

The Orient went into service for the Orient Line’s Australian passenger traffic and was the first ship to be lighted by electricity.

Ira Remsen and Constantin Fahlberg accidentally discovered saccharin while investigating the reactions of a class of coal tar derivatives.

The first milk bottles appeared at Brooklyn, N Y., at the Echo Farms Dairy.

Wheatena whole wheat cooked cereal was introduced by a small bakery owner on New York’s Mulberry Street, who advertised it in newspapers to compete with oatmeal.

L.F. Nilson discovered the element scandium.

German physician Albert Ludwig Siegmund Neisser discovered that the gonococcus bacterium transmits the venereal infection gonorrhea.  

Russian pathologist Ivan Petrovich Pavlov showed with studies on dogs that the stomach produces gastric juices even without the introduction of food.

Parke, Davis & Co. of Detroit introduced liquid Ergotae Purificatus, and assured physicians that dosages will be of the exact strength specified, pioneering standardization of pharmaceutical drugs by chemical assay.  

The Seed Dry Plate was introduced by English-American photographer Miles Ainscoe Seed of St. Louis.  It could be carried anywhere, exposed, and developed later.

France’s Cathedral of St. Stephen at Limoges was completed after 603 years of construction.  

St. Patrick’s Cathedral on Fifth Avenue opened in New York after 26 years of work.

Four California oil wells and a refinery were merged by San Francisco financial interests to create Pacific Coast Oil Co.

French interests laid the U.S. end of a new Atlantic Cable at North Eastham, Mass. 

Cleveland and San Francisco installed street-lighting systems that employed arc-lamps invented by Charles Francis Brush.

Swiss scientist Herman Fol observed a spermatozoan penetrating an egg, confirming Oscar Hertwig’s 1875 conclusion that a single male cell performs the act of fertilization.

Scots-American paper-bag maker Robert Gair pioneered the low-priced cardboard carton.

New York’s Third Avenue “El” reached 129th Street one year after reaching 67th Street.

George B. Selden filed for a patent on a road vehicle to be powered by an internal combustion engine.

National Cash Register had its beginnings in a register patented November 4 by Dayton, Ohio saloon-keeper James J. Ritty.

Hungarian engineers installed steel rollers in a new Minneapolis flour mill. 

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