Western Wednesday: Faith and the Texas Lawyer ~ Carra Copelin plus giveaway

Author Kari Trumbo

WesternWednesdays I’ll be featuring authors from a Facebook group I am a part of, Pioneer Hearts. The authors at Pioneer Hearts have two things in common, we write historical Westerns and we write Romance. You can find almost any heat level there that you’re looking for except erotica. Because of this fact, I’ve added a new little icon on the bottom of my Western reviews, a heat level, so you as a reader know what to expect.

Check the end of this post for a giveaway!

 Faith and the Texas Lawyer

A Time-Travel Romance

Faith Daniels has had a hard time fitting in all her life, from the time she was left on the steps of a firehouse to her recent divorce. The only time she feels connected is when she rehabs old houses. Often she wishes she could have experienced life in a simpler time. Her current project…

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Texas Facts and Trivia Thursday–Texas Flags III

I know I said last week I was looking for October and slightly cooler temperatures, but can you believe it’s already been a week? We’ve been inside for the bulk of the day, me writing, the Hubs watching the Olympics. He said today he really had a bad case of cabin fever. I guess he’ll have to deal or go outside and melt! <g>

The following are the next installments in the Texas flags portion of facts and trivia.
The descriptions are used in whole or in part from, http://www.tamu.edu/faculty/ccbn/dewitt/indepenflgs.htm. All attempts have been made to give credit where credit is due.

 

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Baker’s Flag of San Felipe. According to the Telegraph and Texas Register, San Felipe, 5 Mar 1836 “….the English Jack showing the origin of Anglo-Americans, thirteen stripes representing that most of the colonists in Texas are from the United States; the Star is Texas, the only state in Mexico retaining the least spark of the light of Liberty; tricolor is Mexican, showing that we onced belonged to the confederacy; the whole flag is historic.”

It was dubbed the San Felipe flag and based on ideas expressed to Gail Borden Jr. by Stephen F. Austin in the enclosure to a letter from New Orleans of 18 Jan 1836: “I shall preach independence all over the US wherever I go–What do you think of the inclosed idea of a flag.” The flag was presented to the company of volunteers commanded by Captain Moseley Baker (John P. Borden, 1st. Lt.) by Gail Borden Jr. in the name of “two ladies” from the area as they marched from San Felipe 29 Feb 1836 for Gonzales. Capt. Baker made a speech to his company in response to the presentation referring to the flag “this banner of independence.” He said “first in your hands is placed the Texas flag; let you be the last to see it strike to the invading foe! Let no other feeling ever glow in your bosom than that expressed in the motto on your banner, ‘Our Country’s Rights or Death.’…..Let us all raise our hands to heaven and swear, ‘The Texas flag shall wave triumphant or we will sleep in death!'”It was claimed to have been flown at San Jacinto by those in Sherman’s division. (Modified from Gilbert, Flags of Texas).

 

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Flag of the New Orleans Greys. Two groups of volunteers from New Orleans joined the Texas resistance to the Mexican centralista dictatorship. Members of the Greys participated in the Siege and Battle of Bexar, the Alamo and Goliad. The bright blue silk banner of the first company with an eagle bearing a banner stating “God and Liberty”is thought to have flown over the Alamo among possibly other flags. It is said to have been retained and transported to Mexico as a symbol of foreign military intervention in the affairs of Mexican Texas. The flag is said to have deteriorated in storage over the years at various locations in Mexico and it is unclear how much of the original still exists versus additions in restoration. Several attempts have been made to obtain the flag for traveling exhibition or even return to a site in Texas or the US. (Image modified from Gilbert, Flags of Texas)

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Flag of the Alabama Red Rovers. Like their uniforms, this solid blood red flag was the banner of the Red Rovers, a company of volunteers from Alabama who came to Texas in fall 1835 to aid the Texan forces. The Red Rovers were in large part massacred at Goliad on Palm Sunday, 27 Mar 1836, although some survivors were among them. The Rovers were recruited, supported and commanded by Dr. and Capt. Jack Shacklefordof Courtland, Alabama, who was with them at Goliad. Dr. Shackleford’s life was spared because he was a surgeon.

Below are links that may be of additional interest:

dewitt.htm

indepenflgs.htm

dewittflgs2.htm

 

I’m so glad you stopped by. Please let me know if there’s anything you’d like to see in my Texas posts and I always love to read your comments.

Hugs,

Carra

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Texas Facts and Trivia Thursday–Texas Flags

Happy Thursday everyone! I hope your week has been pleasant. Mine has gone well, except that it’s the end of July in Texas, and hotter than a two dollar pistol! I hate to wish my life away, but I’m looking forward to October. <g>

The following are the next installments in the Texas flags portion of facts and trivia.

The descriptions are used in whole or in part from, http://www.tamu.edu/faculty/ccbn/dewitt/indepenflgs.htm. All attempts will be made to give credit where credit is due.

Brown’s Flag of Independence. This flag is said to have been designed by Capt. William S. Brown at Velasco in fall 1835 preceding Capt. Dimmitt’s bloody-arm flag with which it has been commonly confused since it employs the same symbol (see Origin of the Bloody Arm Symbol). Which came first is uncertain, but it is likely that one influenced the other. This banner may have been flown by Capt. Brown and his men at the Battle of Bexar and with him when he went to Goliad after the battle where he was a signer of the Goliad Declaration of Independence. Although Capt. Dimmitt’s flag is thought to be the primary one at the ceremonial announcement of the declaration, the Brown flag was probably present and may have also been displayed. References to the fact that Brown’s flag was first unfurled at Goliad may refer to the simpler Dimmitt flag consisting of only the arm and knife on a field of white. Afterwards Brown also went to San Felipe where the banner was again said to be unfurled prior to his return home to Velasco.

There it may have been flown in front of the American Hotel on 8 Jan 1836 along with the Troutman flag of the Georgia Battalion. Author John Henry Brown (History of Texas) stated “Over the cabin in which the convention met and declared for independence, floated a flag with the design of a sinewy hand grasping a red sword, and underneath this was a lone star flag.” Mamie Wynne Cox in Romantic Flags of Texas says “As Captain Brown’s Flag was the only banner carrying a design of a bloody sword, this could have been none other than his.” Cox describes the Brown flag as a large deep blue field in the upper left corner, in which is a white arm grasping a sword fromt he point of which is dripping blood. The flag has thirteen stripes, seven red and six white with the word INDEPENDENCE in the third white stripe from the top. Author Brown’s description does not clearly describe either of the two “bloody arm” flags or the lone star flag. He appears to be referring to two flags on the same pole, although it could even have been a composite single banner. (Image adapted from Gilbert, Flags of Texas)

Dimmit’s Goliad Flag. This militant and defiant banner, designed by Goliad garrison commander, Capt. Phillip Dimmitt, dramatically reflected the political shift of Texians and Capt. Dimmitt away from support of the independent statehood of Texas in the Mexican Federalist Republic and return to the Constitution of 1824 to support of complete separation from Mexico as an independent Republic. Before he returned from the Siege and Battle of Bexar to Goliad in the middle of Dec 1835, Capt. Dimmitt was an avid Mexican Federalist and opposed to separation which was symbolized in the 1824 Mexican tri-color which is also thought to be of his own design. Dimmitt’s bloody arm flag was said to have been raised ceremonially on Dec 20 upon the signing of the Goliad Declaration of Independence as the official flag of the occasion although the banners of companies of Capt. William S. Brown and Capt. William Scott were also present at Goliad at the time.

Which banner was actually flown over the Goliad garrison is the subject of controversy and comment by historians. Mary Agnes Mitchell in First Flag of Texas Independence cites memoirs of participants John James and Nicholas Fagan “The Goliad flag was made personally by Captain Dimmitt himself….It was of white domestic, two yards in length and one in width, and in the center was a sinewy arm and hand, painted red, grasping a drawn sword of crimson…..The flagpole was made from a tall sycamore which was procured from the woods along the banks of the San Antonio River…..The flagstaff was in the yard of the quadrangle opposite the entrance to the officers’ quarters.” Dimmitt’s flag flew over the ramparts of Goliad through 10 Jan 1836 when Dr. James Grant and the Federalist Volunteers of Texas forced its removal with threat of violence and which caused the subsequent exit of Col. Dimmitt and those loyal to him from the garrison. The banner is thought to have exited with them. The motivation behind Dimmitt’s use of the bloody arm symbol is unclear as was whether he acquired it independently or simply under influence of the Brown flag which employed the same symbol (see Origin of the Bloody Arm Symbol).

Troutman Goliad Flag. This flag was designed in Nov 1835 by Johanna Troutman, sometimes called the Betsy Ross of Texas. When the Georgia Battalion of Volunteers under Captain William Ward marched from Macon to Columbus, GA on their way to Texas in response to an appeal for aid for Texas by Col. Fannin, Miss Troutman (daughter of Col. C.A. Troutman of Knoxville, GA and later Mrs. Pope), presented the troop with the flag to carry with them. According to Mrs. Looscan, the banner was of white silk with an azure star on both sides.

On one side was the words Ubi libertas habitat ibi nostra patria est–“Where Liberty Dwells, There is my Home” in Latin, on the other side was the letters indicated. Author John Henry Brown says that the flag was flown at the American Hotel in Velasco in Jan 1836 upon the arrival of the Georgia Battalion in Texas and some have claimed it also flew at the Texas Independence convention at Washington-on-the-Brazos. However, it was said to have been taken to and flown at Goliad by Col. Fannin. Guy M. Bryan in a speech before the Texas Veterans Association in 1873 “The Georgia battalion flag was azure, lone star, five points, in white field. This flag was raised as national flag on the walls of Goliad by Fannin when he heard of the Declaration of Independence.” The flag was thought to have been destroyed in haste to get it down upon retreat from the garrison at Goliad.

I do hope you enjoy these posts and, again, if there’s any subject in Texas history you’d like to know more about, let me know. Below are links that may be of additional interest.

http://www.tamu.edu/faculty/ccbn/dewitt/dewitt.htm

http://www.tamu.edu/faculty/ccbn/dewitt/indepenflgs.htm

http://www.tamu.edu/faculty/ccbn/dewitt/dewittflgs2.htm

Hope you enjoyed the history and don’t forget to leave a comment.

Carra

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Texas Facts and Trivia Thursday–Texas Flags

I’ve been trying to decide what subject to write about that might be of interest. Yes, there’s a world of interesting ways I could go, but nothing that really tripped my trigger. I guess I’m pretty slow because the most interesting subject matter is right in front of my nose. Texas! And, I believe I’ll start with the flags of Texas Independence.

Most folks know that six flags of government have flown over Texas, and we’re not talking theme park. Those flags are Spain (from 1519 to1685), France (from 1685 to 1690), Spain (from 1690 to 1821), Mexico (from 1821 to 1836), Republic of Texas (from 1836 to 1845), United States (from 1845 to 1861), Confederate States (from 1861 to 1865), and United States from 1865 to the current period. These are interesting because they got us where we are today. The ones I want to share are the flags of Texas Independence from 1835-1836. Since there are twelve flags in this segment, I’m going to divide them up into segments of three. The following descriptions are used in whole or in part from, http://www.tamu.edu/faculty/ccbn/dewitt/indepenflgs.htm. All attempts will be made to give credit where credit is due.

The first Flag of the Fredonion Rebellion.

Empresario Hayden Edwards contracted with the Republic of Mexico to settle 800 families in East Texas. Article 2 of his contract stated that “all those possessions which are found in Nacogdoches and its vicinity, with corresponding titles shall be respected by the colonists; and it shall be the duty of the empresario, should any of the ancient possessors claim the preservation of their rights, to comply with this condition.”

Edwards proceeded to force settlers, both Anglo and native Hispanics, to move or pay him for their land. The Mexican government canceled his contract. In response to the cancellation, Edwards made an alliance with Cherokee Indians represented by John Dunn Hunter and Richard Fields and declared the “Republic of Fredonia” independent of Mexico under the banner shown. The two colors are thought to symbolize the alliance. Inscribed also in the white field were names of key participants in the alliance. After he failed to rally a significant number of Anglo settlers in the Austin, DeWitt, DeLeon colonies and other areas of Texas, he abandoned the cause and returned to the United States. The flag was said to have been displayed later at rallies for Texas independence in 1835.

Next is the Flag of the Harrisburg Volunteers.

This banner was carried by volunteers comprising Capt. Andrew Robinson’s company from Harrisburg and designed by Sarah Rudolph Bradley Dodson in Sep 1835 for her husband, 1st Lt. A.B. Dodson and colleagues. Mrs. M. Looscan in her article in Wooten’s Comprehensive History of Texas, who claimed her information came from Mr. Dodson who was still living in Alice, Nueces Co, TX in 1896, describes the red, white and blue flag at left, but with the star, said to be copied from an old military coat button or seal, in a blue field next to the staff. According to Dodson she related that the flag was flown by the company in the Siege and Battle of Bexar.

According to Creed Taylor in Tall Men with Long Rifles, this flag was “of ordinary solid color ‘calico’-tri-colored, red, white and blue, emblazoned with a five-pointed white star, set in the red background, the three color bars being set perpendicular, or upright, the red, with the star next to the flagstaff……was much in evidence on the march from Gonzales to San Antonio, being borne by Second Lieutenant James Ferguson. I remember seeing this flag at our camp on the Cibolo, and I think it was carried on to Concepcion….I have heard it was left in the Alamo….and that fragments…were found among the ruins after the fall of the fortress.”

Historian John Henry Brown states that this banner was flown at the Texas Independence Convention at Washington-on-the-Brazos beginning 1 March 1836 before the fall of the Alamo. This flag employing red, white and blue stripes with the single star is the earliest flag most similar in color and number of stripes to the Lone Star flag of today while retaining the broad vertical stripes similar to the motif of the Mexican tri-color. Absent was the color green and other symbols of the Mexican Republic.

Scott’s Flag of the Liberal Faction.

As dictatorial acts contrary to the liberal Mexican Constitution of 1824 by the centralista dictatorship began to mount, the number of Texans known as the Liberal Faction or War Party increased while the Conservatives rallied under the Mexican flags of 1824 hoping for a peaceful settlement with their adopted government and a return to the principles of local self-determination. This banner was apparently the earliest symbol of those who had abandoned hopes for reconciliation. A banner of similar color and design without the lettering was first used in 1810 when American frontiersmen rebelled against Spanish authorities at Baton Rouge in Spanish West Florida. Although never official, this design became famous as “The Bonnie Blue Flag” symbol in the Confederate States of America after secession in 1861.

Mrs. M. Looscan (daughter of Capt. Andrew Briscoe) in Wooten’s Comprehensive History of Texas relates the description of its origin from veteran James L. McGahey: “It was suggested by Capt. William Scott of Kentucky who raised a company of men and lived near Lynchburg. Capt. Scott gave McGahey about 4 yards of pure blue silk which he took to Lynchburg to obtain a staff. There Mrs. John Lynch sewed a border next to the staff and Italian Charles Lanco painted the white star and the words “Independence” on the silk.” Mrs. Looscan related that conservatives objected to flying the flag from the time it was unfurled by the company on their march to Gonzales in Oct 1835 to join Austin’s Texian Federal Army which was being organized there. In the presence of Stephen F. Austin the flag was kept unfurled by James McGahey in his knapsack, but thought to be displayed at the Grass Fight and on 28 Oct 1835 at Concepcion. Legend says McGahey was wounded and gave the banner to Thomas H. Bell who may have carried it in the Siege and Battle of Bexar in Dec 1835. Bell returned to Goliad with Capt. Dimmitt’s troops where the banner may have flown with others upon signing of the Goliad Declaration of Independence. Bell was with the group who carried the Goliad Declaration to San Felipe and the flag, in addition to Capt. Brown’s bloody arm flag, is said to have been raised there.

Texas history was traditionally studied in seventh grade, at least it was a hundred years ago, when I was a kid. For the most part, though, we didn’t study in depth about certain areas of history due to time constraints or, more to the truth, I’ve forgotten too much. I hope you enjoy what I bring to these posts and if there’s any subject in Texas history you’d like to know more about, let me know. Below are links that may be of additional interest:

http://www.tamu.edu/faculty/ccbn/dewitt/dewitt.htm

http://www.tamu.edu/faculty/ccbn/dewitt/indepenflgs.htm

http://www.tamu.edu/faculty/ccbn/dewitt/dewittflgs2.htm

Thanks for visiting!

Carra

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Happy Fourth of July

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In the past, our family has gotten together for hamburgers and hot dogs on the grill, volley ball or hanging out by the pool when one was available. Then, in the evening, we‘d pile into the car and drive to see one of the area public fireworks displays.

We are fortunate where we live to have several good shows to choose from and through the years we’ve attended fireworks shows at Texas Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, Downtown Fort Worth, Dallas, Kaboom Town in Garland and a nice one in Mansfield.

This year my age is showing. My husband and I are staying home! We’ve decided it’s too hot at around a hundred degrees, the traffic is too much to deal with and already this summer there are several cases of West Nile Virus reported in the area. The mosquitos I’ve seen are big enough to carry you away!

So, this year on the 4th, we will be at home in the air conditioning, looking for fireworks on the big screen TV while we enjoy spaghetti and meat sauce. I wish everyone a happy and very safe holiday, however you decide to celebrate!

Hugs to all,  Carra

 

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Naming Characters/Tips For Writers

I don’t know about you but I love naming my characters. Names come to me easily and usually when I least expect it. My current wip, titled Freefall, is set in the small Texas town of Bennington. Recently, in the process of describing the town, I needed the name of a local older business man who owns a large part of the town and plays an integral part in the lives of it’s residents. While writing the scene describing his businesses, Harlan Garrity popped into my head and I felt I’d known him all my life.

On the other hand, sometimes I come up with names I love, but there is no way I can get away with using them. Like the name for the ceo of a struggling airline company, Southern Star Airlines. I fell in love with the name Oren Thatcher. It was pointed out that the name too closely resembles that of Senator Orin Hatch. Yikes! Needless to say his name has been changed to protect the famous.

Tonight, while searching for a subject to blog about, I came across this post concerning character names. I was immediately intrigued. The list of tips made sense to me and then I came to Tip #6 – Overused Names. The name, Jack, was precisely mentioned. Well… wait for it…you guessed it. That’s my hero’s name. I don’t think I’ll rush to change his name, I like it too much, but I will give it much thought.

Thank you for joining me. I’ve included the complete post here, along with the link to Baby Names. I hope you’ll find it interesting and as helpful as I have.

Please leave a comment sharing your character naming process. I’d love to hear from you!

Carra

Tips For Writers

There are many literary and movie characters that become everlasting brands in our culture—Atticus Finch, ‘Ratso’ Rizzo, Holden Caulfield and Scarlett O’Hara, for example. If you name your character right, you will choose a name that is unique to your character and memorable to your story. The names you choose should reveal something about your characters: who they are, where they come from or where they are going. Here are several tips we compiled for writers of stories, novels, tv and movies to help you choose the perfect name for your characters.

Tip 1: Make the name age-appropriate

The biggest mistake we see writers make is choosing a character name that is not age-appropriate. Many authors make the mistake of choosing a name that is popular now for an adult character–a name that would have rarely been used around the time of that character’s birth. Decide the age of your character and then calculate the year your character was born. If your character was born in the U.S., browse the Social Security Name Popularity List for that year. You will also want to take into account the character’s ethnic background and the ethnic background of his/her parents.

Tip 2: Choose a name by meaning

Many writers give their characters names that have significance in the story. It could reflect major personality traits, or the character’s role in the story. You may want to use our advanced search to search by literal meaning, or think of ways to incorporate other meanings into your character’s name. For example, if your character is a botanist, you may not want to name her Flower (too literal), but you may want to consider the names Linnea or Sage. Even if you choose not to name a character by meaning, you should look up the meaning of all your characters’ names—there may be something that inspires you or, on the other hand, conflicts with your message.

Tip 3: Exotic romance names are out

Thirty, forty years ago, you would pick up a romance novel and the characters would have ridiculously exotic names like “Crystal Remington” or “Rod Delaware.” Same with daytime soap operas. However we’re seeing a shift in the past decade or so: romance and soap writers have modernized their character names so readers can relate to them. Naming a romance character should be no different than naming any other fictional character. If you use all the other good character naming tips, you’ll create a genuine player to whom your readers can relate.

Tip 4: Science fiction names don’t have to sound alien

It’s difficult to predict what names will be popular in the year 3000, however you don’t have to make your science fiction characters sound like they are from Mars (unless they are). When a person reads (or watches) your story, you don’t want them to stumble over a name. The name Zyxnrid, for example, would be difficult to read or listen to every time the character is referenced—and may detract from your overall story. If you do choose to create your sci-fi name, you may want to:

  • Combine two common names to make a less common, but pronounceable name. Example: Donica (Donna and Veronica).
  • Use ancient mythological names, or combine two of them. Example: Ceres or Evadne.
  • Make it easy to pronounce and spell. Example: Bilbo Baggins from Lord of the Rings.

Tip 5: Terms of Endearment

When writing your story, be aware that people who are close rarely use each other’s full names. Couples will use nicknames, terms of endearment (honey, dear, boo). What nickname have your characters come up with for each other? Also, parents rarely call their children by their full names–unless they are admonishing them for bad behavior or testifying in court. If you have loving parent characters that are addressing their kids, use a nick name or term of endearment (sweetie, baby, D.J.). An exception to this would be if you want to show the parent character being cold and distant to their child.

Tip 6: Overused Names

For some reason, every writer loves to name his hero JACK. I know it’s a tough-sounding, honest-working name, but naming your hero Jack is like naming your son AIDAN. It’s overdone. Be a little more creative, so your reader will remember your particular protagonist as opposed to the umpteen-million other books they’ve read about Jack. Also, do not give your protagonist the initials J.C. as an allusion to Jesus Christ. That tactic was overused in 60’s/70’s fiction and is almost laughable by today’s standards.

Tip 7: Loaded Names

Watch out for what we call “loaded” names–names that have a popular association. These could be names associated with celebrities, historical or infamous people like Adolf, Oprah, or Kobe. They could also be names of famous literary, tv, or movie characters: Hannibal, Scarlett, Romeo, Bart. If you do choose to use “loaded” names, then you really should make it part of the story, part of the character. Your character’s mother was obsessed with Gone With the Wind, so she was named Scarlett–how has it affected her throughout her life? How does it affect her in the story?

Tip 8: Have Fun With Names

Have fun with naming your characters and take time to see what “fits.” What was your character’s childhood nickname? Is that an embarrassment when his parents address him in front of his friends? Did your character change his name at any point in his/her life? If so, why? Does your female character want to change her surname when she gets married? Why or why not? Names are such an important part of one’s identity, don’t take it lightly with your story!

http://www.babynames.com/character-names.php

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Links To My Favorite Sites

We are two weeks into the kitchen remodel, for those of you who don’t know, and it’s going very well. Still chaotic, mind you, my apple cart’s still upset, but it’s like we’re on a camping trip! Such an adventure… and we still get to sleep in our own bed!

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I thought for this post I would share links to my favorite author blogs. Take a look at each one and see if you agree. They are as follows:

Margie Lawson – http://www.margielawson.com/

Kristen Lamb – http://warriorwriters.wordpress.com/

Katie Ganshert – http://katieganshert.com/

Susan Mallery – http://www.susanmallery.com/

Julie Ortolon – http://www.julieortolon.com/

Jennifer Crusie – http://www.jennycrusie.com/

Caroline Clemmons – http://carolineclemmons.blogspot.com/

Lyn Horner – http://texasdruids.blogspot.com/

I hope you will visit one, two or all. Leave a comment on their site if you are so inclined and, if you do, mention where you found the link! Or…leave a comment here, I’d be thrilled!

Thanks for visiting my site, I appreciate your valuable time, Carra

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