A Few Pictures, A Few Thoughts from the HNS Conference

The Historical Novel Society conference in San Diego was wonderful! Historical novelists are such interesting, funny and fascinating people. I enjoyed chatting with people at dinners, listening to authors and editors at workshops, volunteering, and dressing up!

My favorite session was put on my Karlee Turner Etter and was called Nineteenth Century Fashion, From the Inside Out.

Karlee started the session wearing only a corset over a chemise (and thus I learned that no woman would ever wear a corset against her skin, because then she would have to wash it regularly and that was difficult to do.)

Then, piece by piece, Karlee got dressed, and while she got dressed she explained what the pieces were called, how they were worn, how often they were washed, and all sorts of incredibly interesting facts. When she was all dressed this is how she looked:


This dress represents what a middle to upper middle class woman would have worn in the 1880s / 1890s in America, and thus is similar to how my own Miss Olivia Snow would dress.







I wore my own costume in the Saturday evening costume pageant. I had nothing to do with making it, and would thank its creator if I had her name. This dress was a gift, but my aunt and I did make the mobcap.










Thanks to author Christopher Cevasco for taking this picture during the costume pageant. Here’s another he took of everyone at the pageant:








And finally, I have two close-ups of my mobcap. My aunt was so generous in her skills, materials and work in creating this cap in time for the pageant. (Thanks to Princess Esmerelda for modeling the cap, though it was too big for her)





Note Princess Esmerelda’s cute little tail below the cap:

A Goodreads Giveaway

Have you discovered Goodreads.com? It’s a free, fun website for people who love to read. I’m excited about the discussion, bookclub, quizzes and many other activities and opportunities this forum provides. (Note: I’ve not been paid to say this.)

I’ve signed up as a Goodreads Author and am offering a free giveaway of The Stolen Goldin Violin.

The Goodreads giveaway details tell you how to sign up and win. Check it out!


I’m editing/revising and came across this typo


Rather than just delete the extra anti-, I started wondering what exactly an anti-antimacassar might be.

For those of you who do not know, in the nineteenth century, many men wore macassar oil in their hair. An antimacassar was a cloth cover, often crocheted or embroidered, placed on the top of a sofa or chair to keep the macassar oil off the furniture. Even after macassar oil went out of fashion, antimacassars remained.

I remember a number of chairs in my grandmother’s house that always had a lace antimacassar pinned to the top. Knowing my grandmother, she probably knew the original purpose of the antimacassar and used the lace just to achieve that nineteenth century look.

I picture an anti-antimacassar as a person involved in a movement to simplify interior design by getting rid of the unnecessary, embracing the modern. Of course this movement would not be gentle and pleasant, but rabid and controversial. An anti-antimacassar would be a militant interior designer, bent on molding the world to his/her specifications. What do you think?

I need to get back to revising. Revising is hard and thinking about anti-antimacassars was so much more fun.

Yes, I know, I’m weird.