Where Dreams Meet the Business of Writing

Good Morning! Happy April 1st!

Today’s post is doing double-duty. It’s no April Fool’s. The first Wednesday of the month (today), I post in the Insecure Writer’s Support Group. And on April 1st (today), we kick off the A to Z Blog Challenge with our ‘A’ post for the day.

The Insecure Writer’s Support Group posts a question for each month. We don’t have to write to that question prompt, but usually I do.

The question posed to us for this month is:

April 1 question – The IWSG’s focus is on our writers. Each month, from all over the globe, we are a united group sharing our insecurities, our troubles, and our pain. So, in this time when our world is in crisis with the covid-19 pandemic, our optional question this month is: how are things in your world?

Here’s a shout out to the awesome co-hosts for the April 1 posting of the IWSG  —  Diane Burton, JH Moncrieff, Anna @ Emaginette, Karen @ Reprobate Typewriter, Erika Beebe, and Lisa Buie-Collard!

I’m only going to briefly address the ‘How are things in your world?’ question. I’m home for at least two weeks, not working. It could be extended past April 7th. With this unexpected extra time at home, I should have turned into a writing fool, cranking out the words by the thousands. I haven’t. I have accomplished some writing, a very little bit – and a great deal of attacking the prolific weeds that are threatening to overtake the back yard. Fortunately, we’re both home and virus free. And so far, it hasn’t touched anyone I know or love.

The first two days I binged on Facebook. After hardly spending any time on there at all, suddenly I found myself on there almost all day long. Liking, commenting, posting, sharing. And then – I reached a point where it all seems the same. I’m trying to stay positive and optimistic throughout all this, but to do that I need to limit my time on social media.

So that’s all I’m saying about the virus at the moment. On to A to Z, with my first ‘A’ post for the day. During April I’m going to be sharing about writing historical fiction. Today we kick off the month with ‘American Eras’.

Thanks for stopping by today. I do hope all is well in your world and you also are tucked safely and securely at home and aren’t one that’s dealing with the horrific devastation of the lives it has touched.

American Eras

I had a legitimate question. After Sir Google directed me to one of the top go-to sites, Wikipedia, I think I’m more confused than before I started. But, I’ll ramble a bit here and share my confusion with Eras and timelines with you. Then, we’ll all be confused. Excepting the more academic historians here in the group that probably have a better handle on this subject than I do.

I’d seen a post on Facebook that brought this question to mind. It was a post by our featured author that week, Nancy Bilyeau. It was in conjunction with her recently released book, Dreamland, and a trip to Cooney Island she took to celebrate its release. On one of her posts, she mentioned the phrase ‘Gilded Age.’

Truthfully, I wasn’t quite sure when the Gilded Age was. I knew when some eras were – such as the Civil War era, or my own personal favorite time to read and write about, the Depression or Post-Depression era, but I was at a loss placing when the Gilded Age was.

This quest to find how when this period in time was landed me on Wikipedia’s ‘Gilded Age’ page. According to Wikipedia:

In United States history, the Gilded Age was an era that occurred during the late 19th century, from the 1870s to about 1900. The term for this period came into use in the 1920s and 1930s and was derived from writer Mark Twain’s and Charles Dudley Warner’s 1873 novel The Gilded Age: A Tale of Today, which satirized an era of serious social problems masked by a thin gold gilding. The early half of the Gilded Age roughly coincided with the mid-Victorian era in Britain and the Belle Époque in France. Its beginning, in the years after the American Civil War, overlaps the Reconstruction Era (which ended in 1877).[1] It was followed in the 1890s by the Progressive Era.

What confused me was that looking at the years here, I’d tended to think of that period of time as the Victorian Era. Further down the page, there was a list of Periods in United States history. The Gilded Age was there, but no Victorian Era. Looking further, it’s because the Victorian Era and Edwardian period are listed as times in UK history – not American history.

I suppose the reason I was confused dates back to the degree I got so many (many) years ago. No, it wasn’t literature or English, but Interior Design. I knew I’d spent a good many hours studying and designing rooms and elements that were from the Victorian period. So, how could there not be a Victorian-era in American periods? Back to Wikipedia I went, but this time with the focus of Interior Design. There it was. I wasn’t remembering wrong.

There was not one dominant style of furniture in the Victorian period. Designers rather used and modified many styles taken from various time periods in history like Gothic, Tudor, Elizabethan, English Rococo, Neoclassical and others. The Gothic and Rococo revival style were the most common styles to be seen in furniture during this time in history.

Now I’m sidetracked a little, as I think back on all those classes I took so many years ago. I’m wondering if perhaps all those semesters of History of Architecture and History of Interiors influenced my love of historical fiction. Or, is a love of the past going to show itself in whatever facet of life we’re in at that moment?

Regardless of what drew me to historical fiction, here is a list of the eras, or periods, that are listed on the Gilded Age page. I don’t know as I agree with all of them. I still think that even though the Victorian Era is listed as a UK historical time period, I think the influence was felt here in America just the same. But, Wikipedia didn’t ask my opinion. And, some of the others that are listed – the Jacksonian Era? Really? It appears that I have a lot more studying to do.

Periods in United States history:

Colonial period                       1607-1765
American Revolution              1765-1783
Confederation Period              1783-1788
Federalist Era                          1788-1801
Jeffersonian Era                      1801-1817
Era of Good Feelings`             1817-1825
Jacksonian Era                        1825-1849
Civil War Era                          1850-1865
Reconstruction Era                 1865-1877
Gilded Age                             1877-1895
Progressive Era                       1896-1916
World War I                           1917-1919
Roaring Twenties                    1920-1929
Great Depression Era              1929-1941
World War II                          1941-1945
Post-War Era                          1945-1964
Civil Rights Era                      1965-1980
Reagan Era                              1981-

Thanks for stopping by. Come back tomorrow when we’re going to talk about – Building a Log Cabin!

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dear arlie_3 friends

Comments on: "American Eras #IWSG #AtoZ" (6)

  1. This is going to be a fun daily reading routine here – thanks!

  2. Great topic. I too didn’t know when the “Gilded Age” was. As for your first part about being home and thinking you would get more writing done – me too. But I haven’t been as productive as I want to be. Then again, my kids are home and doing distance learning for the next 4 weeks. (We are in the midst of our 2nd week.)

    • I’ve been hearing that with a lot of writers. It
      seems that it’s hard to concentrate and focus as well right now.
      Of course, you’ve got the little ones. Sometimes I grumble about getting older & now my boys are grown and having the little ones. But during times like these….you know, dealing with a houseful of cats is JUST FINE! LOL
      Hang in there!!

  3. Sounds to me like historians can be like grammarians in that lots of them call things different things, depending on what angle they’re coming from 😂. Best wishes.
    Tasha 💖
    Virginia’s Parlour – The Manor (Adult concepts – nothing explicit in posts)
    Tasha’s Thinkings – Vampire Drabbles

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