Taming the Dragons: Christine Wilbee
Apr 03, 2020 by Brenda Wilbee
MY COUSINS WERE ALMOST HOME, pushing their bikes up the last of the hill. It was a winter evening early in the new year of 1974, and a slight drizzle hurried them along: Patty, thirteen, Christine, eleven. Lights from the kitchen window could be seen through the trees. Suddenly, a car driven by a young man blinded by the setting sun came gunning up over the ridge. Patty ran the half block home screaming. Uncle Stan, the town doctor, was paged. Christine had been in an accident.
Taming the Dragons: He Can't Hurt Me Anymore
Mar 28, 2020 by Brenda Wilbee
AS A SINGLE MOTHEER, I related to Jacob and his feelings of being cheated. In my first three years, child support had changed thirty-eight times. I lived in constant economic upheaval. There are other ways to be cheated, too. We can be cheated out of recognition, time, honor, even love. In the business world we can be cheated when someone takes credit for something we did. Gossip robs us of our reputation. A busy boss may fail to be appreciative. Employees fudge on their time slips. Beyond the workplace there are even more ways to be cheated. Everyone has horror stories of car mechanics, attorneys, and politicians. And yet God did not allow Laban to harm Jacob. . .
Taming the Dragons: Bathsheba
Mar 28, 2020 by Brenda Wilbee
The night was hot when Bathsheba went up to bathe on the top of her home in Jerusalem. She didn’t know King David’s new palace on the eastern ridge afforded a view of her rooftop, nor that he, unable to sleep that night, had gone up to his own roof to get some air. She only knew that a message arrived the next day—the king summoning her to his palace.
Slave Sojourner Truth Wins Court Battle and Gets Her Son Back
Mar 26, 2020 by Brenda Wilbee
When ISABEL "SOJOURNER TRUTH" was born a slave in 1797 in Hurley, NY, it was against the law to sell a slave South. Yet when a former master sold her five-year-old son Peter to a Dr. Gedney (who in turn sold him to his brother Solomon), it didn’t stop Solomon Gedney from selling the little boy to his sister’s brother, an Alabama planter. Outraged and grief-stricken, Sojourner Truth confronted Solomon Gedney’s wife. When she got no satisfaction, she appealed to Mrs. Gedney the matron, mother of the man who’d illegally sold her son.
“Ugh!” said Mrs. Gedney. “A fine fuss to make about a little nigger!
Anne Hutchinson, Colonial America
Mar 08, 2020 by Brenda Wilbee
BEFORE Anne Hutchinson was born, her father Francis Marbury had been thrown into English prisons three times for his Puritan views. His daughter, Anne Marbury Richardson, must have gotten her steel from him. She needed it, for she ran afoul of the Purtians themselves—in the New World. They held little tolerance for anyone else.
Louisa May Alcott: 10 Fun, Little Known Facts
Mar 01, 2020 by Brenda Wilbee
In February, I visited the Orchard House in Concord, MA, where Louisa May Alcott wrote Little Women in 1868: The same year my great-grandmother Isabella Stewart was born in Denholm, Scotland, clear across the ocean. Such different lives! Granny lived in the heart of the Scottish borderlands—daughter of a poor agricultural laborer on Hall Rule Farm, where barefooted she hoed onions to help support the family. Louisa May Alcott was already an established writer by the time Isabella came along, and although she didn’t hoe onions to support her family’s crippling poverty, her prolific writing made her the primary bread winner.
Skookum Jim Finds the Gold
Jan 29, 2020 by Brenda Wilbee
"YOU KNOW A MAN'S CRAZY, GEORGE, if he prefers fishing with the Siwash when there's gold lying about."
Gift From A Stranger
Dec 11, 2019 by Brenda Wilbee
Who is my neighbor? The girl crying outside.
To Mend a Broken Heart
Dec 10, 2019 by Brenda Wilbee
YEARS AGO, when my daughter was married, I discovered a reservoir of sadness over my own failed marriage. God provided friends to help me cope, and I thought it had gone. But when my middle child Phil married two years later, my sadness, I discovered, was still there...
Martyrdom: When The Choice is Ours
Dec 10, 2019 by Brenda Wilbee
This blog is an excerpt from Taming the Dragons, published by HarperCollins twenty or more years ago, to be released this coming year by Redemption Press. The story is of Mary Dyer, a Quaker hung by the Puritans in 1659 for standing her ground on religious freedom. I included her in the Martyr section of the book because I make the point that to suffer as someone's victim (ex: abusive relationships) is pointless. Only when we choose to martyr ourselves, the decision our own, can suffering redeem. For it's done from a position of power not endurance. Mary, a Christian Quaker, was hung by the prevailing Christians of the day. But that was not the end of it. Because today we enjoy religious freedom, and a statue of Mary Dyer on the Boston Commons not far from where she died reminds us why...
Sweetbriar Update: Seattle Plots "Necessary" Revenge
Oct 14, 2019 by Brenda Wilbee
IN THE MOON OF SWAN MIGRATION, a full decade before the Borens and Dennys took the Indian trail to Oregon, destination unknown, fifty-five-year-old Chief Seattle went to visit his second wife at her village near the Duwamish River mouth. He wanted to take their mid-grown sons hunting; his intention to find an elk for Kick-i-som-lo, his twenty-one-year-old daughter who lived with her two little girls at Old Man House, his primary residence. That he was devoted to his eldest went without saying. Today, in preparation for the hunt with his boys, however, he sat on the floor of the long communal deck of Herring House village, legs swinging off the edge, double-checking his arrowheads. He preferred bow and arrow over the Hudson’s Bay Company’s muzzle-loading rifle. Faster to load and silent.
I Met A Ghost
Oct 12, 2019 by Brenda Wilbee
I DON'T BELIEVE IN GHOSTS, but I met Alice the summer of about 2012. I was researching Skagway: It's All About the Gold and getting frustrated by everyone's ghost stories. Finally, on a dare, I stormed up the stairs of the Skagway Inn.
I arrived at the top of the steps full of scorn, stepped into a hallway, and took a quick right, steering for the room at the end, the one I knew had windows overlooking Broadway. I'd always been curious. But when I passed the dress forms standing politely by, hallway decor, the hair on my neck and arms went straight up.
From Temper the Wind: Christine
Oct 05, 2019 by Brenda Wilbee
MY COUSINS WERE ALMOST HOME, pushing their bikes up the last of the hill. It was a winter evening early in the new year of 1974, and a slight drizzle hurried them along; Patty was thirteen, Christine eleven. Lights from the kitchen window could be seen through the trees. Nearly home.
A car driven by a young man blinded by the setting sun came suddenly gunning up over the ridge. Patty ran the half block home screaming. Uncle Stan, the town doctor, was paged. Christine had been in an accident.
Seattle Meets Captain George Vancouver
Oct 02, 2019 by Brenda Wilbee
LONG BEFORE LOUISA WAS BORN, six-year-old Seattle on the west coast of the continent felt his privilege at even so young an age. Son of Suquamish Chief Schweabe and grandson of a Duwamish chief, slaves did his bidding. . .
Another Winter in Skagway!
Sep 13, 2019 by Brenda Wilbee
MY WRITER FRIEND DAWN and I just booked our tickets for another wild spree in the North. This time we're flying to Whitehorse. Then attempt to drive the pass down into Skagway. Now why would we want to do that? It can be whiteout conditions at the border! But I've been stranded before, holed up in my car with a sleeping bag and granola bars, waiting for the snow plow to come through. It's actually kind of fun. This time, I think we'll take some of Whitehorse's chocolate red wine and that lovely cheese Kari Rain found. Seriously...
Seattle's Start: Cherry Grove, IL
Aug 23, 2019 by Brenda Wilbee
SEATTLE'S ROOTS come from Cherry Grove, IL, a town you'll never find on the map. Not even Terry Hogan, who grew up a "handful of miles" away, knew it existed. Yet it does; and several years ago I was invited by the Cherry Grove community to come and sign my Seattle Sweetbriar books.
Let me walk you through Louisa Boren Denny's home town, where Seattle's "Sweetbriar Bride" grew up and Seattle began.
And We Nearly Burned the House Down
Jul 15, 2019 by Brenda Wilbee
DURING THE SUMMERS and because of my health, my sister Tresa and I were sent from the Midwest to live with our aunt and uncle and five younger cousins at Boundary Bay, BC. They lived in Tsawwassen, a town that sits on the ridge. On the beach below was the family cabin, built by my father when I was born. My happy place. When Auntie Anne couldn't take the two of us getting under her Brer-Fox skin one more minute!, Uncle Stan took us Brer Rabbits down to the "briar patch" of the cozy cabin on the beach. He left us surrounded by sand and prickly burrs, seagulls wheeling and the tide slapping the seashore twice a day. I was fourteen, Tresa thirteen.
Narcissa Confronts Henry
May 11, 2019 by Brenda Wilbee
A meeting with an agent last month changed the story arc of a love story that's been in my head for decades. I designed the cover so I have a visual of my characters and the world in which they lived the spring and summer of 1836. Here are my first 14 paragraphs of a new start on this true story of Narcissa Whitman.