Thursday, January 31, 2008

Go Google!

Okay, I must be the last person to figure this out, but you can find all sorts of 19th century books on Google books! Do you know what this means for a history geek like me who has already spent like $200 on research books for this historical YA? Less money spent! Which means more money for the important things in life like sushi.

Just this morning, I discovered that two books that I had planned on buying, The American Girl at College and Olive Anderson's Four Years at an Boy's College are available for free download on Google books. I can't wait to dive in to read more about what it was like for a young woman in the late 19th century to attend college.

I've also gotten some great help from two new Yahoo! Groups that I joined recently, 19th Century Women and Godey's Lady's Book. I needed to know about how to clean a stain out of fabric in the late 19th century, what sort of techniques they used since there was no such thing as dry cleaning. Thanks to the women on the loops, I now that I need to change what I wrote. I had initially decided that one of my snobby characters gets punch spilled on her evening gown, but now I'm changing that to just having her train ripped and needing it fixed which is where my heroine Rose comes to save the day as it were. The plan was for Rose to be able to remove the stain further revealing her lower class origins, but considering removing stains takes alot more time then I have in this chapter, she'll just make sewing repairs. Apparently they used gasoline in the 19th century to remove some stains which makes no sense to me because wouldn't that cause more stains? Who knew?

I've also quit my second job last night after spending a rather painful hour having to watch Tyler Perry's House of Payne, one of the worst sitcoms ever visited on the American public. I never thought I'd feel sorry for Robin Givens, but there she was last night guest starring in a small role as a party guest who was hot for one of the show's stars, and I use that term loosely. Seriously, shouldn't this woman be playing the bitch role on Girlfriends or on The Game, that other Kelsey Grammer produced show on the CW? Even she deserves better than House of Payne.


That's not why I quit. It was becoming increasingly hard to work two jobs, be President of RWA NYC, try to have a social life, and write fiction. I was being stretched much too thin. So something had to give and the final straw wasn't really House of Payne but the fact that yet another writer got promoted to editor over me, despite the fact that I have been there longer than most of the current crop of writers and editors.

Thanks for reading!



Kwana said...

Sorry about the stress Elizabeth but I understand since I live on Stress Street.

I'll just say Congrats in moving on!!

Georgie Lee said...

The other cool thing about the Google books is they highlight whatever you are looking for. It is very helpful.

Elizabeth Kerri Mahon said...

Thanks Kwana, nice to know I have good company on Stress Street.

Georgie, I discovered that yesterday when I was looking up books. I know have quite the library over at Google Books. Saving me beaucoup de bucks on the research front!