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My Blog


I don't know exactly how I came up with this idea but it involved Laura Linney, one of my favorite actresses. Perhaps it was an article about her that I read, or an interview I heard, but she talked about her role as Abigail Adams in the HBO miniseries "John Adams" and how reading about our founding fathers was learning about American History. Maybe she said something about reading biographies on all the presidents or maybe she didn't, but I decided that's what I would do. I would read a biography on each president, in order, so I could get a history lesson on America. 

The idea came at a perfect time. I had received my MFA in creative writing from the University of Tampa and my historical novel, "Bee King", about the first person diagnosed with Alzheimer's Disease in the United States, was published. I had put all of me into that book and into achieving my MFA that I needed a writing break. One richly deserved after writing novels for over thirty years, studying the craft of writing, teaching writing, and feeling I was improving my writing with each word, with each sentence, but never cracking the publishing safe. I had also finished the final book of my Forbidden Trilogy. With both of those published, I was ready for a new project. One that didn't involve 90,000 words. Thanks to Laura Linney, I found it.

It's a magnificiant plan for me, not least the education I am receiving. (I am already on Madison, including a detour to read about Ben Franklin). As I crest past middle age and read articles about maintaining cognitive health, this educational pursuit feels particularly ideal. Plus, my plan to blog not just about the books I read, but also about the podcasts I listen to, the series I watch, the letters I peruse--all related to American history--gives me an excuse to blog at a manageable 200 words or so. Or perhaps it simply gives me something to do while I wait for the seeds of my next novel to root.

I hope you will join me on this journey into American history. I am unsure what the posts will look like but believe they will vary. Sometimes book reviews, other times streams of consciousness, perhaps social commentary, maybe a play or two. No poetry, I promise.

As I wrote in my last blog post on the Forbidden Trilogy, as a historical novelist I dive into the past to figure out the present. That quest continues.

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In the words of Abigail Adams in a letter to John, circa 7 January 1797 (including a modern day spelling miscue): 

I shall write again by the next post. I am now in much haste.

Yours affectionatly.

Joanne Lewis Blog

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