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Ann Kathleen Otto


Blog posts : "yours in a hurry"

Historical Transitions

When you're writing a novel about a period of rapid change, it's sometimes hard to tell if you're using the right terminology. That's the case for Yours in a Hurry which takes place between 1908 and 1912. Here are some examples of choices that had to be made.

"Addison stood in line outside of …

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Reading Rooftops

Here’s a trivia question: Why did people read rooftops in the early 1900's?

I  recently asked some of my readers for stories relating to Yours in a Hurry. Shirley Riemenschneider of the Rootstown Ohio History Society replied that she recently came upon a story about New Milford, now an unincorp…

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Depression and Loss

"Purl saw a light in the parlor and entered. Anna was sitting on the sofa, motionless. Only a flicker from the oil lamp lighted the room. I can't go to the reunion today," she said. He looked down at her and placed his hands in his pockets, helpless that she should be so sad. So little had changed s…

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Literary Day at the Museum

I returned to the Hollywood Heritage Museum this month. My family has been to Los Angeles many times, and we always visit Hollywood. This time, we stayed in the heart of it.

Sixteen other authors and I were invited to the Fifth Annual book signing event at the Museum. Yours in a Hurry was the onl…

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Family Treasures

If we're lucky, we inherit a special item from an ancestor. As an only child, I'm fortunate to have many, like the chair I recently received   that connects me to the characters in Yours in a Hurry. I also asked friends what heirlooms they cherish.

One Chair Survives

Readers know that the …

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Grandfather Purl

         Anna turned to Purl. "What do you think Father and Mother would think of our plans?"

         "I doubt they would understand why we're leaving the land. I'd hope they wouldn't be disappointed about that. They would surely be disappointed in me."

          Anna didn't re…

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Vintage Lindbergh at Rhinebeck

A Spirited Gala

What a great event! The Old Rhinebeck Aerodrome in tiny Red Hook, New York near the Hyde Park area served as a resource for the 1908-1912 aeroplanes mentioned in Yours in a Hurry. They have many famous models, and most still fly. When we saw that this year's gala would celebrate t…

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Problems with Names in Historical Fiction

Yours in a Hurry is at the printers. Those of you who've been following my Yours in a Hurry blogs or Facebook page will notice that some names have been changed. In the final weeks before submitting the manuscript, I had to do some soul searching. Choosing the names of our fictional characters is no…

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The Immortal Jack London

The next blog was to be about early 20th century eating establishments, but today is Jack London's birthday and I'm looking at the biography that his daughter Joan London wrote, Jack London and His Times. It was published in 1939 by the now defunct Book League of America. I love one of the quotes, "…

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Artistic Transformation

Steve Jobs wasn't the first to successfully consider human emotions when marketing a new technology. From the beginning of the aeroplane, art played an important role in capturing the collective imagination.  Through colorful artistic prints, first in Art Nouveau and later Art Deco we can follow the…

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Postcards and Letters Guide Stories

Some writers are blessed with old journals and boxes of letters to guide their story.  For Yours in a Hurry I had only a few, but they gave me insight to two main characters.

Locating a Character in a Point in Time

How did I know that Addison traveled a lot? According to the census he was an …

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Musical Moments

Can you remember what song was playing the first time you knew that guy was the one, or the one that they  played at your wedding? Music creates an atmosphere for us to remember special moments and gives us a common language transcending our native tongue. Popular songs were especially helpful in cr…

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Progressive Women

I just finished reading Noon at Tiffany's again.  I read the historical biographical novel by Echo Heron when it was published in 2012. Clara Pierce Wolcott Driscoll Booth (1861-1944) was from Tallmadge, Ohio. Her well-preserved house is still occupied on a hill, barely visible next to a busy round…

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Other Early Automakers

In the United States, Henry Ford received more publicity than most of the other auto manufacturers in the early 1900's. But he wasn't alone.  Characters in Yours in a Hurry ,which takes place from 1908 to 1912, have experiences with other early automobiles.


It's said that Ettore Buga…

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When France Ruled Aviation

It's 1909 and France is the world center of aviation. The first international air meet is beginning in Reims. Prestigious contests with cash prizes and trophies for best distance, altitude, and speed attract one hundred thousand spectators to Bethany Plain airfield the first day. Industrialists, dip…

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The Magnificient Moisants

The Magnificent Moisants is the title of Doris L. Rich's book about another pioneering aviation family which was in many ways more diverse and interesting than the Wrights. Alfred, John and Matilde Moisant were three children of French-Canadian immigrants who settled in Illinois before moving to Cal…

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Fight of the Century

I remember being at my paternal grandfather's house on Friday nights. He sat in his favorite chair with a brew and Planters Peanuts. He was faithful to Planters and collected memorabilia of Mr. Peanut with the monocle and top hat. Grandpa's eyes were glued to the black and white 17 inch television s…

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The Wright Brothers Revisited

David McCullough is one of my favorite authors. He is able to transport me into a different time and place whether Paris, Panama or Brooklyn. I've learned so much history from every book. Imagine my surprise this time when I read his new book, The Wright Brothers, and already knew most of the story.

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The Indianapolis Motor Speedway Opens

In July of 1909 Addison writes Purl that the Indianapolis Motor Speedway will open soon. It actually officially opened with a balloon race on June 5, 1909, but Addison was waiting for the motorcycle and automobile races to be held on Aug. 14 and Aug. 19 respectively. Today, with an average crowd of …

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Pearl Harbor and Corregidor Before WWI

We know about the World War II battles at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii and Corregidor in the Philippines, but what were those islands like prior to that era?  When did the U.S. acquire them, and how did they become military fortifications?

The Philippines

The first stop for Yours in a Hurry character…

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20 Blog Posts