Sally M. Chetwynd

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Sally M. Chetwynd

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Ruth Moore (1903–1989)
Kenneth Roberts (1885-1957)
Nevil Shute (1899-196
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August 2014

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Sally Chetwynd has been writing since she could hold a pencil. As an ambitious eight-year-old, she ruthlessly plagiarized her favorite horse stories. Since then, her writing has improved in quality and originality (!).

During the Bicentennial of the American Revolution, she discovered living history. Wow! History didn’t have to be dusty and dry? Who knew? She got to play dress-up, camp out in exotic locations, and wear out reproduction shoes and her lungs playing the fife in every parade on the East Coast. She met her husband on the battlefield. Talk about a way to find someone who shares a common interest...

After dubbing around with a novel about the relationship between a Civil War reenactor and a museum employee, Sally finally published "
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Sally M. Chetwynd When I began professionally, no to the quill or India ink. If I remember correctly from a book on the history of drafting instruments, the pen and nib…moreWhen I began professionally, no to the quill or India ink. If I remember correctly from a book on the history of drafting instruments, the pen and nib was replaced with technical drafting pens in the 1940s or so. We were using Leroy and Koh-i-noor technical drafting pens, and ink that would not clog the finer tips was available as well. But with my Civil War reenacting interests, I have gone backward, and I now make reproduction maps of the period using pens with replaceable nibs and India ink.

As far as drafting on linen, yes, I have done that professionally. It used to be, and maybe still is, required that plans to be registered at the Massachusetts Land Court had to be drawn on linen. It is an exercise in careful drafting, because once the ink is applied, it seeps into the fibers of the linen fabric and cannot be erased. This is an advantage, because - short of burning - the image on a linen map can't be destroyed. Drop it in the mud, and you can wash it and dry it, and the image remains. During the Civil War, maps were sometimes photographed and then printed onto linen or muslin. This allowed multiple copies of the same map to be distributed to officers engaging in the same campaign, saving the time it took to (otherwise) hand-draw many copies, and the maps were far more durable and could be stuffed into a pocket.

Today's linen is not treated with starch, but with a kind of gelatin, which is dry to the touch. (I don't know if the fabric used for maps during the Civil War was treated with anything - maybe a kind of starch was applied, as you suggest - to keep ink linework from blurring upon reaching the fibers, which is the purpose of the gelatin treatment. The gelatin can be washed out, although it is not necessary. My mother (age 92) told me that when she was a girl, growing up during the Depression, one of her uncles worked with engineers (he may have been one) and he would bring home pieces of drafting linen that were too small for the standard size drawings the company used. My mother and her sisters would wash the gelatin from the linen, then trim the fabric to size and hem it to make very fine handkerchiefs, for plain use or for delicate embroidery.(less)
Sally M. Chetwynd I've been out of the civil engineering industry for over ten years, so have not worked with treated drafting linen in that time. The stuff was getting…moreI've been out of the civil engineering industry for over ten years, so have not worked with treated drafting linen in that time. The stuff was getting hard to find then; we had been importing it from England - quite pricey.(less)
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The Sturgeon's Dance

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Bead of Sand

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"The Sturgeon's Dance" is live!

At long last, my second novel "The Sturgeon's Dance" is in print! It's exciting, of course, but it has engaged me in a most curious series of events that has launched me in a whole 'nother direction.

I had intended to write an historical novel next, set during the American Civil War at the US Naval Academy, but "The Sturgeon's Dance" has shoved me most unceremoniously in the direction of non-fictio Read more of this blog post »
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Published on October 01, 2018 09:28

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I've been out of the civil engineering industry for over ten years, so have not worked with treated drafting linen in that time. The stuff was getting hard to find then; we had been importing it from England - quite pricey.
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The Lighthouses of New England by Edward Rowe Snow
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A detailed historical overview of significant lighthouses from Maine to Connecticut, with engaging stories of the lighthouses themselves, their keepers and families and the isolated lives they led, shipwrecks and other disasters, and so forth. The bo ...more
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message 2: by David

David Dennington Thank you for being a friend, Sally.
Best regards,
David


message 1: by Sally

Sally I've dug into a couple of novels recently, all of which I have picked up in yard sales and second-hand shops (my favorite places to shop).

"Waiting For Spring" by R.J. Keller, a contemporary story set in the middle of Maine, where a recently divorced woman flees to a small town to escape the scorn of her past life, eventually coming to terms with her mistakes. I initially thought this perhaps too long, but the length works, as the protagonist carries the reader along with her through her journey from bleakness to fulfillment.

"Sky Blue" by Travis Thrasher, a modern tale of lost love, told by protagonist Colin Scott, a literary agent who is burned out and jaded in his profession, which feeds the growing distance between him and the wife he loves deeply. I found the resolution a little disappointing; I think the author employed a deux ex machina, albeit subtle and cleverly wrought.


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