19 June 2006 by Published in: Civil War books and authors 2 comments

Although I have done some tweaking and tinkering, trying to complete the draft of a chapter that had been hanging, and also in messing around with wrapping up the Rush’s Lancers regimental history project (which took much longer than I thought it would, by the way), I finally got back to work on Dahlgren tonight for real. The last time that I really sat down and wrote, pulling together a new chapter, was the night of March 7, which was the night that Cleo had her stroke. Between having to put her down, and then with the puppy’s arrival, I simply haven’t been able to write in any consequence since then.

Susan and I also have an on-line bookselling business. We purchased the entire inventory of a used book store that went out of business for next to nothing, and Susan’s been diligently working on getting this stuff (more than 10,000 books, mostly paperbacks) inventoried an listed for sale on Amazon. It’s a complicated process which I won’t bore you with. Suffice it to say that while she’s doing that, I can’t write, as I have to take the puppy out to pee every ten or fifteen minutes. We’ve come up with a formula that seems to work. We alternate nights. On nights when she’s doing a box of books, I watch the dogs. On nights when I write, she watches the dogs. Last night was a book inventory night, so tonight was my night to write.

And write I did. I got about six pages of new material written tonight, addressing Dahlgren’s role in the Kilpatrick-Dahlgren Raid (although the controversy comes in the next chapter). I quit tonight after reaching midnight on the night of March 1-2, 1864. March 2 was the last day of Ulric Dahlgren’s life. He was killed shortly after dark that night. I’m just doing basic narrative right now, laying out the basic facts, and will then go back and put meat on the bones once I’ve done so. However, I made some substantial progress for the first time in months, and I have to admit that it felt damned good.

Tomorrow night is Susan’s book night, so it will be Thursday night before I get to write again. Now that I have gotten back into the swing of it, I think that it will go quickly and that I will get this chapter done pretty quickly. The truth is that I had been dreading this one, but it’s come together much more quickly and easily than I ever imagined it would.

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  1. Charles Bowery
    Tue 20th Jun 2006 at 5:23 am

    You may have done this before, but for the benefit of the members of your fan club 🙂 who also write, could you do an entry describing your work methods? How much time you spend daily, how you set up your space, how you use technology/notes, etc.

    Take care!

  2. Tue 20th Jun 2006 at 8:23 am


    Actually, I had already thought about doing just that. Look for that tonight.


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