Or We-Search Wednesdays, for alliteration’s sake.

Today I’m highlighting a little book that packed a big punch when it came to outfitting botanist, artist, and physician Neil MacGregor, one of the main characters in Burning Sky.

Living History, Drawing on the Past by Cathy Johnson is a lovely little book that should be bound in leather like a traveling journal, with a whang-and-toggle closure, because once you open its pages, that’s what it feels like you’re reading. Someone’s actual field journal.

The pages are filled with sketches and handwritten annotations. Sketches of historical peeps. Sketches of an artist’s field equipment. Sketches of a naturalist’s accoutrement. Or that of a topographer, or a spy.

There’s a section on the everyday frontier accoutrement a person might need while exploring outside the bounds of settlements and towns.

And more, like an appendix with tips for creating a persona for living history and reenactment events. 

I think so highly of this little book that somehow I wound up with two copies in my possession. To give it more of a shout out, I’m going to give away my extra copy. It’s not brand new, but it’s unmarked and very much like new (and it’s signed by the author). I’ll pair it up with a signed, pre-release ARC* copy of Burning Sky.

If you’d like to win a copy of Living History, Drawing on the Past AND a copy of Burning Sky, leave a comment on this post today, Thursday, or Friday (I’ll close the drawing at 9pm Pacific Time Friday the 14th–USA addresses only).

~ Mention whether you’ve participated in a historical reenactment event, and if so where and, historically speaking, when? If not, have you witnessed such an event? Tell us where, the time period, or event.

I’ll do a random drawing over the weekend and post the winner’s name here on the blog.

Updated to add: if you would, please leave an email address so I can contact you if you are the winner. Those who’ve already commented, don’t worry. If you’re the winner I’ll track you down. Mwahahaha…

Updated Friday Evening: Comments, and the drawing, are closed now. Thanks everyone for entering. I’ll do the drawing and announce the winners in a bit…

I grew up on the east coast, and we had friends from Florida who participated in Civil War reenactments (as rebels, of course!). When they came to our area, we would trek out to see them, the women of the family in camp, the men on the field as soldiers. The fellows had the opportunity to be extras in a Civil War miniseries, the title of which escapes me now. (Juanita, if you read this, remind me what that miniseries was, please!).

*An ARC is an Advance Reading Copy, released before the finished book. It’s the unproofed galley, bound in a cover, so there will be a few typos that were caught in our final proof reading edit. But it’s very very close to the finished book.

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