Writing Down My List

A working vacation is good, right? If you've read my last couple of posts or spotted my photos on Facebook, you know I'm in beautiful, sunny Florida for a few weeks, enjoying the weather, spring training Cardinals games, a little shopping, and the excellent company of my dear son and daughter-in-law and my three (it just became three) grand-dogs. But I'm working, too - really I am! Along with summer clothes, sunscreen, a whole bag of Birkenstocks, and some books, I packed the Prius full with research materials, 3-ring binders, reference books, and the laptop. 

I am writing my way down my list. First of all, I'm finishing up an article on Lebanon, Missouri, for the Route 66 Association of Missouri's very fine magazine Show Me Route 66. Lebanon has a long history of travelers, tourists, and hospitality businesses, from the Hotel Gasconade to the Munger-Moss Motel. Watch for the article and plenty of great vintage images to accompany it (from the collection of Joe Sonderman) in the spring issue.

The Munger-Moss Motel in Lebanon, Missouri.
Next up, I'm working on a group of historic crime stories that occurred in Madison County, Illinois. My friend and colleague Cindy Reinhardt does a great job with the Madison County Historical Society newsletter, and I'm one of her guest writers for the second time. Last year I did an issue on Route 66 in Madison County (what a surprise). This time it's bizarre crimes (usually murder) ranging from the early 1900s up through 1961. If any of you are crime fans, you might want to pony up your Madison County Historical Society dues for this newsletter! A double suicide out in the stables behind the good doctor's house; the last man hanged in Madison County for killing both husbands of a young farm girl he'd taken a fancy to; a man alleged to have poisoned two aunts and an uncle;...and there's more!

After that, the April "Along Route 66" column for the Prairie Land Buzz needs written. I'm not sure on that one yet, but it MIGHT be another chapter of Route 66 "ghost sites."

Then, and this project's not so much fun, my income tax prep. If I actually get that done while I'm down here, then I get to play with my new novel I'm working on! I'm not published (yet!) in fiction, so I don't want to jinx myself. I'll just say it's set in St. Louis, it's historical fiction, there's at least one murder, and I'm using the breweries and the caves for settings.

Back to the Lebanon story. That is all.