In this day and age, no big deal, you run to the store and pick up bottles and formula. Not so much in 1881. I knew people used wet nurses back then, but I already had the couple on the run with a baby. How do I add in a wet nurse? My easy story was suddenly getting really complicated.
One of my favorite research resources is looking at old newspapers. Fortunately, in this day and age, I can find a lot of the old newspapers online. As I was reading an old newspaper, looking for inspiration and ideas on how to make my story work, I found the answer: an ad for baby bottles and baby formula! Not only did they have bottles and formula in 1881, but they had all kinds of weird things they used to feed babies back then.
So for a couple, trapped in a cabin with a dying mother, a baby, and a bunch of bandits, with no grocery store or town in sight, feeding that baby without the benefit of a wet nurse would have been possible. I do take pity on Emma Jane, Jasper, and the baby, and they eventually get a wet nurse, but just because I made that part a little easier, things for the couple only get more complicated. Because I’ll admit, I’m not very nice to my characters. But that’s what makes the story interesting, right?
If you haven’t ever taken a look at newspapers from the days of old, I highly recommend looking for one. Not only will you find some fun ads, it’s also interesting to get a glimpse of real life during those times. Granted I’m a bit of a research nerd, but I’m always looking for those little tidbits I can put into a story. I’m amazed at how many fun things from old papers slip in to my stories today. I think it gives a good feel for what people were really like back then. The coolest part, for me, at least, is realizing that we aren’t so different from people in those times.
Have you ever read an old newspaper? What are some of the fun discoveries you’ve made?
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Forced to wed to protect their reputations after being trapped overnight in a mine, Emma Jane and Jasper Jackson's marriage is one in name only. Resenting the choices taken from him, Jasper's determined not to lose his heart. But it's not so easy to stay distanced from his new bride when a gang of bandits abducts them both.
Other young women might be ecstatic to land Leadville's wealthiest bachelor. But Emma Jane would rather have Jasper's love than his family's money. A true bond with her handsome husband seems impossible…until their ordeal leaves Emma Jane caring for an orphaned baby. In reach now is the one thing neither expected—the chance to turn a convenient marriage into a forever family.
A self-professed crazy chicken lady, Danica Favorite loves the adventure of living a creative life. She and her family recently moved in to their dream home in the mountains above Denver, Colorado. Danica loves to explore the depths of human nature and follow people on the journey to happily ever after. Though the journey is often bumpy, those bumps are what refine imperfect characters as they live the life God created them for. Oops, that just spoiled the ending of all of Danica’s stories. Then again, getting there is all the fun.
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