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Civil War Weekend

Over the weekend, my sister and I took part in a local Civil War reenactment. There's always a let down after reenactments. There's so much prep and excitement in the weeks leading up to it and then I'm just like,"Wait. It's already over?!" But it was a fantastic weekend with some of my favorite people. Prepare yourself for tons of pictures. =)

Despite Everything, Their Spirit Lives On

Today marks, what would have been, the 97th birthday Hans Scholl, of one of my favorite heroes of WWII. He was a young medical student in Germany who committed high treason against the Third Reich by writing and distributing anti-Nazi leaflets. He was beheaded at age 24. As most of you readers know, I wrote a historical fiction about Hans and his resistance group called, RESIST. Writing this story was a humbling experience. Would I have had the courage to resist, knowing the consequence would be execution? Their courage and faith is inspiring to say the least. They proved to the world that there still was goodness, humanity, and faith in God abounding in the hearts of people throughout Nazi occupied Europe. They amaze me.

To honor Hans Scholl's birthday, I thought I'd share a few snippets from RESIST.

 Was this what the F├╝hrer meant when he said Germany would be respected by all? How can anyone respect us when we don’t respect human life?   - RESIST

“How strange it is to criticize our hard work in public. I dubbed it ‘ludicrous’ while speaking with Traute the other morning.”
“Perhaps it is ludicrous,” Alex said. “A noble sort of ludicracy.” - RESIST

“Hans, we’re getting soaked!” Gisela squealed through the wind.
“I rather like it.” I ripped off my army cap as another burst of wind wrapped around us.
“What?” She squinted through the rain. She was clutching her hat against her head, and her blue eyes were broad. “Come, the bridge is just a few steps away!” - RESIST

My stomach began to ache from the chortling, but what a good feeling it was to have pain from laughter instead of from misery. - RESIST

 I had my doubts that I would return unharmed, but for a blissful moment, I allowed myself to believe that I would come home and someday be a father like Christl. I would hold my child while looking out the window into a hazy morning fog and remember this moment … this lifetime, and pray my son or daughter never has to see an abhorrent regime come to power. In hindsight, I see that it was only a drifting hope, a future that would never be mine. - RESIST

“Hans and I are on a quest to change the way the Russians perceive Germans as a whole.” Alex continued eyeing the camp.
“So you’re using vodka?” Werner raised a brow.
“Well, not just vodka … but it can’t hurt, right?” I said, stuffing both hands in my pockets.
“No, I suppose not,” Werner shrugged. “I’d be happy to join you on this quest of yours.”
“Because of the vodka?” I studied him with suspicion.
His face broke into a wide grin. “Of course because of the vodka, stupid.” - RESIST

All at once I felt the urge to laugh and love, to raise my voice in a chorus of praise and joy because when I looked at these people, I knew an angel was hovering over them, stronger than all powers of darkness and defeat. Their faith had sustained them through all that life crudely threw at them, testing their resolve and tenacity. - RESIST

She lifted her wine glass. “To the resistance!”
We raised our glasses and clinked them together. “To the resistance!”
“May we all live to see it bloom,” I lifted the glass to my lips and took a long sip.
“You talk dreary! We will live to see it bloom, Hans. Just see if we don’t,” Alex chuckled, propping his feet on the table and sticking his pipe in his mouth. “We are alive and young.”
“Which doesn’t mean anything to the Nazis,” Willi reminded him.
“You all talk rot. We must survive. All of us,” he eyed us, sincerity in his gaze. It was at that moment that I realized he really did expect us all to come through this. I had my doubts.
“Yes. But some things are out of our control, aren’t they Alex?” I lit a cigarette and shook out the match. - RESIST

“The time is coming when we’ll all be faced with the question, ‘Why did you allow this to happen? Why didn’t you do something?’” - RESIST

             Happy birthday, Hans Scholl.  Despite everything, their spirit lives on!
Who is your favorite historical hero?

"My Country Was Stolen From Me, Sir, And I Want It Back."

Sometimes, just for fun, I Google search WWII movies to watch. In doing so, I came across a film based on the true story of a Norwegian resistance fighter and decided to give it a go. It's called Max Manus: Man of War.

It’s one of those movies where you need to hug a pillow the entire time.

I know. It looks intense. That's because IT IS. But not in a "scar you for life" kinda way. It's more of a "empty chairs at empty tables" kinda movie. It's not rated since it's a foreign film, but my mom and I both agree that it would be a PG-13 rating in America. There's some swearing and (obviously) violence.

The story follows Max Manus and his friends as they form a resistance against the Nazi occupation in their country, Norway. They start with small acts of resistance such as printing newspapers.

We gathered in small groups around the country. We who refused to surrender. Who believed it was still possible to fight back.

Bookish Updates


Here's what is happening on the writing front:

Resist is almost completely done! I finished the re-write a few weeks ago, and my sister-in-law finished editing it last weekend when we were on vacation. I have a few more editors still working on it. 

The book made my sister-in-law cry.

"Just finished editing my sister-in-law Emily Ann Putzke's newest novel. Everybody read this when it comes out. I am sincerely in awe and have no words. I would come upstairs and hug you, Emily, but my eyes are red from crying, and I can't stop. I'll see you in the morning when I'm more composed. Amazing. Phenomenal."

Those are the words authors really like hearing. And I'm so blessed to have an awesome team of editors cheering me on and helping make Resist the best it can be! I'm so excited to see what God's going to do with this novel.

I'm currently trying to place this work with a literary agent or publishing house, so there is no release date yet. You may have to wait a while before it's in book form. So sorry.

Five Magic Spindles:
I'm not sure how I feel about my retelling. Part of me loves it, part of me doesn't. We'll see which side wins. Anne is hosting a show-and-tell for authors to share a bit about their Five Magic Spindles entries with each other. I'll be participating in that, I think.

Another Idea:
Ideas keep me up at night. I have an idea for a WWII novella. Maybe, if the story flows and all, I'll post it on my blog. We shall see.

Secret Project:
Staring a new novel! It's a secret at the moment. I just like torturing you guys with secrets.

I recently read Violins of Autumn, The Butterfly and the Violin, and A Sparrow in Terezin. Each one got a whopping 5 stars from me. READ THEM. I'm currently reading Under a War Torn Sky. I really love it so far.

They Have a Story Link-Up:
I'm so excited to see everyone linking up this month! I'm off to work on my entry, then I'll go and read all yours. You can link up HERE.

What have you been reading, writing, and brainstorming?


They Have a Story Link-Up | September Edition

It's already time for the September edition of They Have a Story! I got a couple great entries in August which makes me excited to see what ya'll are going to do with this one. Thank you to those who sent in picture ideas! This month's picture was submitted by Charity Smith.

What is They Have a Story? It's a monthly historical fiction link up hosted by yours truly. Once a month I'll post a historical picture. Your job (and mine ... I'm totally doing this!) is to write a short story inspired by it. It can be as short or as long as you like. Have fun with it! Post the monthly picture, your story, and blog button on your blog, then link up. Let’s see how many different stories we can get from the same picture!

Taking Dictation

Aren't you surprised that this post has nothing to do with WWII?! This is a record or something.

Happy writing!