Tag Archives: civil war

I’m a Guest


The blog is on costuming–applies to writers and tellers

first few sentences here–for the rest, go to Lois’ blog!



Joan Leotta has been playing with words since childhood. She is a poet, essayist, journalist, playwright, and author of several books both, fiction and nonfiction for children and adults. She is also a performer and gives one-woman shows on historic figures and spoken word folklore shows and teaches writing and storytelling. Learn more about Joan and her books at her website.

Storytelling—An excuse to play dress-up!


Joan Leotta performs at 2012 Southport NC Dickens Festival

Civil War Costuming

As a professional performer and writer, I have the excuse to wear “costumes.” When I perform shows from the US Civil or Revolutionary War eras or other historical periods, I find that costumes help reinforce the verbal and storyline cues. Moreover, wearing the clothes of a person of that era, allows you as performer to literally “walk in the shoes” of the characters you have created

Good News to Share

Cover of my book, Secrets of the Heart has won another contest–This time Ind’Tales voters selected it as book of the week.
Of course, all credit goes to the artist–Gwen Phifer.
This time the win is for more than bragging rights.
We get a quarter page ad!
Gwen is designing it as I write. Thank you , Desert Breeze for assigning such an awesome artist to my books! Yes, wonderful Gwen did all four of my covers. Not only is she an excellent artist–she also really strives to bring out the meaning of the book and is a joy to work with.
Here are all four of the books:

This one, the second in the series, has my mother on the cover! Gwen’s adpatation of a photo of her, that is!

GiuliaGoestoWarCoverArt 2

Changing a Habit

So, I’m trying something new in my next book–tying together stories in two time periods. My publisher has asked us to write our books into her template. I did that with Book Three, A Bowl of Rice and found it very relaxing to create the story, knowing that my margins, etc etc were all ok. But with this book where the storylines jump from chapter to chapter, typing into the template is not working out. I am finding it hard to switch between the two–I want to continue along with one story, beyond the chapter limit as I am writing, So, I’ve thought about it, am praying now that I have selected the right solution and have decided to shift.

I am going to type the entire first draft into one document–for each story. Cut into chapters and lay the links between the two, physical y looking at all of the chapters. Then I will retype the second draft into the template. More work? Yes, but I think the right work pattern for me for this type of story. I could have persisted in using my old method…but that would have resulted in format problems and worst of all, an inability to see each story and the relationships between the two as clearly as I need to in order to create something my readers will enjoy and easily follow. So, in this case, I will change my habit–now, on to my goal of a minimum of two thousand words a day on this book until the draft is finished and the research can all be plugged into it! Spoiler alert–the storylines are civil war and gulf war in their settings