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author diary

History is Hard

As I put the finishing touches on my Aptos Station article, it has become abundantly clear that writing history is hard work. People jokes about how sitting in a seat and writing is hardly the same as physical labor, but they are more incomparable than one being harder than the other. After writing this final article, which is sitting at five single-spaced pages, it has become clear that summarizing the entirety of a town’s history… Read More »History is Hard

Unexpected Sequels

Writing history has often unexpected consequences. Sometimes you discover dark secrets and the reasons why they were hidden. Other times you reveal new information that completely changes how humans view something. And often you find out that a single book is just not enough… When I began my blog in 2012, I did not anticipate a book. I was desperately looking for a better-paying job that used my talents and the local train blog I… Read More »Unexpected Sequels

Local Parallelism

When I began researching local railroads, my goals were very simple and geographically isolated: I wanted to write blog posts about the railroad routes that were directly related to me. Since I lived and grew up in Felton, that meant first and foremost the Roaring Camp Railroads line to Santa Cruz. Naturally, this topic would conclude at the Boardwalk. However, I also wanted to investigate the route over the mountains to Los Gatos. I didn’t… Read More »Local Parallelism

The Freight Yard Divideth

The second article I wrote for my book, way back in September, was the “Santa Cruz Union Depot & Freight Yard”. It was an ambitious article forced early because I was writing my articles in geographic order, beginning with the Santa Cruz Wharves and ending five miles north of Boulder Creek (after a detour to Los Gatos and Vasona). Almost immediately, however, I found myself buried in too many details. The article encompassed more material… Read More »The Freight Yard Divideth

Location! Location! Location!

I’ve been rather quiet on this update blog lately, mostly because I’ve been writing a whole heck of a lot. Every day I’ve written 2-4 pages, with a few days consisting of even more. I’ve been amazingly surprised by how even the shortest article can produce two pages of text and images. Every time! And I really mean that. Only a few articles have failed to span multiple pages. I expect the last section on… Read More »Location! Location! Location!