Articles 2018-01-09T14:05:42+00:00

Articles by Robin Van Auken and Friends

These articles by Robin Van Auken run the gamut from topics such as Inspiration, Writing, Publication and Promotion. Other topics, such as Archaeology, Sports,  Travel, History, Science and more, creep in.  Robin is a writer of local history books and contemporary fiction. She lives in  the Highlands of Pennsylvania, and has advanced degrees in Archaeology and Communications. Some of these articles were once part of the Historic Williamsport website operated by Robin. They’re now part of the News of Yesteryear series. Enjoy the variety.

Also included in this library are contributions by historians and authors Lou Hunsinger, Jr., and Joan Wheal Blank.

  • To see Robin’s articles, keep scrolling below. They are mingled in with Lou’s and Joan’s.
  • To see Lou’s articles and contact him directly, CLICK THIS LINK.
  • To see Joan’s articles and contact her directly, CLICK THIS LINK.

Let’s Talk Books: A Weekly
Podcast for Writers, by Writers

Let’s Talk Books is the official podcast of Robin Van Auken, the Wholehearted Author. It’s my mission to learn new things and share what works, especially in the publishing industry. I’m talking to interesting people about topics such as inspiration, motivation, creating, publication and promotion. My guests have wonderful success stories to share, as well as stories of how they’ve struggled with their writing. Click here to listen to Let’s Talk Books.

Browse the Articles Library

Devil’s Den

By |

The Devil's Den in Florida is a dramatic freshwater spring, and popular for scuba diving and snorkeling. To reach the Den, visitors must descend narrow, limestone steps to the karst. Lycoming College Nautical Archaeology [...]

Solo Camping

By |

I spent a week solo camping, as a way to kick start my writing this summer. I viewed solo camping as a "Writing Retreat." My Constant Companion: Chubbers, an Australian Shepherd-Husky Mix. Confession: I wasn't alone. I brought my [...]

Ask a Curator Day

By |

We're all curious about what goes on behind closed doors, and that's true for museums and galleries and historical societies, as well as private residences. Spencer F. Baird, the first Curator of the National Museum and second Secretary of [...]

Kitchen Sink Bars

By |

I like the portability and stability of Lara Bars when I'm in the field. They hold up well in the backpack, and they're not outrageously expensive. They are a treat, however, and when I'm shopping, I'm already spending more than [...]

Birthplace of Little League Baseball® Listed in National Register of Historic Places

By |

Birthplace of Little League Baseball® is on the National Register of Historic Places | PlayBallBook.com Birthplace of Little League Baseball® Listed in National Register of Historic Places As the celebration of the 75thAnniversary of Little League® comes to [...]

Sailing Resources

By |

Here are a few interesting and helful links:   Calculator: Converting miles to nautical miles Sailing checklist: Make sure you've got everything before leaving the dock Marine Survey & Design Co.: An outstanding marine surveyor BoatUS Finance: Compute loan [...]

Sailing Checklist

By |

Sailing Checklist Ibuprofen Water Hat/visor Sunglasses Sunscreen Lunch Towels Dry clothes Mainsail Jib Mainsheet Dock lines Sail ties Boom vang Radio GPS Cell phone Camera Gerber tool Toolbox (hand tools) PFDs (3) Boat cushions Boat tie-down straps (2) Binoculars [...]

Crash Potatoes

By |

Crash Potatoes I know, they're completely unacceptable when you're living the Paleo lifestyle, but they're okay on special occasions when you're adhering to the Primal lifestyle. Crash Potatoes are cooked potatoes that are smashed, drizzled with a bit [...]

Kabobs!

By |

Kabobs with a honey-mustard dipping sauce. I love my Shish Kabob Set. It has simplified life and added a yummy dimension to my cooking repertoire. It isn't that time consuming and the ingredient list is simple -- boneless [...]

Primal Pizza

By |

One of the things most people miss when launching the Paleo Lifestyle is pizza. I searched the Internet and tried various recipes for pizza crusts, and several were alright. Then I discovered Against The Grain Pizza Shell, a frozen pizza [...]

Simple Salad

By |

Simple Salad It's not difficult to stick with the Paleo Lifestyle (and Primal) when you have so many foods available, and simple recipes like the salad above. Keeping quality ingredients on hand is key, and keeping your imagination [...]

Granola

By |

Granola I love the sweet and salty taste of homemade granola, and every so often I make a batch. I can't have this stuff in my house all the time or I'd never lose weight. The beauty of [...]

Weapon of Love

By |

Whether for love, country or just a thrill, women from both sides rose up as spies during World War One. I discovered an interesting newspaper article from 1918 on the subject of women spies, and thought it might [...]

Useful Hammocks

By |

Useful Food Hammocks I love a good camping hack, especially one I've made. I purchased these useful hammocks from Camping World, but the small wooden rods they came on were useless to me. My camper is a retro, teardrop-shape [...]

Courtship Customs

By |

Here in the Highlands of Pennsylvania, we've been blanketed with snow and freezing temperatures. The snow is more than two feet deep and has been for weeks. We're thinking of Spring and the end of this blasted winter. Next week, [...]

Heritage Downloads

By |

My History Is America's History This free eBook, "My History Is America's History: 15 Things You Can Do to Save America's Stories," is a guidebook to help families and individuals to explore family history and discover how our own family [...]

Public Archaeology

By |

Public Archaeology As a historical archaeologist, I work with museums and non-profit organizations, colleges and universities, public and private schools, and avocational archaeology groups.  Services I offer include: Field trips Field schools Hands-on heritage programs Historical research, oral [...]

Hottest Love

By |

I doubt Socrates really said, "The hottest love has the coldest end." During the past 2,500 years, something surely was lost in translation by Plato. Regardless, I'm sure many of us can agree with the logic. I recall my [...]

Trigger Words

By |

Sometimes my husband says the wrong thing. He'll make statements that contain trigger words such as, "obsess," "scream," "always" and "never." We've all heard these words before, and the reason they drive us crazy is because they contain a [...]

Snow Daze

By |

It's been an interesting week in the Northeast United States. In just a few days, we've had more than a foot of snow in the Pennsylvania Highlands. It's the kind of snow that lays thick and wet and weighs down [...]

Book Envy

By |

I'm nearly there. As of today, I've read  93 books toward my goal of 104 books in the Goodreads 2012 Reading Challenge. I seldom participate in online challenges because I have a problem committing. I tease my husband (of 32 [...]

Grit Salesmen

By |

Grit’s Happy Ambassadors: Its 30,000 Boy Salesmen February 1962 “Here’s your copy of Grit, Mrs. Jones.” Every week similar welcomed words are echoed hundreds of thousands of times from coast to coast by an army of eager, bright-faced boys. They [...]

eBook Hoarding

By |

I’m an eBook hoarder. With so many authors offering books to promote a series, I find myself hanging out on Pixel of Ink, World Literary Cafe, Kindle Author, Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Smashwords, snatching up books while they’re free. [...]

Canfield Island

By |

Canfield Island overlooks the Susquehanna's West Branch Canfield Island is a recent addition to the Susquehanna shoreline, having been added during the 19th century during Northcentral Pennsylvania's lumber boom. But, before sawyers toiled in the mill, processing logs [...]

The Heritage Trail

By |

Archaeologist James Bressler visits Riverfront Heritage Park named in his honor. A stroll along the James P. Bressler Heritage Trail on Canfield Island is invigorating and educational. It's also tranquil, this quiet spot along the Susquehanna River's West [...]

Junying Kirk

By |

SUPPORTING AUTHORS ONE READ AT A TIME: Junying Kirk, author of "The Same Moon," was born and grew up in the turbulent times of Cultural Revolution. A British Council scholarship led her to study English Language Teaching at Warwick University [...]

Newest eBook: East of Eaton

By |

I've wrapped up the second contemporary romance novel in Women of Eaton series, "East of Eaton." While I was at it, I also completed the third -- a free eBook to promote them all -- "West Wind." Being an independent [...]

Reading Rampage

By |

eBook and iPad Since I bought my iPad, I've embarked on a reading rampage. My favorite conquest is the 99-cent Kindle download. I have all the reading apps -- Amazon's Kindle, Apple's iBooks from iTunes, the Barnes [...]

School Days

By |

Working with Muncy Historical Society and the students (past and present) of Muncy Jr/Sr High School, historian Robin Van Auken created a 30-minute DVD oral history project that features 35 alumni and current student interviews. Historical Society volunteers and Muncy [...]

Lumber Heritage

By |

Woodhicks The Lumber Heritage Region holds a key to the rich heritage of Pennsylvania’s forests–from the struggles of the pioneers to the cut-and-run practices of the early lumber industry to the conservation efforts that led to the managed [...]

Shawn Gardner

By |

Shawn Gardner Artisan Shawn Gardner, of Fair Chase Designs, presents on prehistoric technology and Native American art. This is presentation is suitable for people of all ages, including families and school-aged children. Gardner lives in Montoursville, often presents [...]

Barbara Barnes

By |

Barbara Barnes' art vessels reflect a keen appreciation for nature in shapes and colors. She uses interactive glazes, often firing multiple times until she gets the results that mimic the hues of earth, flora, fire and water combined. She is [...]

Joy McCracken

By |

Joy McCracken Joy McCracken is a spinning and weaving expert. McCracken demonstrates the craft of creating fabric from animal hair to students. One of her specialties is drop spindle spinning, an early technique for making yarn without a [...]

Downsizing

By |

The New Canoe She’s gone. Dan picked “To Blave” up one bitter, cold day in April and headed for Wisconsin. He sent us a note; he and his son finally went sailing after picking up a new battery [...]

Moving On

By |

We sold our Precision 15K, an excellent starter sailboat. Hold on, I have to wipe a tear from my eye. It moved to Wisconsin. A local judge there wants to use it on a lake. We corresponded for [...]

Van Wagner

By |

Van Wagner Since he was a child, Van Wagner has been singing, strumming, rambling, and picking his way through the hills of Pennsylvania. With more than 100 original songs under his belt, and co-production of [...]

The Brady Legend

By |

Conflict between American Indians and white people escalated during the last two decades of the 18th century. War -- both declared and undeclared -- made for "dark and gloomy days," according to historian John F. Meginness in his 1,268-page tome, "History of Lycoming County" (1892).

Historical Mix-Up

By |

Richard and Miriam Mix, experts on regional history as well as America's past, authored a book, “A Bicentennial Postcard History of Williamsport,” which contains colorful postcards and illustrations of pre-World War I Williamsport and the region, and was published by the Lycoming County Genealogical Society just in time for the City of Williamsport's bicentennial in 2006.

Tunnison Coryell

By |

The life of Tunnison Coryell, one of Lycoming County's and Williamsport's most notable men of accomplishment and finance in the 19th century, spans the period of Williamsport evolving from a sleepy frontier village to a city of diverse great industries. [...]

West Branch Canal

By |

The transportation of goods, services and people was a rough and inefficient undertaking in the Susquehanna Valley in the early 1800s. This would change with the advent of the West Branch Canal in the 1830s. Colonial and later state officials envisioned the idea of canals as far back as the mid-18th century.

Daniel Repasz

By |

Repasz Band America's oldest band in continuous existence bears his name, but Daniel Repasz didn't join the group until nine years after it was formed. Historian Mary Russell researches Repasz in a Lycoming County Historical Society Journal article, [...]

Sum of Its Parts

By |

In addition to Williamsport, Lycoming County consists of a number of important municipalities. A brief history of each, accompanied by historical photos, follows in the first of two parts. The second installment will be published May 22.

Widow Smith's Walk

By |

While Michael Ross was settling the City of Williamsport, selling parcels of land to frontier families and immigrants, another enterprising resident of the West Branch Valley was being hoodwinked from her home and business. Widow Smith's Walk Catherine [...]

A Heroic Duo

By |

Rachel Silverthorn warns the settlers (WPA mural) While Gen. George Washington's Continental Army fought the British, settlers along the Susquehanna River also considered themselves at war with the displaced Indians. Conflicts escalated daily. Rumors of a planned massacre [...]

Long Reach

By |

  Coin found at Long Reach Archaeology Dig Historic preservation is an admirable, though difficult, goal to obtain. Preservation works best in communities that have programs managed at the local government level. In 2003, Williamsport's City Council considered [...]

Rewards for Indian Scalps

By |

During the tumultuous years leading up to the French and Indian War, early settlers in Northcentral Pennsylvania had two choices: They could leave the fertile valleys of the Susquehanna, or take their chances with sporadic Indian raids during which farms were destroyed and entire families would be slaughtered.

Boo Hollywood!

By |

I'm collecting resources for an ambitious project in a different genre -- gaslight / steampunk. I've combed the Internet and Amazon for articles and books, focusing my research on technology, flight and European events and people circa 1860-1870. I wanted [...]

My Virtual Book Tour

By |

Now that "Distracted" is published, available as an eBook and a paperback through the major booksellers -- Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Borders, iBooks, Smashwords, etc. -- I'm planning a virtual book tour. The more I research book tours and blogging, [...]

Boat No. 2

By |

I admit it -- I've been waffling. There are so many awesome boats available and every time I go to a boat show I fall in love with a new one. Or one that's not suitable for our lifestyle. [...]

Free eBooks!

By |

Everybody loves to get something free, and plenty of writers are sharing their books with new readers. It's interesting to see how other writers are using the digital marketplace to promote their books. I've worked with publishers before and [...]

An Affordable Way to Sail

By |

Daysailing, also called dinghy cruising, has been described as "a magical way of exploring new coastlines and experiencing nature at close quarters." You don't have to wait until the bank account is full and until you have plenty of time [...]

A Sense of Wonder

By |

The spirit of Rachel Carson lives on, instilling in the Earth's human population awareness of its fragile environment and an urgency to protect it from toxins. Although it's been 40 years since the publication of her runaway bestseller, "Silent [...]

Daysailing

By |

Daysailing can be a solo activity or a sport, such as racing around the bouys Daysailing, also called dinghy cruising, has been described as "a magical way of exploring new coastlines and experiencing nature at close quarters." [...]

Ray Keyes

By |

Ray Keyes The man who dominated the sports scene in Northcentral Pennsylvania for more than 50 years was neither an athlete nor a sports executive but a sportswriter. That man was Ray Keyes. Although his name was inextricably [...]

A Renovo Mystery

By |

The following is a reprint from Grit: America’s Greatest Family Newspaper A Renovo Mystery Dec. 15, 1882 A newsboy delivers Grit to a rural customer. RENOVO -- Patrick Shelly, a well known citizen who held the positions of [...]

D. Vincent Smith

By |

From the 1890s to the early 1950s, D. Vincent Smith was a familiar sight throughout Northcentral Pennsylvania with his box camera and heavy-duty bicycle, wearing his knickers, sneakers and scoop cap. He left behind a priceless photographic heritage. Smith [...]

Join my Circle of Authors & Writers

Join my Circle of Writers & Authors and receive six FREE writing resources. Your freebies include:

  1. 21-Day Writing Sprint Challenge
  2. Secrets of Success from 25 Bestselling Authors
  3. Time Management Grid System
  4. Self-Publishing Business Checklist
  5. A Useful Guide to Free Photos, Media & More
  6. Getting Published
Powered by ConvertKit