Sunday, 29 April 2007
Come to think of it, Mary was an only child, so there cannot be any mileage there, but she did have several Guise uncles in a handy position at the French court. As for Richard, I can't recall if he had sisters but since the Rose of Raby had seven surviving children and I can only remember four sons, (Edward, Edmund and George, plus Richard) I guess he did.
One reassuring thing about it is that the Tudor thing is set to go on for a little while longer as far as fiction novels are concerned. That makes me feel more secure in my choice of that time for the next work...with which I must get to grips very soon. For this time period, the danger is that there is so much to read one can get lost in the research and never start writing!
Saturday, 28 April 2007
Wednesday, 25 April 2007
Monday, 23 April 2007
Saturday, 21 April 2007
and found it exhilerating. If anyone wants to check it out the posts 42822-43030 will just about cover it. Put the numbers in the search facility and they'll pop up like magic. Jean Fullerton, Linda Sole, June Francis and Anita Davidson joined me.
So, what did I learn? First of all, check the dates. I think a lot of Americans are heading off to the big convention in Houston this weekend, so that may account for the low participation by US readers. Secondly, think more carefully about time; at 2pm GMT the messages popped up on the group almost instantaneously. As the day wore on, the time lag increased. By 9pm GMT it was really frustratingly slow. And thirdly - it took up the whole of my day! 8 hours with only an hours break for food.
Perhaps I'll never know if it was a productive 8 hours, or if I would have done better to stick with my writing and produce a couple of thousand words...but it was something new, something exciting and we all need a little excitemeent from time to time. And next time, if there is a next time, I'll know what to expect.
Friday, 20 April 2007
I have just tried to add a layout page to Myspace but I don't think it has taken. Sometimes there's a delay before things show, but I'm not holding my breath!
If I cannot do it, I might abandon the Myspace thing as my bit of it seems to be taken over by adverts for other people - not what I imagined at all.
There's an interesting discussion that keeps cropping up from time to time on what kind of language to use in historical novels.
Well: I've thought about this off and on for a long, long time. I've read so many historicals over the years that I must have seen a huge variety of responses to the question and I think I favour - no, I know I favour - normal language minus modern slang on the basis that when people talked to each other in the 8th century or the 14th century, they spoke normally, and there's no way we can recreate that. I don't see the point in putting a language barrier between the reader and the characters.
Some authors try hard to give a flavour of speech as it was then. I think it is probably wasted effort, but if they enjoy doing it and people enjoy reading it, who am I to spoil their fun?
What do I call neutral language? I fall down at once, because to me normal means Standard UK English - which of course, is not normal language for your average American, Canadian, Australian....and we're all supposed to speak the same language!
So I guess we'll all go on doing what we think is the right thing - and for me, that means using normal language without slang, without anachronisms in the hope that the readers will appreciate the lack of barrier and read as if they were there with the characters and understanding everything they said.
Monday, 16 April 2007
I've asked three fellow British historical authors to join me for a chat on Joyfully Reviewed on Friday 20th April, so don't hesitate to follow the link and join in. We'll be kicking off around 2pm GMT, 9am EST in the US. Heaven knows what will happen, but the worst thing of all would be total silence!
Sunday, 15 April 2007
Many of the good folk of the region wanted to be proved Celtic and when the results came back the lucky few were told that they were one and a half times (or two times) more likely to have Celtic than Anglo Saxon ancestors. They were ecstatic. No one asked the question that seemed important to me - what is the bench mark? Could one therefore be eighty times more likely, or did the counting stop at ten?
One chap who thought he was more likely to be Flemish, perhaps Norman, Welsh or even Nordic, proved to have the highest likelihood of all - 5.3 times more likely to be Celtic than Anglo Saxon. Which seems to go some way towards saying that like beauty is all in the eye of the beholder, ancestry is rather a case of focussing on what you want it to be.
There will be another two programmes and next week the canny folk of East Anglia are to be checked out.
Friday, 13 April 2007
Sunday, 8 April 2007
I have some of my best ideas in the middle of the night, and that happened this week. I hung onto the idea (so many are forgotten by the time morning rolls around) and when I got up the next morning hurridly made the alterations before I forgot all about it. So the nice young man angling for his first kiss metamorphosed into the dastardly Aesthete attempting a seduction of the heroine. I think it both tightens the plot and strengths it, for the encounter sparks off a reaction from the hero that....well, I don't want to give away the plot, but generally it was a good thing to do.
The secret of the vast improvement in my writing in the last few days is that I have switched all those e-groups to Read Only on the Web. Now they don't come cluttering up my e-mail system, I have saved so-o-o-o much time and yet I always thought I could whip through the e-mails, stay up to date and still find time to write. Not true! This has been a valuable lesson. I'm staying No Mail until I get this wip right to the end. Then, and only then, I might indulge...and I'm going to linit the time I spend reading other people's blogs, too!
Friday, 6 April 2007
06 April 2007
Dark Pool: Sequel to the Banners of Alba by Jen Black
Thursday, 5 April 2007
This is going to give me hours of amusement, I can tell. Did you know that "well-bred people arrive as nearly at the appointed dinner hour as they can. It is a very vulgar assumption of importance purposely to arrive half an hour behind time; besides the folly of allowing eight or ten hungry people such a tempting opportunity of discussing your foibles."
I'll never be late for anything again!
Wednesday, 4 April 2007
Tuesday, 3 April 2007
I'm happy to report we achieved both objectives!
The Britannia was fascinating. Of course, she does not look as immaculate as she did when in service, but I am assured that repainting will take place in the summer and then she'll look as good as she ever did. Th interior is not oppulent as I imagine the Onassiss yacht would be; no marble bath tubs and three inch deep shag pile, but evidence of quiet comfort and one particular family's private life. I can also see why she was de-commissioned, though I was so against it at the time. In a way, walking on board was like walking into a time warp. The 1950's is half a century ago, of course, and certain parts of the ship reveal it - old radio link telephones, lack of computers, and ancient washing machines. But there is still magic there - I still get a lump in my throat when I think of Britannia flying the flag for Britain in all those foreigh corners of the world. She and Concorde, both icons of my life. I'll never forget either.