Borrowed from https://virginiaplantation.wordpress.com/2013/06/10/the-fashions-of-regency-england-1795-1837/

Regency Romances, Regency Marriages

I’ve been researching the customs regarding romance, courtship, and marriage in Regency England.  Many authors in assorted genres, like SF/F author Rosemary Edghill and mystery novelist Carola Dunn, began their career by writing Regency romances.  I am attempting to do likewise.  After all, I’ve been reading Regencies since before the Bicentennial (yes, I’m dating myself) and I’ve started more than a dozen, although I’ve yet to get beyond chapter two in any of them.

Regency Fashion - 1820 to 1850 Now that I’ve made a few sales in short fiction, I am attempting to write a novel.  Since I’ve read more Regency romances than I can count, that genre seemed a good arena to hone my skills before turning my attention to science fiction and fantasy.  Yes, it’s bubblegum literature, but sometimes you’re in the mood for bubblegum.

When one thinks of Regency romances, one thinks of Jane Austen, Georgette Heyer, Clare Darcy, Allison Lane, Barbara Cartland, etc.  One thinks of beautiful gowns and the noble-born ladies wearing them at grand balls.  One thinks of gentlemen who follow Beau Brummell’s lead in fashion, although probably more athletic — a good Regency hero should be a Corinthian.  And sometimes, one thinks of badly written novels with little or no research done.  Rosemary Edghill tells how she was inspired to write her first Regency romance, after reading a book where a Regency heroine took a train to Malta.  Stop and think about that a moment.

I was reading a book ‑- which happened, as these things do, to be a Regency novel ‑- and not thinking at all about becoming a writer. At the time I was doing production and design at a New York graphic arts studio, a location which later found its way as background into some of my books, so I figured all my artistic impulses were pretty well taken care of, as well as a steady paycheck. But as I was reading along I encountered a passage in which the heroine took a train from London to Malta ‑- the island of Malta, you understand, an island surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea without a single bridge leading to it ‑- in 1805, several decades before the invention of the passenger train, ignoring all the rules of both history and geography ‑- and the Writing Fairy landed on my shoulder and whispered in my ear: you can do better than that.

Just as Robert Louis Stevenson was inspired to write Treasure Island because he was disappointed in the books his stepson read, so Rosemary Edghill was inspired to write Turkish Delight.  There’s probably an essay’s worth of material from writers who read something subpar, said I can do better than this, and began literary careers.

In researching how to avoid being compromised (a major plot point in both Lady Tom and Damaris in Distress), I have found some fascinating websites.

Courtship and Marriage {Isabelle Goddard}

Regency Reader {multiple authors}

Marriage in the Regency Era {Sharon Lathan}

Courting and Marriage in the Regency {Cheryl Bolen}

A Survivor’s Guide to Georgian Marriage {Ellie Cawthorne}

Ten Tropes That Make Historical Romance Awesome {G. Callen, C. Linden, L. Guhrke}


My current WIP is a fantasy story set in 1923, which I hope to submit to the Sunday Times EFG Short Story Contest if I can finish it by their deadline.  After that, I’d like to get back to Regencies.  If/when I manage to get either Lady Tom or Damaris in Distress finished, I’ll let you know in a future blog post.  Or Cherished Companion, or The Thistle and the Orchid, or Shilling Suitors, or Maid Marian’s Return, or Marguerite, or Cousin Lavinia or ….  (Did I mention I’d started more than a dozen Regency romance novels?)

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10 Things I’ve Learned After 7 Years of Blogging

Richard Flores is a Facebook Friend and a fellow author. Here are some of his thoughts on blogging. (Warning: Richard cusses a bit.)

Flores Factor Blog

Today, according to WordPress, is my 7th anniversary of blog writing (nearly 6 with this blog).  I started this blog because I got my first story sale with my short story Death Watch, which was published by the good folks over at Liquid Imagination.  Originally my blog was my website, and though I have since separated the two, a lot of people still find me through this blog.

When I started out, I really didn’t know what to expect.  And seven years later, I still really don’t know what could happen.  But here are at a few things I have learned since starting out.

1 – Getting traffic to your blog is hard.

It took me a long time, a really long time, to gather up any type of blog traffic.  I tried funny posts, writing posts, life posts, and mixtures of all three.  What I learned is the…

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$451

When editor Bob Brown first came up with the idea for Alternative Truths, he decided that one share of the royalties would be paid to the American Civil Liberty Union (ACLU) for three years.  At the end of three years, all royalties would go to the ACLU.  Everyone involved with the project agreed to this.

Bob recently sent out the first royalty checks from Alternative Truths.  Because some of the authors agreed to donate their share to the ACLU, over and above what they were getting already, the ACLU got more than any author, illustrator, or editor.  Bob wrote the following press release.

On July 6, 2017 three representatives of B Cubed Press, Karen Anderson, Blaze Ward, and Janka Hobbs presented the first of many checks to the American Civil Liberty Union of Washington.

The money is part of a commitment to set aside a portion of the proceeds of the sale of Alternative Truths, an anthology that looks at the America that might be if the current political path continues unabated.

On hand to receive the check was Caitlin Lombardi, Community Relations Director at the ACLU of Washington.

Should you have any questions or desire a review copy of the book, please contact Bob Brown, owner of B Cubed Press, at Kionadad@aol.com.

Alternate Truths check for ACLU

Left to right, Karen Anderson, Caitlin Lombardi, Blaze Ward, Janka Hobbs

The following text accompanied the donation.

In 1953, a nation was reeling from the unapologetic assault on free speech from the likes of Joseph McCarthy.  In answer came the novel Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury.  It is in this dystopian future where books are outlawed and firemen burn what books are reported, that we saw reflections of evil.

It was this world that we, who grew up in an America where freedom of the Press was sacred and the idea of burning books brought visions of storm troopers, could fear, but never imagine.

But oh, what changes a lifetime brings.  Ray Bradbury has left us and we live now in a world never envisioned as possible, where the President and his supporters regularly assault free speech and seek to limit the constitutionally mandated freedom of the press.  Where he stands at the podium and denounces the freedoms many of us served at home and abroad to protect.

We said NO!

We did what we could do in opposition to tyranny.

We wrote in the spirit of Thomas Paine.  In the spirit of free speech, we wrote.  And so was born Alternative Truths.

When we collectively decided to set aside a generous portion of the proceeds to the ACLU, we had no idea of the symbolic nature of the amount.  But today we presented the representatives of this staunch defender of our freedoms with the first installment of $451.  A symbolic number if ever there was one.

We made this decision jointly and freely because without the ACLU, it could be books like ours piled in the public square awaiting the match.

Without the ACLU, we could find that the freedom to express our views suppressed and denied.

So in the memory of Ray Bradbury, we stand against the stigma of the modern versions of McCarthy and those that would silence.  And we will continue to stand.

Thanks goes out to each and every writer, editor, and artist involved in B Cubed and Alternative Truths as we stand united in the name of Freedom.  True freedom that comes from making your ideas known, of speaking truth to power, and the ability to do so openly.

And as the ACLU has been in the forefront of the fight for, among other things, freedom of expression for nearly a century, we who are listed below support them as we freely express ourselves in fiction to the current crisis in American life.

Adam-Troy Castro

Alexander James Adams

Blaze Ward

Vonda McIntyre

Bob Brown

Bruno Lombardi

Cheyenne Summer Brown

Daniel M. Kimmel

David Steele

Diana Hauer

Vonda McIntyre

Gregg Chamberlain

Irene Radford

Janka Hobbs

Jim Wright

Joel Ewy

Karen G. Anderson

Ken Staley

Larry Hodges

Liam Hogan

Louse Marley

Marleen S. Barr

Paula Hammond

Rebecca McFarland Kyle

Rick Dunham

Sara Codair 

Susan Murrie Macdonald

Victor D Phillips

Wondra Vanian                                                                                             

Bobby Lee Featherston

Susan Omberg-Carro

 

(Caitlin Lombardi of the ACLU is no relation to Canadian author Bruno Lombardi.)

I’ve sold seven short stories now, and self-published a children’s book and an e-book.  However, Alternative Truths  is the first time I’ve earned royalties.  I have one teenager starting college in just over a month and another one planning to go to college in a few years, so I’d like to earn more royalties.  Buy Alternative Truths, $4.99 as an e-book, $11 as a paperback.

 

A Review of “Alternative Truths,” a Guest Blog by Elizabeth Ann Scarborough

Elizabeth Ann Scarborough is a Nebula winning science fiction/fantasy writer and editor  She recently read and reviewed Alternative Truths, the political satire anthology from B Cubed Press, and was kind enough to give me permission to reprint her review as a guest blog.

E. A. Scarborough

Elizabeth Ann Scarborough

In The Wind Between the Worlds, Robert Ford, an RAF radio operator unfortunate enough to be helping the Tibetan government set up radio links between the settlements when the Chinese invaded described his treatment as a prisoner. His captors softened him up with sleep deprivation and starvation, and with sessions of yelling at him that what he believed was lies and what he thought was wrong was true. They kept repeating the lies they wanted him to believe, substituting them for any real news until he was confused about what was true and what was not. By the end of his stay, following his “confession,” he was convinced that his enemies were his friends and vice versa. He said that it took him years after his release to sort out his own concept of reality. Everything he was told was counter to his own opinions and experience, but isolated and bombarded by his captor’s “alternative truths,” he was forced to accept their version of reality.

More recently, June Weinstock, woman from Fairbanks, Alaska, in Guatemala on an archaeological expedition, was waiting for a bus when a mob of villagers attacked her, beating and stabbing her until rescuers told them she was dead. The government had been spreading the story that American tourists were kidnapping Guatemalan kids and cutting them up for their organs. When one of the villagers couldn’t find her child, people set upon Ms. Weinstock, who later died from her injuries. The child was later found rehearsing for an Easter pageant. The disinformation that led to the death of the woman was a Guatemalan “alternative truth.”

“Alternative truths” can have truly deadly consequences, and although the stories in the anthology of the same name are fiction and don’t pretend to be otherwise, they illustrate 24 reasons why it’s not a good way to run a country. The current administration should leave the story-telling to the professionals.
POTUS’s rambling oratory style is so well portrayed by Adam-Troy Castro in “Q&A” and Jim Wright’s “President Trump, Gettysburg, Nov. 19, 1863” mimic POTUS’S rambling oratory style that I almost couldn’t laugh for cringing.

My favorites were the more allegorical tales. Diana Hauer’s “The Trumperor and the Nightingale” gives a Trump/Midas twist to the Chinese fairytale about a real versus a fake songbird. The story is kind to “the royal family” but not as forgiving of the advisors and is one of very few in the book with a happy ending.

Louise Marley’s “Relics, a Fable” is a poignant tale of what life might be like for the old and poor in the shadow of the humongous wall that is supposed to keep Mexicans from immigrating to the US.

“Patti 309” by K.G. Anderson is also about older people, but the once-affluent and even celebrities in their–er–golden years, when age and ill-health have deprived them of not only their money, but also much of their identities.

“Melanoma Americana” is a thrilling uniquely Capitalist tale of where the money goes when big business meets medicine.

I particularly enjoyed the British humor in Parliament’s take on an a familiar-sounding American head of state in Susan Murrie Macdonald’s “As Prophesied of Old.”

I also found “Letters from the Heartland” by Janka Hobbs to have a more home-grown gallows humor.

Joel Ewy’s “about_the_change.wav” is a love story. It reminded me of a couple I know who almost split up over the election, though it has a bit of a Stepford Wives meets Invasion of the Body Snatchers twist to it. “Frozen” is also a love story, kind of, but this one doesn’t have any cute reindeer or princesses in it.

Particularly chilling were three stories about ordinary citizens caught up in the changes that come to pass when alternative truths become real. “Raid at 817 Maple Street” by Ken Staley, “Good Citizens” by Paula Hammond, “We’re Still Here,” by Rebecca McFarland Kyle and “The History Book” by Voss Foster show the horrific consequences of innocent behavior when monitored by a well-armed witch hunt in a time when paranoia substitutes for imagination and alternative truths trump (pardon the pun) reality.

“Altered to Truth” by the anthology’s co-editor (with Bob Brown) Irene Radford, “Alt Right for the President’s End” by Gregg Chamberlain, “Rage Against the Donald” by Bruno Lombardi, “It’s All Your Fault” by Daniel M. Kimmel, “Monkey Cage Rules” by Larry Hodges, “Duck, Donald: A Trump Exorcism” by Marleen S. Barr, and “Pinwheel Party” by Victor D. Phillips all feature different takes on what happens when the Wicked Witch of the West is also in charge of the West Wing.

“Walks Home Alone at Night” by Wondra Vanian is unfortunately non-futuristic, since it seems to be occurring right now.  The kind of mentality that threatens the protagonist in this story happens too often, particularly to minorities upon whom certain people currently in the Cabinet and Congress have declared “open season.”

In this versatile anthology, there’s even a story the NRA could love–a good old-fashioned-though-modern shoot-’em-up Western called “The Last Ranger (ANPS-1, CE 2053)” by Blaze Ward. An iron-jawed legendary hero, a young man earning his spurs, overwhelming odds, headin’ ’em off at the pass, and lots of things exploding!

This book doesn’t cure any of the evils that people do, but it does provide a feast of food for thought.

If this sounds like something you’d like to read and review, please do. It’s available at Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Altern…/dp/B0718YNJ97/ref=sr_1_1… Please share!

white house snowflakes

Mahalo to Elizabeth Ann Scarborough for her kind words on my story, our book, and her permission to reprint this book review on my blog. And merci beaucoup to the 70 readers who have reviewed Alternative Truths on Amazon thus far.

 

Summer Solstice Music Festival

June 17, 2017, the Celtic Society of West Tennessee and the Jackson Area Music Society are presenting the Summer Solstice Music Festival in Parkers Crossroads, TN.  The music festival will go from 11:00 am to 10:00 pm in the city park in Parkers Crossroads (roughly a mile north of the McDonald’s).

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There will be a wide variety of music:  blues, bluegrass, gospel, rock, Celtic, and folk.  The park has a very nice playground where the youngsters can burn off some energy. There will be vendors:  Michelle Autry selling Limelight by Alcone makeup and skin care, Linda Piper with Perfectly Posh, Natalie’s Kitchen, Highland Heather Travel (my husband) answering your vacation planning questions, and me, selling R is for Renaissance Faire and Alternative Truths.  One of the food vendors will be selling Irn Bru, a Scottish soda pop which is frankly something of an acquired taste, but one of my husband’s favorite beverages.  There will also be arts and crafts, t-shirts, and CDs for sale.

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Schedule of Events (not carved in stone — something always gets changed or delayed)

Start Time 11 AM

11:00 AM Bobby Rainey 1

11:25 AM Bobby Rainey 2

11:55 AM Leather & Lace

12:30 PM Scott Myatt/Steve Short

1:20 PM Chase Antwine

1:55 PM Blair and Madison

2:45 PM Mike Needham

3:20 PM Bobby & Sue Bates

3:55 PM Hatchie Bottom Boys

4:45 PM Derrick Brantley

5:20 PM The Go-Tos

6:25 PM Dagger

7:25 PM Kat Deliriouz

7:45 PM Jupiter Stone

8:45 PM Kat Deliriouz

9:05 PM Damaged Soul Revival

10:00 PM Show End

So head down Hwy. 40, turn north at Exit 108, and come to the Summer Solstice Music Festival in historic Parkers Crossroads, TN.

susan-at-tina-turner-museum
Susan Murrie Macdonald with R IS FOR RENAISSANCE FAIRE.

Hero of the First Amendment: John Quincy Adams

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

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John Quincy Adams is the sort of fellow who winds up as a Jeopardy or Trivial Pursuit question:  Who was the sixth president of the United States?  Who was the first son of a president to become president himself?  Who was the first president to serve in the House of Representatives after leaving the White House?  He was also a hero of the First Amendment, specifically, the right to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

“In 1836, Adams focused his long-standing anti-slavery sentiment on defeating a gag-rule instituted by Southerners to stifle debate.”

“In 1836 southern Congressmen passed a “gag rule” providing that the House automatically table petitions against slavery. Adams tirelessly fought the rule for eight years until finally he obtained its repeal.”

John Quincy Adams was an adamant abolitionist, and is remembered for representing the slaves aboard the Amistad in court.  He is also remembered for arguing for the right of all Americans to petition the government, as provided for in the First Amendment.  Southern congressmen managed to get a rule based banning all petitions and resolutions on slavery.  John Quincy Adams considered this unconstitutional, and wasted no time saying so.

“I hold the resolution to be a direct violation of the Constitution of the United States.”

It took eight years of rhetoric and effort before Adams was able to achieve a partial victory.  Congress agreed to drop the gag rule, but declared the right to petition the government belonged only to free, white Americans.  Black slaves — who needed the right to petition more than their white brethren — were denied that right.

John Quincy Adams was one of the most brilliant diplomats who ever served the United States of America.  He was at his best when he was Secretary of State to President Monroe:

  1. He negotiated with Britain to peacefully determine our northern border with Canada.
  2. He negotiated with Spain, allowing the USA to acquire Florida.
  3. He was the principal architect of the Monroe Doctrine.

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[1843 daguerreotype of John Quincy Adams, by Philip Haas]

John Quincy Adams was born July 11, 1767 in the Massachusetts colony, to John and Abigail Adams.  He went overseas with his father on John Adams’ diplomatic missions, learning his trade before he finished his schooling.  He was educated at Leiden University in the Netherlands and at Harvard College in Cambridge, Massachusetts.  After beginning his law career, he served overseas as minister to the Netherlands, Portugal, and Prussia.  He married Louisa Johnson in 1797 in London.  He returned to the US, where he served briefly in the Massachusetts State Senate and then was elected to the United States Senate.  He taught logic at Brown University and rhetoric and oratory at Harvard. He left education when he was appointed ambassador to Russia.  He left the tsar’s court to negotiate the Treaty of Ghent, which officially ended the War of 1812, and then took the position his father had once had, as US ambassador to England.

From 1817 to 1825 he served as Secretary of State.  In 1824 he was elected president in a close and contentious election, and served in the White House from 1825 to 1829.  After finishing his presidency, he attempted to retire from public life, but failed.  By 1830 he was elected to the House of Representatives, although some felt it was beneath the dignity of a former president to take a lower ranked position in the government.  He spent the next seventeen years in the House of Representatives, speaking for the rights of all Americans and the importance of the Constitution.  He suffered a cerebral hemorrhage and collapsed on the floor of the House in 1848.  He died two days later, on February 23, 1848.  A first term congressman, Representative Abraham Lincoln of Illinois, was assigned to the committee in charge of funeral arrangements.  Lincoln, like Adams, opposed both slavery and the Mexican-American War.

John Quincy Adams and his wife Louisa had four children, three of whom predeceased them.

Read the Constitution.  Read American history.  Know your rights as an American citizen.

Polar Bear, Stuttgart Zoo

Sleeping Bear

A mini-guest blog, by the inestimable Shaw Tesla:

“I am a progressive.

My choice has been to do my homework. Apply my critical thinking skills. Make decisions based on evidence and intelligent debate. I know that establishment politics and establishment economics doesn’t work. I know that centrism, i.e., deep economic injustice under the skin of social justice doesn’t work because social justice and economic justice can’t exist without each other. I know that giving huge tax breaks and subsidies to corporations when there are so many unmet basic needs for Americans, doesn’t work.

Like most Americans, I want clean air to breathe, clean water to drink, a good job, universal healthcare, spiritual freedom, and affordable education.

I thought that wasn’t too much to ask. Common sense legislation.
But instead….

I have watched the fires of division grow
And I don’t like it.

I have watched rise of fascism on the backdrop of deep economic injustice by corporate centrism
And I don’t like it.

I have watched my planet become increasingly trampled upon
And I don’t like it.

I have watched as the Golden Rule has been dismissed
And I don’t like it.

So to those who would trash my planet, disrespect my fellow human beings, and erode the principles upon which my country was founded:
Know this
You have woken a sleeping bear
And I am putting you on notice.”

Buy my books.  Please.

Alternative Truths, 24 political satire stories, including my “As Prophesied of Old”

R is for Renaissance Faire, my children’s book

Knee-High Drummond and the Durango Kid, an e-book of western short stories

Sword & Sorceress #30, a collection of feminist fantasy, including my “The Piper’s Wife”

Barbarian Crowns, a collection of fantasy stories in the style of Robert E. Howard, including my “Vixen’s Song” and “Two Princes”

Supernatural Colorado, a collection of horror and fantasy, including my “Thank You, Thad”

Coming soon!  Heroic Fantasy, including my “Erazabet and the Gladiators,” to be released in July.

Coming soon!  Bumples.com children’s e-magazine, with my story “Long Neck and Freckles.

Forgive Me For Bragging

Kindly forgive my lack of modesty, but my writing has been going well lately.

I.  I won the Arkansas Scottish Festival’s annual poetry contest with my poem “Black Agnes.”  Lady Agnes Randolph, daughter of the Earl of Moray, wife of the Earl of Dunbar, maintained a siege against the English forces in 1338.  Black Agnes is well-known in Scotland, but practically unknown in the United States.  I learned more about her in the process of researching my poem than I could fit into verse, so I plan to put the rest of what I learned about her in a children’s book.

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II.  Alternative Truths is doing quite well.  It is currently at 58 reviews on Amazon, 3 four-star reviews and 55 five-star reviews.  My story, “As Prophesied of Old,” is one of 24 stories.  The other 23 are by Jim Wright, Adam-Troy Castro, Rebecca McFarland Kyle, Diana Hauer, Gregg Chamberlain, Paula Hammond, Louise Marley, Sara Codair, Irene Radford, K. G. Anderson, Bruno Lombardi, Daniel M. Kimmel, Voss Foster, Janka Hobbs, Victor D. Phillips, Bobby  Lee Featherston, Larry Hodges, Blaze Ward, Marleen S. Barr, Joel Ewy, Ken Staley, Liam Hogan, and Wondra Vanian.  I did a write-up about Alternative Truths for Krypton Radio, as well as a HubPages blog.

The most recent review said: “A wonderful collection of some very excellent shorts stories. Stand outs amongst them include Susan Macdonald’s excellent portrayal of British stoicism, Janka Hobb’s collection of letters with very sinister connotations for the future, Ken Staley’s expose of SWATing (sort of) and my favourite Voss Foster’s history lesson with a twist.”

III.  I’ve had over two dozen articles posted on Krypton Radio, and my editor has seemed pleased with all of them.  I’ve written about Hellboy, Transformers, Powers Boothe, Wonder Woman, Joe Harris, Jim Parsons, Nisi Shawl, and Sir Roger Moore.

Will David Harbour replace fan favorite Ron Perlman in the third Hellboy movie?

IV.  I have a new website.  Go check it out. One of my editors suggested an author webpage would be useful to me.

V.  And now the big news:  Drum roll, please!

My short story “Erzabet and the Gladiators” has been accepted by Flame Tree Publishing’s anthology Heroic Fantasy Short Stories.  My editor asked me not to say anything until the publisher made the official announcement; I’ve been bursting to tell the news since the story was accepted.  This is my second sale at professional rates, and the first appearance of one of my stories in a hardcover book.

Voss Foster, my book-mate (book bro?  What is the correct term for someone whose story is in the anthology as yours?) from Alternative Truths also has a story in Heroic Fantasy, as do Clark Ashton Smith, John Buchan, Snorri Sturluson, Homer, Robert E. Howard, A. Merritt, Geoffrey Chaucer, Andrew Lang, Howard Pyle, William Morris, and Eric Rücker Eddison.  In addition to new fantasy stories by Alexandra Renwick, M. Elizabeth Ticknor, Beth DawkinsLauren C. TeffeauTony PiJoanna Michal HoytDavid Busboom,  Kate O’ConnorMichael HaynesZach ChapmanTherese ArkenbergA. Creg PetersAlexandra RenwickErin Gitchell, Voss, and me, Heroic Fantasy  will include the text of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, as well as extracts from Beowulf, The Nibelungenlied, and The Song of Roland.

Heroic Fantasy will be published sometime in July 2017.

 

How to Make Everyday Anglo-Saxon Bread: Version 2 (Hearthcakes or “Kichells”)

I found this fascinating, and I’m going to be following all the links and looking for other blogs by the same writer.

The Early English Bread Project

Screen Shot 2017-05-13 at 10.00.45 Those round things in the lower left are the hearthcakes.  This supposed peasant woman is admonishing King Alfred for burning them, though they don’t look burnt to me.  And why is she making peasant hearthcakes if she’s rich enough to own that fancy carved wooden thing behind her?

In the last post on everyday Anglo-Saxon bread, I talked about making bread on a bakestone or griddle on the fire. It is worth emphasizing again: for as much as eight hundred years, from the fifth century up to the thirteenth or fourteenth (and for centuries more in some areas of Britain), this would have been the familiar, everyday bread known to everyone in the kingdom. More affluent people ate leavened bread instead — or in addition. But everyone would have regarded this basic flat bread as familiar, completely normal bread. You did not need an oven to make it, and you…

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Alternative Truths: An unexpected-success story

Here are the thoughts of one of my co-contributors to Alternative Truths. I did a silly story, to make readers laugh. She did a serious story, to make readers think.  Ladies, gentlemen, I present my colleague Karen G. Anderson.

Writer Way

Alt truths cover The cover of the Alternative Truths anthology

Just over 100 days ago, on Jan. 23, science fiction author Bob Brown issued a writing challenge: Imagine the future during or after the Trump presidency. Write a story. Submit it to an anthology to be called Alternative Truths.

“This is an anthology about the future in an alternative fact world,” Bob wrote. “What does the future hold? Endless alternative facts? Brilliant leadership? Alien invasions? Zombies in the White House?”

Bob set about co-editing the anthology with Phyllis Irene Radford, vowing to publish the book within the first 100 days of the Trump administration.

As submissions came in, Bob formed the private Facebook group Alternative Truth (now public) so the participants could discuss the project. In a field where submissions generally vanish behind a curtain from which editors issue cryptic rejections, the decision to open-source the anthology project seemed both odd and courageous. Did these people know what they were getting into?

I submitted a dystopian story, “Patti…

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