Category Archives: essays

Stretching things out: Hanged, Drawn and Quartered

During the Middle Ages, execution was a big deal–usually a very public big deal, with citizens gathering from all around to witness the event, both as a celebration of justice (the king’s and therefore, the Lord’s) and a warning to … Continue reading

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The Uses of History: Inaccuracy and Injustice

One of my commenters on another post included the following: Kenneth Chase cites a book called “Teppo denrai” by Takehisa Udagawa who states: “If historical inaccuracy is ignored for the sake of the message then it is not clear what … Continue reading

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Take me to Your Readers

Tonight, I’ll attend my monthly session with my in-person writing group. This group has met for many years, with varying membership, and produced a number of novels and award-winning stories, and all of that good stuff. These are very smart, … Continue reading

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Consciousness, the Grail, and the Writing Process

On Monday evening, I had the chance to attend a presentation entitled “Grail Mania,” by Diana Durham, which included a scene from her play about  Perceval’s meeting with the Fisher King and his vision of the grail.  Maybe you’re a … Continue reading

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A Brief History of “Romance”

I am putting the finishing touches on a novella set in the Dark Apostle world, around the time of the accession of King Hugh. I’m happy with the work, but also a little concerned that it might have too much … Continue reading

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Aliens Among Us

On my recent vacation, I had the opportunity to encounter some delightful earthbound aliens. We entered a long barn-like structure to view hundreds of plastic tubs in rows, full of water. The babies, so small and numerous, were simply called … Continue reading

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Bilbo Baggins’ Bathrobe, revisited, with special guest, Lisa Evans

Back at Arisia in January, I had the pleasure of sharing a panel on historical research with Lisa Evans. When I found out her specialty is European patchwork, I asked if she would write me a guest blog with her … Continue reading

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Dear Writers, Welcome the New Year with Change

Hey, it’s 2014! I have a lot to look forward to, like a royalty statement that will definitively answer the question, “How’s Elisha Barber doing?” And the release of Elisha Magus in July, which I’ll be sure to talk lots … Continue reading

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The World’s Second or Third Oldest Profession?: Storytelling

Last night, on the way to a book launch for an author friend (Justine Graykin’s release of Archimedes Nesselrode, which she describes as a “palate cleanser” for grittier works of fiction–so it’s a handy thing to read if Elisha Barber … Continue reading

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Brain-biter and Bansh: On the Naming of Things

I’m currently listening to Hereward the Wake, a historical novel twice over (one set in a historical period, and written, from our perspective, in a different one). Our hero has just won his sword, in grand Viking tradition, by slaying … Continue reading

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