Tag Archives: fantasy

Deleted Scenes and Settings: St. Catherine’s Oratory, Chale, Isle of Wight

Every so often in my research I come upon a place or an idea so compelling that I must learn more.  Some of these places eventually become scenes, and some of those scenes, alas, end up on the cutting room floor.  … Continue reading

Posted in Deleted scenes and settings, history, medieval, medieval technology, research, Uncategorized, writing | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Bilbo Baggins’ Bathrobe: an example of poor world-building

Like many of you, I am excited to see the new film(s) based on J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit.  I’ve been following its production from a distance, and was interested to read the Wall Street Journal review of the … Continue reading

Posted in essays, fantasy, history, medieval, medieval technology, movies, research, worldbuilding | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 40 Comments

Racism and the Problem of the Hybrid Hero

It has been said that there are really only two plots:  A stranger comes to town, and someone leaves home.  What I want to look at today is the first one, the stranger–but not just any stranger, the stranger who … Continue reading

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It was a Dark and Stormy Night. . .

Those of us in the Northeast are bracing right now for the “storm of the century” (yep, another one), and thinking about that old saw on New England Weather, if you don’t like the weather, just wait a minute.  Me, … Continue reading

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Dream Big, with Elephants!

One of the comics I have cut out and stuck on my board is a decade-old strip meant for kids, “Mudpie” drawn by Guy Gilchrist, who also does “Nancy.” I’m one of those who reads the whole comics page, whether … Continue reading

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Review: Thieftaker

Thieftaker by D.B. Jackson My rating: 4 of 5 stars A tense, engaging read. There’s been recent interest in historical fantasies with American settings, and this was a nice addition to that elite group. Jackson creates an off-beat character with … Continue reading

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Writing Down the Darkness: The Evil Within

So the guy next to me on the plane is watching a horror film, one of these creepy, psychological things where guys keep dying in nasty ways—not slasher ways, but more personal, with visions of their loved ones in their … Continue reading

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T minus 365 Days and Counting!

Today, Elisha Barber is negative one year old.  Woo-hoo!  And yikes!  I have a lot of work to do.  One year from now, I’ll be enthusiastically trumpeting my book release from every place I can think of.  Hopefully, before that, … Continue reading

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The Pedigree of a Cliche: By Tolkien, out of Chaucer

One of the ways I extend my writing and thinking time is by listening to audio books as I commute.  Sometimes, I’m able to pick up Great Courses or similar lectures about the history or social structure of the places … Continue reading

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Forms of Address: What’s in a Name?

I recently had cause to research how to address the Holy Roman Emperor (in my period, there are actually two of them!) and came  across this post on the Edward II blog.  I am a fan of this blog, and … Continue reading

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