Saturday, 17 December 2011


One of the highlights of the British winter is black ice, which on tarmac looks identical to wet tarmac. Consequently, while walking the pooch this morning I marched merrily out of a puddle onto the ice and fell flat on my back. I must've lost a few minutes because an elderly lady who was in the distance when I fell was standing over me when I opened my eyes. She didn't know whether to laugh or be worried. I have bruises everywhere but the dog thought it was great fun! He loves it when we get down on the floor nd he can reach to lick us. Another ow! Himself has decided to put a loft access in my writing space. I can understand the sense of it. When the plumber plumbed in the radiators on the top floor he made life easy for himself by putting water pipes across the other loft access so we can't reach anything that is stored up there [the man was an idiot]. So yes, it's a job that needs doing. But I wish he'd used dustsheets. Now I have books, papers, PC etc smothered in gritty Victoria plaster dust and bits of loft insulation, and a big hole in the ceiling through which a deluge of icy air streams and warm air wells up. I'd probably be more amused by this if I wasn't sore and achey and still a bit damp with dog spit.

Thursday, 15 December 2011


Deeply frustrated because it's just too cold to write. I've been sitting upstairs at my table and when I'd got up to 3 blankets, extra socks and an hat I gave up. Blue is a colour that doesn't suit my hands. So I'm reading instead! :)

WHY blogger - just why?

Am I the only one baffled by the changes to the dashboard? It's a confusing mess rather than a tidy easily navigable tool. Two out of ten for innovation!

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Well that was fun!

I managed to finish my Nanowrimo attempt with 24 hours to spare, in that I made the requisite word count on Tuesday morning. The novel is nowhere near finished. I reckon I have at least another 40k to go - hell, I have nearly 300 Romano-Celts to kill off apart from anything else!

So I'm plugging away at that more slowly now and alternating it with bits of On A Lee Shore, which I absolutely MUST get finished soon. I dearly love my pirates, but I want to get on to the second draft where I tighten everything up and make it more tense. Pirates are fun, tense pirates are even better!

"Alike As Two Bees" is on its travels again. Fingers crossed that it finds a home soon.

Wednesday, 2 November 2011


Despite yesterday being, all told, a bit of a beggar - had to take Mum to hospital to have a cataract done, had to move my PC, chair and books up to a quiet place,etc etc - I still cranked out a fair number of words, not all of which are misspelled. :D

Since I forgot to post about it last night here's my word count for up to lunchtime today:

And because I can - here's a snippet from the very beginning:

“There are worse ways to travel,” Cynfal reminded himself. He lifted his head to eye the scuffed toes of his boots. The cart, even though it reeked of fish and had an inconveniently lively load, was far better than walking. The piglets, four of them, all with efficient and productive bowels, probably didn’t agree but then their fate when they reached their destination probably didn’t involve a warm bed and a gallon or so of mead.
Cynfal let his head fall back against one of the tied piggies and ignored its squeak. The sky was blue, scattered above with clouds just tinged on their west sides with the gold of afternoon, and more clouds, greyer, threatening, to the west. Cynfal pulled his cloak more closely around him and wondered if he would get wet.
“You asleep?”
Cynfal hitched himself up, turning to address his host. “No, just thinking, why?”
The carter grinned, a darker toothless gash in his dark beard. “We’re almost there, see,” he said. “Got a good sight of the dun now we’re out of the trees. You won’t forget, will you?”
“Of course I won’t, Luath,” Cynfal said. “Your pigs are fit for the king’s table. I’ll tell the steward myself.” But his mind was less on promises than on the rock, hulking against the pale northern sky, plumed with smoke from the hearths of its inhabitants.

Sunday, 30 October 2011


Well I have a story, I have characters, I know where they are going and in most cases I know how they will die when they get there. What I don't have is anywhere to work.

I'm one of those wussies who needs to feel comfortable, quiet and losed in in order to write effectively. I ENVY, feel real green-eyed jealousy for, those lucky souls who can calmly hammer out their word count while surrounded by the comings and goings of family life. The ones who can stop mid sentence to find a shirt or wipe a nose then pick up immediately where they left off. Because I can't - OMG I wish I could. Each disturbance derails my train of thought to the point that it takes about 20 minutes to get it back on the tracks.

Take Thursday for instance. My husband requested that I take the day off work because he was off and 'maybe we could do something? Go to Hay on Wye?' Well, no way I'm going to turn down a trip to the second hand book capital of the world! {Shush - I know there's probably somewhere in the USA with more and better bookshops but let me cling to my illusions. I don't have many left] but Thursday morning he decided that he'd better mend something instead.
"You have the day off," he said. "You could have a writing day!"
Another yay! But my office is still out of bounds - being filled with a dopey daughter and her huge amount of detritus, her bedroom is not adaptable to my purposes, the other room is in mid reconstruction and has holes in the floor and my cupboard in the shed is full of husband's stuff that he hasn't room for in the workshop. So it's the table in the dining room again.

Over the course of that morning, he came to see me six times. Once to suggest that putting the kettle on would be a good idea, once to ask whether I'd made him that coffee and oh, since I had could I help him find it, once to tell me he'd run out of tobacco, once to ask me if I knew where he'd put his wallet, once to ask me if I wanted anything from the shop because he was going to buy tobacco and finally to give me the money to go to the shop to buy his tobacco because 'he was a bit busy'. In addition to that the phone rang 3 or 4 times [cold callers!], a package was delivered, my daughter wanted jeans, a loan, a lift into town, a chat and both cats decided they wanted cuddles. The dog was the only vaguely apologetic one. He knows that the sound of the keyboard means it's time for calm and quiet and going to sleep with his head on my foot. So when it got to lunchtime, which =walktime in his vocabulary, he brought me his lead such a sheepish way that of course I took him out, and because I felt guilty for feeling oppressed and afflicted I made sure it was a GOOD walk too!

In the evening both husband and daughter went out and I shut the door on the livestock and after a couple of false starts wrote close to 700 words in 25 minutes before the phone rang and I had to answer another cold call.

So it CAN be done. And it WILL be done. I just need to find the right time for it. 3 am possibly.

Wednesday, 26 October 2011

It's been a long old week

Lots of real life stuff going on to interfere with calm and collected internet based activities. I think the low point was having to go through the dustbin to try and find my husband's car keys, though my daughter turning up this morning with an infected lip piercing comes a close second.

However, the keys were found and TCP was applied and I am soldiering on with my pirate novel. 84K words now and I'm nearing the initial climax.

I say initial because there are 2 threats to the well-being of the protagonists and it's not convenient to see them off simultaneously. It would be interesting to know how people feel about that. Does it work better with one clear danger, one climax than a resolution or is it okay to solve one problem then up the stakes with the other? Or am I just writing like that to put off having to write smut for as long as possible? [Quite probable in my case.]

I've also made a start on planning for my Nanowrimo attempt. Dark Ages m/m romance with a death count that out does Hamlet. This will be the first time I have set out to write something where I KNOW I'm going to have to kill off characters I've grown fond of. I just hope I have the bottle to do it when the time comes.

My WIP list is growing. 2 more urgent ideas in the past week. Both have been added to the "For Future reference" list. I hope I live long enough to do the best ones.

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

Slow Progress

I don't know - I think these stories are cursed. The past week has been painfully slow progress and now I've shot myself in the foot by buying some work of reference that should make the stories much richer and more relevant to the period. Reading is great fun but it aint writing and so I'm way behind. I have to get myself sorted out before Nanowrimo - it's only a month!

Eleventh Hour has grown a bit:
I've been making myself giggle which can be a good or bad thing. Not many people share my sense of humour. But I've had to revise my ideas of how long the story will be. At first I thought it might go to 25K but now I think it might be longer. I'll assume 50K and if it falls a bit short that will be a great relief to my beta [whoever is brave enough to step up and volunteer].

On a Lee Shore has grown a little too:
I think that might go to 100k and need cutting but that's okay. I just want to get it finished.

I would post snippets if I could figure out how to 'hide' them but I think having too much in a post makes the post look untidy.

OH!! And congratulations to Josephine Myles who's first novel "Barging In" is available now from Samhain! Love along the waterways of England. Super!

Monday, 12 September 2011


I haven't done as much as I hoped I would today, but then I've had a lot of distractions, including reading a play script, betaing a short story for someone and doing household chores. It's good to feel as though one is of some use.

Tomorrow I'll be dismantling the pirate exhibition and preparing the walls and cases to put up the new one which is based on the book and film Resistance by Owen Sheers. It will try to show a little of the story of the Auxiliary Units - the people who were supposed to form the backbone of the British Resistance if, as was expected, Britain was invaded in 1940. Most of them were very young men in 'countryside' professions - farm labourers, hunt servants, vets - and almost all of them kept their involvement in this most covert of forces a deadly secret for the rest of their lives. It's rather telling that they were issued with supplies of morphine not to relieve the pain of wounded comrades but to silence them.

Anyhow, it'll be fun to see the bits and pieces that the film company have let us borrow but I reckon I'm going to be absolutely whacked by the end of tomorrow.

Friday, 9 September 2011

Is it just me?

Or is blogger a bit poorly at the moment? I've been trying to log into it for two days now and have only just managed it. It keeps telling me that my username doesn't exist or that my log in details are incorrect. Odd that.

New posts at

Saturday, 20 August 2011

New Website

Though it seems a bit superfluous when I have so little to put on it.

However, here it is with some bits and pieces to go along with it.

Sunday, 31 July 2011


I hope - possibly.

My story "Alike as Two Bees" is finished apart from being sent to my beta so she can tell me what I still need to do. It is almost twice as long as the first draft and I'm expecting to have to cut some of it. I'm sure there are bits I've put in out of nervousness.

But anyway, it's DONE and I'll celebrate by posting a little bit I haven't posted before:

Philon had been kissed before, once by a girl, once by another youth, but never like this. At first a gentle pressure of lip against lip - they were of a height so it was no effort at all, no reaching up or bending of the neck. Philon heard Hilarion take a deeper breath so did so too, scenting warm clean sweat and horses and olives and perhaps a tang of thyme honey. It was a good honest smell and he sighed and took another breath. Hilarion’s lips moved against his - a smile? - then the strong hand on Philon’s jaw tilted his head, and he felt the flicker of a tongue against his lips. The heart under his hand was racing now as they moved further into the shade.

That shallot - as my grandpa used to say. :D

Now I'd better get on with my pirates, though I have nine tenths of a contemporary short partly written with a friend that could be finished with a bit of effort.


Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Write or Die

Not as drastic as it sounds! I mean this thing  - which I find very useful for giving me the much needed kick up the pants to get my brain into writing mode. Last night I shut myself in the spare room and managed 1600 words in 3 20 minute sessions.

Much needed too. Now I have my little Greek lads on the move again and the end of the story is in sight.  I'll be glad when it is done. I've put in a theme that I need to run past someone so they can whack it with a shovel if necessary. I don't know if a] it works or b] it would work but I've been far to tentative about it and should describe it in all its squelchy glory or c] what was the question again?

Just for the hell of it - here's a snippet of something completely unrelated to what I'm working on from a time when I had nothing to do apart from pretend to be Georgette Heyer on crack:

The large room had once been a place of splendour, a suitable setting for the refined pursuits of elegant lords and ladies with powdered hair and paint and patches upon their faces. Now its few remaining beauties were obscured by the poor light and drifting clouds of blue smoke from the pipes and cigarillos of the players at the tables. It was hot, very hot, and the air was thick with fumes of wine, candle grease and harsh tobacco.
Sir Aubrey Stanton-Rivers, but a month past his twenty-first birthday and newly come both to his inheritance and its attendant responsibilities, crowed gleefully as he counted up his tricks.
“Waiter, another bottle,” he cried. “My luck’s turned at last. Stick with me, Cholmondeley, my boy, and I’ll make your fortune!”
The red-faced young subaltern opposite just grinned and continued to shuffle the deck.
“Another game?” Aubrey suggested. His coat was off, his neckcloth was on the floor and his blond curls were wildly dishevelled. With his wide-set blue eyes and ingenuous grin he looked like a youthful seraph that had strayed into an antechamber of Hell and found it much to his taste.
“Dammit, you’re too lucky for me,” one of his companions grumbled. “I’m not having you make Chum’s fortune at the expense of mine. I’m for the dice table. Coming, Charles?”
The other man grunted and drained his glass and they both disappeared into the howling throng at the other end of the room. Aubrey gave a crack of laughter.
“You’ll play. Won’t you, Chum?”
“Of course. Your luck never lasts,” Chum pointed out. “Besides, once the drink is in the sense is out and here comes our third bottle.” He grinned and placed the deck squarely upon the table between them.
“I’ll cut with you,” Aubrey offered. “Your grey hack against my chestnut.”
“Oh no,” Cholmondeley shook his head, “not that ewe-necked nag, Put up something worth having for pity’s sake.”
Aubrey laughed, Chum’s affection for his grey was well known. He scribbled a few words onto a piece of paper and passed it to his friend.
“There’s my stake,” he declared, “take it or leave it.”
Cholmondeley shouted with laughter.
“I’ll take it by all means. You go first …Oh, very good Aubrey…But not quite good enough. I’ll keep this,” he waved the piece of paper, “next to my heart.”

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Mea culpa

Mea culpa maxima - or rather the bug I've had is culpable for making me feel like I've had a head full of soggy weetabix.

For the past couple of weeks I haven't done much writing at all. :( But I've read a lot [Perfect Score by Sue Robuck *nods* try it, it's very good, and Harry Potter and Flashman] and I've watched a lot of half films, sleeping through the rest of them.

So - I haven't really got much to offer at the moment. I feel I should at least post a bit of fiction if I can't be entertaining on my own account. So - something old.

A few years ago I started writing a story about a gardener who accidentally [it makes sense in context] used the Victorian Language of Flowers to communicate with his employer :

That evening Gwyn dragged himself home and slumped in front of the telly, biting his thumbnail and replying to Dad's attempts at conversation with ill-tempered grunts. He needed this job badly. He had done what he could to the best of his ability, given the time. The flower beds around the house looked good. The drive was weed free. The lawn by the conservatory and the one at the front of the house was neatly mown, though sadly mossy. Either Thornton would be happy or not, so there was little point in worrying about it. But that night he spent more hours fretting than he did sleeping.

He was up first – up with the sun – and had the milking bail clean and ready to go before his father was even dressed. Taking the dog he went to the meadow where the cows grazed, knee deep in the morning mist, and smiled to see their surprised looks. The cows knew he was early as well as he did but they ambled across to the gate readily enough and so he was ready that bit earlier than normal.

“Don’t care what that agent says,” Dad murmured as Gwyn passed him under one of the pear trees, going to take the short cut to the Court across the bottom meadow. “Thornton ain’t gonna find anyone better than you, not round here. He’d be mad to let you go.”

Gwyn sighed and held up crossed fingers, then jogged down the dewy slope. He skirted the torn-up patch of mud where the tractor had turned turtle, hurdled the stream in the dip and ran across to the hedge that separated the farm from the grounds of Old Court. He climbed the stile and walked quietly through the vegetable plots, uncultivated now, past the greenhouses and through the open door in the wall surrounding the kitchen garden. The house looked quiet and dark so he decided that edging the lawns would be the best bet. He walked quietly around to the sunny side of the house but stopped short still in the shadows.

Someone was brightly lit by the early sun, standing on one of Gwyn’s meticulously planted flower beds, probably crushing the calla lilies. Gwyn gulped, his attention completely fixed on this person rather than what he might be standing on. A tall, blond haired man with striking facial features partially obscured by hornrimmed spectacles, he stooped to do something to one of the plants. Gwyn stepped forward into the sun, suddenly anxious.

At the crunch of his boots on the gravel the man turned sharply and looked towards him, hair glinting, and Gwyn stopped again. They looked each other over then the man held out a beckoning hand. “You must be Gwyn Derry,” he called and smiled as Gwyn moved towards him. “I must say I am most impressed with what you’ve done here and,” the smile broadened and Gwyn found himself flushing for no reason at all, “and if it was your choice of flowers for the house, I found them most interesting. American Starwort in the hall, sage in the kitchen - and the bedroom …”

“Um,” Gwyn said, puzzled. “I’m – um – glad you liked them.”

The man tilted his head then nodded. “Very much,” he said and laughed a little. “I’m sorry, it’s early and I’m still a little jet lagged. My name’s Thornton, David Thornton.”

Gwyn took his hand and shook it. “Pleased to meet you,” he said and stood there confused as Thornton gripped his hand searching his eyes as though waiting for something more. Gwyn’s colour deepened and he tugged his hand free. “I – er – better get on,” he said. “If it’s all right with you I’ll make a start on felling the south lawn.” He offered an appeasing grin.

For a moment Thornton frowned then he nodded, his handsome face relaxing into pleasant but bland lines. “I’ll make tea in a while and bring some down to you,” he promised. “White? Sugar?”

“That’d be grand. Two please,” Gwyn said. “Thanks.”

He didn’t look back until he had reached the shed, brushing past potted marjoram and releasing a faint waft of its sweet scent, but Thornton was still standing amongst the lilies watching Gwyn as though he had expected something – something he had been disappointed not to get.

I got to 20K words reached a crux and had one of those "why am I bothering" moments. Possibly I ought to get back to it.

Thursday, 7 July 2011

Interview and freebie!

The editors of Tea and Crumpet were interviewed recently and the whole text is posted on Jessewave's Review Site. Comment there and you could win a free copy of the ebook! :D Honestly it's a really good read, and I'm not just saying that because one of the stories is mine. There are REAL writers amongst the contributing authors. Great stuff.

I'm planning Nanowrimo 2011 and wondering just how much work one can do beforehand. At the very least I need to read all the available translations of the Gododdin and read up on my 6th century AD archaeology, though I suspect I'll make up a lot of stuff as usual. I'm coming to the conclusion that it's better to just write the story and worry about the historical aspects of it later, especially when dealing with a period where the Otherworld was just a step away and any valley could hold the entrance to Annwfn. I have my characters and I have their situation. I just need to spend a lot of time thinking about the story arc and how to make it tense when everyone [everyone who know Y Gododdin] already knows how it ends.

Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Sometimes there's a story just waiting to happen

I noticed this picture on Tumblr and was struck immediately by two of the figures. See if you can spot them.

The picture was taken in a bar in New York in 1933. I'd so like to write this story but perhaps it would be better to leave it to Lucius Parhelion?

Sunday, 3 July 2011

Tea and Crumpet anthology

Tea and Crumpet is released today by JMS Books both in ebook and print.

Enjoy this enchanting, entertaining and thought-provoking collection, a heartfelt expression of what it means to be queer in Britain, past and present. All these stories reflect the iconic sights and national character of the British Isles: a taste of our idiosyncrasies and eccentricities, but also an unashamed representation of the love, loyalty and laughter of our people.

Including a wide range of style and subject, this is the perfect way to sample different authors and to find both existing and new favourites. Follow the British way of life from historic villages to modern cities, from the countryside to the sea, through history and with a fantasy twist, in gardens, churches, campus and the familiar, much-loved local pub.

The stories cover universal themes of romance, desire, remembrance and reconciliation. The authors range from multi-published to up-and-coming, and they all share a passion for their characters, whether through great drama, erotic excitement, humour -- or a combination of all three!

Contributors include: Alex Beecroft, Jennie Caldwell, Stevie Carroll, Charlie Cochrane, Lucy Felthouse, Elin Gregory, Mara Ismine, Clare London, Anna Marie May, JL Merrow, Josephine Myles, Zahra Owens, Jay Rookwood, Chris Smith, Stevie Woods, Lisa Worrall, and Serena Yates. Edited by: UK MAT (UK Meet Acquisitions Team).

This anthology is a souvenir of the 2011 UK Meet, an occasion for GLBTQ supporters to get together in a relaxed setting to celebrate and chat about the fiction community they love. Funds from the sale of this anthology will go towards future UK Meets, to which all are welcome. Please visit the website for details, or contact UK MAT through the publisher.

Excerpt of 'On The Pull' by Me!

This was a ritual they all enjoyed. The first pint off a new barrel had to be pulled just right; there wasn’t a man there who would rush him or complain about the delay. They would watch, their eyes fixed on the glass as the rich, dark brew trickled then gushed from the spigot, the creamy swirl separating as the head formed. Tom enjoyed putting on the show. He didn’t think anyone there realised he had an agenda of his own.

Glass in his left hand, he wrapped the long fingers of his right around the satiny mahogany handle of the beer engine. He pulled, enjoying the resistance of it, knowing that the taut muscles of forearm and bicep were shown off by the motion.

Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Farewell, I hardly knew ye

Goodbye Oxford Comma, which I have to admit to not having used anyway. When I was 'taught' English at grammar school the Oxford Comma was never mentioned. I guess I'll not miss what I never had.

News on the next anthology! There's a cover!!

And it will be available from JMS Books in print from 30th June and ebook from 3rd July.

Monday, 20 June 2011

Tea and Crumpet Anthology

Well, we did the galley proofs at the weekend and, as far as I know, the anthology should be available as an ebook from 3rd July from

My contribution is "On the Pull" - a searing tale of lust amongst the beer pumps!

Not really.

Thursday, 16 June 2011

British Flash now available

A revealing collection of short LGBT fiction
Download for free!

Enjoy this entertaining collection of flash fiction stories, each one a short but sweet expression of what it means to be queer in Britain, past and present. All these stories reflect the iconic sights and national character of the British Isles: a taste of our idiosyncrasies and eccentricities, but also an unashamed representation of the love, loyalty and laughter of our people.

Follow the British way of life from historic villages to modern cities, from the countryside to the sea, through history and with a fantasy twist, in gardens, shops, campus and the familiar, much-loved local pub.

The stories cover universal themes of romance, desire, remembrance and reconciliation. The authors range from multi-published to up-and-coming, and they all share a passion for their characters, whether through great drama, erotic excitement, humour—or a combination of all three!

This anthology is a souvenir of the 2011 UK Meet, an occasion for GLBTQ supporters to get together in a relaxed setting to celebrate and chat about the fiction community they love.

Individual story blurbs

Contributing authors: Alex Beecroft, Victoria Blisse, Stevie Carroll, Charlie Cochrane, Sophia Deri-Bowen, Erastes, Lucy Felthouse, Elin Gregory, Mara Ismine, Sandra Lindsey, Clare London, JL Merrow, Josephine Myles, Zahra Owens, Jay Rookwood, Caroline Stephens, Stevie Woods, Lisa Worrall and Serena Yates.

Edited by: Josephine Myles, Alex Beecroft, Charlie Cochrane, Clare London and JL Merrow.

Saturday, 4 June 2011

Pictorial evidence

That even American presidents can have their sartorially challenged days:

This is Teddy Roosevelt, newly come from skulling practice at Havard. It just goes to show that the hanky on the head look has NEVER been a good one.

Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Writer's resource

Interesting resource here for anyone interested in writing about the Royal Navy. The National Archive has scanned the service records of  5000 naval officers and made them available to search and download. This is primarily for the interest of genealogists, but the kinds of details are treasure for authors.

This page offers options for searching

This one is a browseable list

I'm having a good look through. Sadly I don't think my father will be on there. He only made it to a rank of Leading Wireman.

: D

Monday, 30 May 2011

Write or Die

Oh it's the dog's kneecaps, it really is. 620 words in 20 minutes. If I could do that 3 times a day I might get this novel finished AND have a tidy house. I'd have to turn off the 'net though.

This is what I'm writing about at the moment - or rather a bit of it a little further along. Makes you want to get your mallet out and have a tap, doesn't it?

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Anthologies of British GBLT fiction

British Flash - to be published on 16th June as a free ebook (on

Contributing authors: Alex Beecroft, Victoria Blisse, Stevie Carroll,
Charlie Cochrane, Sophia Deri-Bowen, Erastes, Lucy Felthouse, Elin
Gregory, Mara Ismine, Sandra Lindsey, Clare London, JL Merrow,
Josephine Myles, Zahra Owens, Jay Rookwood, Caroline Stephens, Stevie
Woods, Lisa Worrall and Serena Yates.


Tea & Crumpet - to be published by JMS Books on 3rd July as an ebook.
Print copies will also be available in late July.

Contributing authors: Alex Beecroft, Stevie Carroll, Jennie Caldwell,
Charlie Cochrane, Lucy Felthouse, Elin Gregory, Mara Ismine, Clare
London, Anna Marie May, JL Merrow, Josephine Myles, Zahra Owens, Jay
Rookwood, Chris Smith, Stevie Woods, Lisa Worrall and Serena Yates.

Too excited for words because these will be my first published stories and just look at the company they will be keeping! I'll post pictures of covers when they are available.

Monday, 23 May 2011

South Wales strongholds

I was looking at this map yesterday and contemplating the similarities between 12th century Wales and mid 19th century Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. Real Fort Apache country. The map only shows the BIG castles, there were a lot of little ones too.

Saturday, 21 May 2011

Want to write Victorians

Sometimes I really wish there was a book that would cover every aspect of life -  what to wear, when to wear it, manners, food, deportment, grooming. For most periods of history there's no chance but for the Victorians there's Enquire Within Upon Everything, the book that is credited with having given Tim Berners-Lee the idea of the World Wide Web. Old House Books has reprinted the 1890 edition of the book but it is possible to find copies from other years.
There is also a companion volume, The Lady's Dressing Room by Baroness Staffe, translated by Lady Colin Campbell in 1892. If you need a recipe to make the hands white, to sweeten the breath or to make dark hair fair it will be in there, though I don't recommend using some of the concoctions.

I wish books like that existed for some of the periods that interest me.

Friday, 20 May 2011



Found at - though it's anything but demotivational, really.

I feel so sorry for the kids who don't read. They may be the ones who are busy playing sports or who have a hectic social life but I still think they are missing out.

Books give you wings!