Category Archives: History

The Language of (folding) Fans

The idea of using fans as a semaphore system is instant story fodder for a lot of us. As a young writer I gleefully grabbed that idea and ran with it, but it wasn’t until decades later, when I wrote more … Continue reading

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Posted in Books and Reading, Culture, History | Tagged , , , , | 9 Comments

Chicago welcomes the return of Spring: scylla in Lincoln Park

photo by Jennifer Stevenson

Scylla was planted here so long ago that it has completely naturalized. If you’ve ever planted scylla in your own yard, you know how many years it takes to make a carpet of blue like this. Continue reading

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Posted in History | Tagged , , , , | 7 Comments

Heirlooms and Lost Arts

  When I brought this home, I asked family members and some guests who happened to be over if they could identify it. Everyone agreed that it was a lamp, and a short discussion occurred over whether it was a … Continue reading

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Posted in Culture, History, Lifestyle | Tagged , , , | 25 Comments

Alma’s Bookshelf: Empress

When it comes to European history, most Western readers know only the high points, know some of the names even if they can’t exactly nail down the place and the time. They know Rome, and the realms of ancient Greece; … Continue reading

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Posted in Book View Cafe, Book View Cafe publications, Books and Reading, fantasy, Genres, History, New Releases, Worldbuilding | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Women, Children and Horses First

In these days of ferry disasters and sinking cruise liners one can be forgiven for thinking that the modern captain, far from being the last to leave the ship, likes to be the first onto the lifeboat. Here’s a story … Continue reading

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Posted in History, horses, Inspiration | 1 Comment

Change is the Only Constant

In times of change it’s always useful to remember that everything is a time of change. Since the advent of print-on-demand, and then of e-books, there have been approximately 47 trillion articles written on The End of the Book As We … Continue reading

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Posted in History, Publishing | 6 Comments

Fictive history and THE PHILOSOPHER KINGS

Last month I was involved in a book discussion that sprawled over the entire landscape of literature, as they do. At one point a person began deriding the recent crop of YA steampunk-Victorians, naming some best selling authors in a … Continue reading

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Posted in Art, Books and Reading, historical novels, History, Reviews, science fiction | Tagged , , , , | 10 Comments

Blab-Chat Interview

One of the perks of being an author/editor/internet personality is that authors get opportunities to do interviews with great folks like Beth Barany and her Blab-Chat. https://blab.im/beth-barany-let-s-chat-secrets-of-fiction-writing-w-bethbarany-askawritingcoach-guests It was fun, relaxed, and went overtime. I got dragged kicking and screaming in … Continue reading

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Posted in Education, History, interviews, Publishing, science fiction, space opera, Writers on Writing, Writing life | Tagged , , | Comments Off on Blab-Chat Interview

The Short and Long of It

Oh, forever ago when I was young and foolish and had just moved back to New York City from Boston, I took a job at an investment bank. I had lived in dorms, or with room-mates, since I left home … Continue reading

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Posted in Film, History | 3 Comments

The News From 2Dits Farm: The Once and Future Book

The_Death_of_King_Arthur_by_John_Garrick

I think I am in an abusive relationship with my manuscript. I’m fighting it, it’s fighting me. I’ve written, rewritten, unwritten, spat, cursed, prayed. I’ve walked away, but I can’t stay away because there’s something about this one, that elusive … Continue reading

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Posted in fantasy, historical novels, History, Research, Uncategorized, Writing life | Tagged , , | 11 Comments