It is difficult to find anywhere in the records a favourable comment on the Free Companies in the Middle Ages.

Less than two hundred pages packed with information on the title subject, written in lively prose and illustrated mostly with line drawings from the times, plus a few photographs. Where else are you going find out that during the Middle Ages An amusement gallery was sometimes run in conjunction with a medieval zoo…In these galleries…

Read more It is difficult to find anywhere in the records a favourable comment on the Free Companies in the Middle Ages.

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If you write long enough, eventually someone will ask you to contribute a chapter for a serial novel. What is a serial novel, you ask? In the archaic meaning, it’s a work of fiction published in installments–think of Dickens’ The Old Curiosity Shop and people in New York waiting on the docks for the ship…

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Saint though he might have been, you could smell Francis of Assisi coming long before you saw him.

Cahill is determined to redeem the Middle Ages from the likes of William Manchester (A World Lit Only By Fire) and Mark Twain (A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court). On the contrary, Cahill writes The reputation of the Middle Ages for thuggish cruelty is largely (if not wholly) undeserved. which I find a bit…

Read more Saint though he might have been, you could smell Francis of Assisi coming long before you saw him.

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Change, growing from within and forced from without, is the mainspring of character development.—Rita Mae Brown Anticipation is the sweet pain to know whatever’s next–a must for every real writer.—Richard Ford If you happen to be one of the fretful minority who can do creative work, never force an idea; you’ll abort it if you…

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So if someone slaps you on the back in a hearty way and exclaims, “Your breeches and your very balls be blessed” do not take it amiss.

A wealth of detail in this you-are-there look at life in medieval England. Just dipping in at random: When you draw closer to the city walls you will see the great gatehouse…And then you notice the smell. Four hundred yards from the city gate, the muddy road you are folowing crosses a brook. As you…

Read more So if someone slaps you on the back in a hearty way and exclaims, “Your breeches and your very balls be blessed” do not take it amiss.

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So, in Theft of an Idol (Isis3), Tetisheri discovers a body in the desert. I’m from the Arctic myself. I have a very rudimentary notion of how bodies decay (or don’t) in the cold, and no notion at all of what happens if they are left out in the Sahara. This requires some research. Google,…

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Time. In crime fiction time is the essence of detection. If Whositz says “I was sleeping with my mistress when my wife was murdered” the first thing the detective on the case will do is verify that alibi. If Whositz is seen leaving his mistress’ house by the back alley in time to get home,…

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Years ago I taught a class on “The Business of Writing” at the University of Alaska, Anchorage. One of the segments was how to write a query letter, and included a sample query letter I wrote to give my students an idea of how to get their toe in the door. From my syllabus: 3] …

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