Sunday, November 28, 2010

The Box

This weekend I went to a juried art fair at the Anchorage Museum. I had my four-year-old monkey with me, so the show is mostly a blur, but I did buy this amazing treasure box.



It's strange and quirky and covered with tons of tiny treasures. Here's some of them:

1. Porcupine quills
2. Three canceled postage stamps from Argentina, the Netherlands, and Switzerland
3. A cool rock. I don't know what kind.
4. A sand dollar
5. A leaf
6. A fossil
7. A mouse skeleton in a bottle
8. Coins from the USSR
9. Watch gears
10. An old GM key
11. Paper with Chinese writing
12. Empty bottles

This so inspired me that I rifled through old boxes tonight and found old ticket stubs from Jordan, Italy, and Egypt plus a ton of coins from the Czech Republic, Aruba, Mexico, and Jordan. I also have rocks from Pompeii, the Pyramids (okay, not sure if they're actually from the Pyramids or just the general vicinity), the Great Wall of China (complements of my husband), and Hatshepsut's tomb. I've got some stamps too, plus nifty ribbons, buttons, and paper.

I think I'm going to have to make my own boxes.

Do you have anything you'd have to put on your box? What's inspired you lately?

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Incest in Ancient Egypt

When one reads (or writes) historical fiction, some modern preconceptions must be suspended.

Sometimes these things are small.

Example: Egyptians often walked around half-dressed. Or entirely naked. (Have you ever been to Egypt in August? It's really flipping hot!)

Sometimes these things are big.

Example: Egyptian royal families were incestuous.

Yes, incest was common in Egypt's royal family, a handy way of keeping the crown in the family. (However, the rest of the population tended to shy away from marrying their brothers, sisters, fathers, etc. Go figure.)

Incest tends to make modern readers squirm. I still think it's gross, but now I just take it with a grain of salt. In fact, National Geographic reported earlier this year that King Tut was the son of a full fledged brother-sister marriage. That goes a long way to explaining his club foot and the cane he needed to walk, probable results of a genetic bone disorder.

So was there incest in Hatshepsut's time? Yeppers. There's just not much I can do about it. I suppose I could re-write history, but that just seems wrong. (Although I do like the idea of having such power. Mwahahaha!)


Has there ever been a topic in a book you've read that made you squirm? Did you keep reading? Is there a topic you've shied away from as a writer?

Monday, November 15, 2010

And the Winner Is...

Announcing the winner of Gary Corby's The Pericles Commission and the statue of Nike, as chosen by random.org...

[INSERT DRUM ROLL HERE]


There were 110 items in your list. Here they are in random order:

1. Shannon O'Donnell

Yahoo! Congratulations to Shannon! Thanks to everyone for entering- I loved reading all your sentences, although I don't think I'm coming to any of your houses for dinner any time soon.

And if you haven't read The Pericles Commission yet, you should- it's entertainment AND history! Seriously, what could be better than that?

Nothing!

Have a great day, everyone!

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Last Day to Enter!




If you haven't already entered, don't forget that today is the last day before I draw the winner for Gary Corby's The Pericles Commission and the statue of Nike!

What are you waiting for?

Click the link and ENTER TODAY!

That is all. Carry on!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

My Tummy Hurts...

I'm a goal-setter, but I like to keep my writing goals achievable. (Read: LOW)

Why?

Take this excerpt from my life Thursday night, the day before my monkey became a big four-year-old.

MONKEY: Mommy, my tummy hurts.

ME: Why don't you sit on our nice white couch and read some books while I bake your super awesome Buzz Lightyear cupcakes for preschool tomorrow?

Cue attack of the stomach flu! (And cue the sympathy for the monkey- she spent her 4th birthday curled up in front of the TV. And didn't eat any cupcakes. Poor thing!)

Let's just say I now know that when the little monkey says her tummy hurts, I should NOT sit her on the white couch. I had taken a personal day on Friday to celebrate the monkey's birthday with her and hoped to get a little writing done, but instead I did a whole lot of nothing. Unless you count cleaning. There was a whole lot of cleaning.

So I'm in awe of you NaNo-ers. Instead of a whopping 50,000 words this month, I'd like to get 15,000 words down.

Slow and steady wins the race, right? (Yep, just nod and smile.)

Contests!

In keeping with the recent Greek theme here, Jessica over at The Alliterative Allomorph is having a stupendous contest. The prizes are awesome- check it out!

And don't forget to enter my Pericles Commission Giveaway!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Come Critique My Logline Blogfest!



Steena Holmes is having a Logline Blogfest in preparation for Authoress Anonymous' December Auction. I'm posting my logline and welcoming you, no... expecting you to rip it to shreds!

Here goes:

When her father dies, Hatshepsut is forced to marry her hippo of a half-brother to secure his royal claim as Pharaoh. Then she does the unthinkable: she, a woman, proclaims herself Pharaoh of Egypt. Amid foreign wars and a palace coup, tormented by her love of a commoner and cursed with personal tragedies, Hatshepsut must choose between her own happiness and the chance of eternal glory.

Critique away!


Also, don't forget to enter my giveaway for The Pericles Commission!

Monday, November 1, 2010

The Pericles Commission GIVEAWAY!



In celebration of Gary Corby's debut release, The Pericles Commission, I'm giving away a hardback copy of the novel and a gorgeous little bronze statue of Nike, the goddess of victory, that I picked up when I was in Greece. (I had to buy myself one because I knew I was going to have a hard time giving her away!)

And BTW- The Pericles Commission has made Library Journal's Top Five list of mysteries for the Fall season and it's on the recommended list of independent mystery bookstores. Yahoo!

Here's how you enter:

You MUST follow both my blog and Gary's blog to qualify!

+2 Follow both blogs
+1 Twitter this contest
+1 Sidebar this contest on your blog
+3 Blog this contest
+2 BONUS entries for using three of the following words in a sentence: Socrates, fish sauce, marble, blood, priestess, Acropolis, sandal, arrow, scintilla, sculptor

The contest will run until November 15th and is open to everyone, including international entries. Please total your entries and include an email address in the comments below. Good luck!