International Women’s Day in Edinburgh

Edinburgh Expeditions

For the last three years, I’ve been in Europe for International Women’s Day. The first one, I had no idea what was going on. There were women carrying flowers through the streets of Florence, lovely bright yellow ones. I found out what the meaning was (indeed, what the day was) after asking one of my professors.

The second was also spent in Florence, this time whilst my family visited my sister. We didn’t realise it until going to one of the local museums, and it was free entry for myself, my mother and Holmes. My father was a bit surprised when he had to pay! I translated the handwritten sign for him and we went on our merry way, enjoying the museums and the fact that we’d each saved about 12 euro (to be spent on gorgeous handbound journals in my case).

This year, I attended a lecture given by University of Edinburgh* alum and best-selling author Dr Philippa Gregory. I’ve only read one of Dr Gregory’s books–Earthly Joys–and while I didn’t love it, I couldn’t turn down the opportunity to attend her lecture! I love listening to authors speak.

I found Dr Gregory to be a wonderful speaker. She was funny, engaging, intelligent and goes on the list of people I’d love to invite for a dinner party. It would be a very interesting discussion, I’m sure.

Now, below is the lecture. I invite you to watch it–its very good (if long, just over an hour). And yours truly asks a question, because I cannot resist asking questions in lectures!

*My uni. Also the uni that both authors I’ve seen speak are attached to in some way.

Original Art: T. E. Lawrence Edition

Sheer Art Attack
T. E. Lawrence

T. E. Lawrence, by BCW

So, I broke out my paintbrushes this weekend, and decided to paint T. E. Lawrence. Why? Well, he’s my current historical research interest. I just finished Michael Korda’s biography of him, Hero: The Life and Legend of Lawrence of Arabia. That man was pretty fascinating. Even the stuff he did after Arabia. Enlisted in the RAF (and Army, and RAF again), developed marine craft for rescuing downed pilots, and kept up correspondence with some of the era’s greatest minds.

So yes. Will soon be reading Seven Pillars of Wisdom, just taking a mini-Lawrence break for the time being.

I’ve decided that I’m just going to combine Sheer Art Attack with this blog, it’ll be easier to me to maintain.

Back to the painting: It has a few issues. Lawrence’s shoulders are too narrow (well, the guy was 5’5″ and at one point during the Arabia campaign weighed 80 pounds, so…) and his jaw is too square. In the painting, his eyes are actually blue.

If you could talk to any deceased historical figure, who would it be?

General Geekiness

I was listening to the radio station and they were discussing who you would want to talk to once you get to heaven. Family not permitted.

The listeners said everything from Jim Morrison (is he really dead?) to Marilyn Monroe (what happened?) to Lee Harvey Oswald (was there another gunman?)

Which got me thinking. Who would I want to talk to? If I had to choose one, who would it be? I’m defining historical figure as: “anyone who contributed to history and the creation of the current culture.” Which is what the radio station used.

The more I think, the more names I come up with. First to pop into my head were Winston Churchill, Roald Dahl and Alfred Hitchcock. With a little more thought, Sandro Botticelli, Dante Alighieri, Victor Hugo and Eugene Delacroix wandered on in (I’m hoping I have a Babel Fish for this).

But why not Jim Henson, Queen Elizabeth I, or Patrick McGoohan? Andrea del Sarto? Or Steve McQueen?

I’m leaning to Botticelli, Delacroix or del Sarto. We can talk art shop and it’ll be pretty sweet.

I clearly cannot make up my mind. I have the same issue when trying to answer the “If You Could Have Dinner with any Five People, Who?”

The problem with having so many interests is, well, being so interested. I’m not sure if I’d want to speak with an artist (visual, written or an actor), or a politician.

Which begs me to wonder: can I just go on a historical figure speed dating circuit?

A Call for Beta Readers (pretty please?)

The Twirl and Swirl of Letters

Hello dear readers!

So, I’m entering a short story contest and I was wondering if anyone would mind being my beta? I haven’t decided which story I’m going to submit, but I’ve narrowed it down to three stories I’ve written recently–two historical fiction based on the Battle of Britain and one more observational, a modern tale set in Boston.

Anyways, the submission is due on February 1st, so it doesn’t give me too much time. Fortunately, my stories are all under 3000 words, so they should take too long to read. XD

If you’re interested in being my beta, leave a comment.

30 Days of Writing: Day One

The Twirl and Swirl of Letters

Tell us about your favorite writing project/universe that you’ve worked with and why.

Hmm…that’s a tough one. The one that I’m working on now is pretty awesome (alas, not my RAF one), but I’m cowriting that one and didn’t come up with the world, so we’ll go with The Continent.

The Continent, my unstuck in time story, has changed it’s world so many times. In its inception, it was a solar system, then it became a planet, and then, I determined it would be best placed on Earth.

It’s a future, an undetermined distance forward in time, where continental Europe has fully become one country to, in the infinite wisdom of the politicians, prevent war. This ticks off the main character, whose brother is one of those politicians. My main story arc follows the members of the Resistance.

I enjoy coming up with the situations surrounding the world, from the political to the every day social. I enjoy history, so I’m researching different historical periods (from Napoleonic to WWII) to determine how I want this world to function socially.

I don’t want to share too much about the other world, because that one’s still in the planning stages. It’s so fun to plan, though.

On Robin Hood

General Geekiness

Apparently, Robin Hood wasn’t a very nice guy. He was a nasty dude, robbing from EVERYONE.

There goes my childhood. I spent it watching the Disney animated Robin Hood, practically idolizing the fictious(?) hero. I pretty much just wanted to be a badass archer, but I loved the stories, too.

Still, it makes for an intriguing story; this echoes the storyline from one episode of Firefly, “Jaynestown.” The character Jayne screws up a robbery and upon returning to the planet, he’s remembered as a hero of Robin Hood proportions.

So, a writing prompt or two.

1. Write a story about a man/woman who is anything but a hero, but interpretted as such.

2. Write about a person who is robbed by this individual.