Five Links 5/18/2020
2. https://awriterofhistory.com/2020/05/14/favourite-historical-research-resources-k-m-pohlkamp/ “Her titles give you than hint of noir: Apricots and Wolfsbane, Physicists in Petticoats, Shadows of Hemlock. Last year, K.M. (Kara) posted a very interesting article on her favourite historical research resources and has graciously allowed me to repeat that article here in A Writer of History.
My Favorite Historical Research Resources by K.M. Pohlkamp
Small details transfer the reader into another world, and for historical fiction, another time. Lingering honey upon a tongue after a character sips mead, the warmth of a candle flickering in the mind, the sound of a metal zipper opening in the corner…
And nothing destroys the mood more than an anachronism.”
3. https://killzoneblog.com/2020/05/perilous-work-writing-cliffhangers.html “The 1914 movie serial “The Perils of Pauline,” was the ultimate cliffhanger. Week after week, Pauline escaped airplane crashes, searches for buried treasure, and multiple abductions. She was even carried away in a hot air balloon. But contrary to legend, the original Pauline was never tied to a railroad track, or nearly sawed in half by a buzz saw.
Pauline’s perils made great cliffhangers, and kept moviegoers crowding the theaters for some twenty episodes.
Cliffhangers are the hooks that make your readers keep turning the pages, pulling them into the next scene or chapter. Most cliffhangers come at the end of the chapter. If your readers are hooked, they’ll continue reading.”
4. http://booksbywomen.org/writing-about-the-resilience-of-women-juliet-greenwood/ “The thing that really struck me most when researching the First World War for my first novel with Orion, The Ferryman’s Daughter, was the extraordinary reliance of women, both in war and in peace.
So often women are seen as victims of war, just as they are of poverty and discrimination. Things are beginning to change, but all too often women’s stories are overlooked or untold, or soon forgotten as unworthy of being ‘history’ and so vanish. That void is filled by the old tale of women suffering in silence, or being the ones left behind, life on hold until their men return.
Of course, the truth is that women never have time to simply wait. Whether it’s refugees from Syria, villagers living under occupation in both world wars, or the civilians in rural Cornwall trying to keep life going through the trauma and uncertainty of WW1, it’s women who are at the”
5. http://booksbywomen.org/the-keys-i-take-with-me-what-i-learned-writing-about-the-bonhoeffer-haus/ “On my last visit to the Bonhoeffer-Haus in Berlin, Germany, I also returned the key that I had been issued two years earlier to the memorialized home of Dietrich Bonhoeffer—a German pastor and theologian put to death on April 9, 1945, at the age of 39, for his conspiratorial activities against the Nazi regime. The key to that house had always ever been a time-bound gift to me, a cross-cultural exchange of trust and hospitality.
Three years earlier, our family moved to Berlin for my husband’s next diplomatic assignment in the U.S. Foreign Service. Not long after we settled into our permanent residence, I discovered that the home of this remarkable German figure was close to our own. I visited it with my husband and our three kids in the fall of 2016 and returned many more times with visiting friends. I was drawn to the story the guides told at the house which represented the significance and sacrifices Bonhoeffer and his extended family made for their nation.
After months of scheduling visits to the Haus, I asked if I could become a volunteer too. Though I was an American with an amateur interest in Bonhoeffer’s life, limited to English, the leadership at the Bonhoeffer-Haus agreed. Welcomed in and issued a key to the Haus, I was aware of my responsibilities to faithfully narrate his life to visitors who came. I began studying his life more diligently. I had much to learn and unlearn.”
Research & Fun Bits:
1. https://bloodredpencil.blogspot.com/2020/05/story-origin-app-ARC.html “Amidst all the chaos, and only after I’d finished setting up a way for reviewers to request advance reading copies of The Convoluted Key from the homepage of my website, I happened upon a platform still in beta called StoryOrigin App. From an initial play-around on the site, StoryOrigin appears to be a cross between NetGalley and NaNoWriMo. It’s intended to serve as an interface between reviewers and authors, providing authors with a fairly straightforward way to screen potential reviewers and then deliver the ARC files. And it also offers authors a way to cross-promote with others writing in the same genre by offering giveaways and newsletter swaps. From the writing goals and motivation side of things, StoryOrigin provides a tracking feature where you can set your deadlines and keep track of your word count and other goals. It also calculates how many words you need to write or edit per day to hit your deadline.”
2. https://robertawrites235681907.wordpress.com/2020/05/13/gods-window-mpumalanga-south-africa/ “God’s Window is situated on the Drakensberg escarpment in Mpumalanga, South Africa.
Gods Window provides a most incredible view of the Lowveld, more than 900 metres down, into a beautiful and green ravine. God’s Window is within the Blyde River Canyon Nature Reserve and you can go for wonderful walks and gaze over the panoramic view from the various well placed look out points.
We visited this famous spot a few years ago. The day of our first visit was cloudy so we didn’t get a very good view. The cloud cover did make for a very mysterious and creepy photograph though.”
3. https://marciamearawrites.com/2020/05/13/the-building-blocks-of-story-scenes/ “Another thought-provoking Building Blocks of Story post from Staci Troilo over on Story Empire today. This time, it covers the three basic elements each scene should have. Check it out and see if you’ve been using all three elements, or if you need to work on it a bit (like me). Super information here, so be sure to pass it along so others can learn, too. Thanks, and thanks to Staci for making me think!”
Some Things More Serious:
1. https://lithub.com/sheltering-anna-solomon-talks-about-the-impacts-of-inequality-on-women/ “On this episode of Sheltering, Maris Kreizman speaks with Anna Solomon about her new novel, The Book of V. The novel is the story of three separate women in different eras and situations, drawing a thread through their experiences. Solomon discusses the ambitiousness of the novel, the surprising intimacies of virtual events, and how she’s filling her quarantine days. Solomon’s favorite local bookstore is Community Bookstore; please purchase The Book of V. through their website, or through Bookshop.
From the episode:
Maris Kreizman: When i think about the evolution of your story in the time of the pandemic—it seems like the implication for women’s roles right now are pretty big.
Anna Solomon: They are, I think on both sides—there are a lot of men in power in the book who shouldn’t be in power. Mostly they’re doofuses, but some are evil, and I think we can see both of those things and consequences in a way that is so crystallized and terrifying.”
4. https://legendsofwindemere.com/2020/05/13/questions-3-adding-to-the-drama/ “Well, I guess I was in a mood when I marked this topic for today. Perhaps I was thinking about writing drama, but the picture I grabbed seems to be something else. Nothing to do, but carry on. I mean, we all deal with drama to some extent. Even those who swear that they don’t. Seriously, they’re either in it, watching it, starting it, or pretending that it isn’t around. Life is drama! Can be as small as the dramatic decision to get out of bed, but it’s there. I think the term has been labeled with so much negativity that we can’t see it as anything else too. There can be good drama if it’s entertaining or leads to a happy event of some kind. Instead, we seem to use drama as a simple way of saying ‘starting shit’. Let’s get to the questions.
- How do you handle drama?
- Do you think every story needs some drama?
- Do you feel sorry for the word ‘drama’ because of its new negative connotation?”
Teaser Fiction & Poetry:
Book Reviews, Cover Reveals, & Author Interviews:
1. https://writershelpingwriters.net/2020/05/the-occupation-thesaurus-writing-guide-is-releasing-soon-will-you-help-us/ “One thing that never gets old is being able to share when a new book in on its way, so as you might imagine, Becca and I are pretty happy to pen this post.
The Occupation Thesaurus will be here in July!
Covid-19 wasn’t a factor when we set a date, and so when it reared its ugly head we waffled a bit as to whether to hold off releasing this book. People are dealing with a lot, and it might not be the right time to get excited over a new thesaurus. But as a few lovely people have reminded us, while life is challenging, many writers are trying to write, research projects, or strengthen their writing craft, and this book might help. And helping…well, that’s what we do.”
2. https://donmassenzio.wordpress.com/2020/05/13/blog-tour-stop-demon-tracker-by-a-j-alexander/ “Zepheira is the best Demon Tracker working for the Good side. With her unusual looks, her phenomenal sense of smell, and her bravery, she quickly draws ‘The Big 7’s attention to her talent. They hire her to find one of them. Leaving her familiar surroundings and regular work environment unsettles Zepheira at first. But the challenge to prove herself and to increase the reputation of her infallibility tempts her.
She is convinced she will be a great asset to ‘The Big 7’. Little does she know she will be a much greater asset in Heaven’s fight against Evil. Zepheira suddenly becomes more than a hired tracker. She finds herself an important pawn in the game of love, heat, and fire. Will her courage and sacrifice be sufficient to dance with the flames?”
3. https://rosieamber.wordpress.com/2020/05/14/rosies-bookreview-of-metaphysical-mystery-where-acorns-landed-by-anne-m-curtis/ “Where Acorns Landed is a metaphysical mystery. Set mainly on The Isle Of Man, the narrative revolves around two main characters.
Lowell has become a hermit after his parents were drowned at sea, living only for the irregular interactions with a voice on his radio. One day a man turns up and insists on entering Lowell’s house; he’s been sent by Nell, the voice on the radio, and has an important job offer for Lowell.
Brighid’s mother left when she was a baby and her grandparents brought her up; she never knew where her mother lived but she would always receive a birthday card from her, no matter where she had moved to. But now her mother needs to see her urgently and she’s sent her an address for a house in France.
Lowell and Brighid are brought together for a project; a documentary, but it is the strangest production either has ever experienced. I was left quite unsure if one of the character’s story had actually ended.
This book will certainly make you think and then question what you have read. A mix of Irish myth, Arthurian legend and the supernatural all tangled into the lives of two characters, I could”
4. https://teripolen.com/2020/05/13/www-wednesday-what-am-i-reading-amreading-38/ “Sixteen-year-old Deka lives in fear and anticipation of the blood ceremony that will determine whether she will become a member of her village. Already different from everyone else because of her unnatural intuition, Deka prays for red blood so she can finally feel like she belongs.
But on the day of the ceremony, her blood runs gold, the color of impurity–and Deka knows she will face a consequence worse than death.
Then a mysterious woman comes to her with a choice: stay in the village and submit to her fate, or leave to fight for the emperor in an army of girls just like her. They are called alaki–near-immortals with rare gifts. And they are the only ones who can stop the empire’s greatest threat.
Knowing the dangers that lie ahead yet yearning for acceptance, Deka decides to leave the only life she’s ever known. But as she journeys to the capital to train for the biggest”
#5. https://www.thisishorror.co.uk/book-review-white-pines-by-gemma-amor/ “A relatively new voice in the horror genre in the past couple of years, Gemma Amor has quickly made a name for herself as a hard-working author. After releasing her first collection, Cruel Works of Nature, in late 2018, she released two further books in 2019: a second collection Till the Score is Paid, and the Bram Stoker Award-nominated novel Dear Laura, her critically-acclaimed debut. While she has published some short stories with small presses and podcasts, these three books were all produced entirely by Amor, hence the “hard-working” title. And, given the excellent job she did with the first three, there was no reason to change her publishing stance with her new novel.
Told from the point of view of author Megan (“Megs” to her friends), White Pines covers a great amount of story and many miles. We are introduced to Megs, living city life in England with her husband, Tim, when she receives an official letter. Her estranged Grandmother has passed away and left her cottage on the Scottish coast to Megs. It is a timely piece of news as Tim arrives home from work and drops the bombshell that he no longer loves his wife. Running the full gamut of emotions, Megs finally flees their family home and, wishing to put many miles”
We’re going to be going back to the old Fri. and Sat. night postings for the links. I just can’t seem to get it down without stretching it into the weekend.