May 20, 2013

I'll Remember That

I've been scarce around here recently, partly in an effort to rest my eyes, partly in order to let my mind revamp and produce some more ideas.  On the former front, I wrote a chapter by hand this past week (Elisabeth would be proud if she weren't off resting her eyes, too) before deciding most of it wasn't necessary to the story after all.  Eh.  You win some, you lose some.

At any rate, I have been doing some specific research, some general research, and some reading that isn't technically research at all.  I don't typically write about this aspect of my writing, simply because what interests me in its nonfiction format isn't always what interests other folk.  But, on the other hand, sometimes it is enjoyable to hear what tidbits an author has dug up.  So rather than doing a great big post on the Age of Sail or the healing properties of comfrey, here is a snapshot of some of the things that have stood out to me in researching for Tempus Regina and writing in general.

what ho!

The Minoan civilization, which populated Crete and the islands of the Aegean some millennia before the birth of Christ, had running water and sewer systems.  And toilets!  That flushed!  (Sort of.)  If the culture hadn't been wiped out, plumbing might have been widespread much sooner in the history of the West.  I think that constitutes a tragedy.

Aristotelian theory posits that all forms of matter are simply combinations of the four elements (earth, water, fire, and air) in varying proportions, which means that if you were able to alter the proportions, you could change the matter entirely.  Which means that under Aristotelian theory, alchemy is not an unreasonable pursuit.

Chinese alchemy makes no sense, but they did manage to make chemistry sound pretty.

Common speedwell is also known as "Paul's Betony."  I'd like to know if that was the reason for the actor's name.  Probably not.

The walls at the Minoan palace at Knossos were inlaid with wooden frames for support against the frequent seismic activity.  In the final cataclysm it obviously wasn't one hundred percent effective.

Wood avens was once thought to drive away rabid dogs, evil spirits, and venomous snakes.  Good thing to have on hand, I suppose.

The original copper sheathing on the USS Constitution was most likely imported from Britain, not manufactured by Paul Revere; he only got to do the ship's detailing, since his copper company wasn't founded until 1801.  He may, however, have provided the sheathing for the USS Argus in 1803, which is the brig Tip ships out in. 

have you found out anything intriguing of late?


  1. Fascinating facts, especially the one about Paul's Betony. That one received a hearty mental chuckle. I actually think resting one's eyes (and mind) is required work for an author...I've unofficially been doing it myself lately, and finding it a rather nice thing after all.

    1. I did snigger over that one, I admit. If it was purposeful, his parents had a very odd sense of humor!

  2. These are great facts to know and have and store away :). Are they related in any way to the books you are currently penning? I need to dig my nose into more research myself!

    Ah, breaks are amazing things... I have been having one of sorts and it has been good. Abigail, do you wear glasses while reading/writing at all? You might find it good to check and see if you don't happen to need them sometimes. I use them for any intellectual/study work such as school, writing, computer-use, watching, etc... it helps a great deal keep my eyes from getting strained!

    1. Some of them are related - some of them less so. You can decide which is which!

      I have not worn glasses for a long time. I got a prescription in 2010, but that was for slight far-sightedness, and the eye doctor now informs me that I'm getting near-sighted. Yippedy yay. At the moment I have contacts, which my eyes refuse to take, and I should be getting some glasses for "occasional wear" fairly soon. Hopefully they'll help!


meet the authoress
I am a writer of historical fiction and fantasy, scribbling from my home in the United States. More importantly, I am a Christian, which flavors everything I write. My debut novel, "The Soldier's Cross," was published by Ambassador Intl. in 2010.
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published writings

The Soldier's Cross: Set in the early 15th Century, this is the story of an English girl's journey to find her brother's cross pendant, lost at the Battle of Agincourt, and of her search for peace in the chaotic world of the Middle Ages.
finished writings

Tempus Regina:Hurled back in time and caught in the worlds of ages past, a Victorian woman finds herself called out with the title of the time queen. The death of one legend and the birth of another rest on her shoulders - but far weightier than both is her duty to the brother she left alone in her own era. Querying.
currently writing

Wordcrafter: "One man in a thousand, Solomon says / will stick more close than a brother. / And it's worthwhile seeking him half your days / if you find him before the other." Justin King unwittingly plunges into one such friendship the day he lets a stranger come in from the cold. Wordcount: 124,000 words

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