Saturday, July 7, 2012

Age of Castles, and my up-dates

This is Alnwick Castle. If you think you've seen it somewhere before, you have. It was used in the Harry Potter movies.

I love the middle age periods. It's hard to pinpoint exactly which period I enjoy most, but I do like the Renaissance above all the others. I've been on line exploring sites on the history of the various periods. There's so much to read on it, it's mind boggling. I remember being introduced to it in college. In art history is where I came to be carried away by it all. Architecture being one of the main things about the era that is nearly daunting, but wonderful to behold. The buildings--churches, and castles both are such a show of man's achievements in finding ways in which to make something so huge stand for ages and yet look beautiful.

I found a site that lists a dictionary of sayings for the Middle Ages. Like "Gules of August" means the first day of August. I'll have to remember that.

And they sure did have a lot of fines imposed on the commoners. But this one was rather outrageous~

Jus Primae Noctis: It is the right by which a lord might sleep the first night with the bride of a newly married serf--and if they want to pay a fine, the right would be avoided. And I can imagine the fine would depend upon just how wantonly the fair maiden was.

I've had to dip into the historical focus because I've worked on one scene, that is just around 3 pages long for the fourth book. I had to know certain things before I wrote about it. This is a flashback scene of when Vasyl, (a main character/vampire master), remembers a particular turning point in his vampire life. He was as bad a vampire could be. Before he becomes good again, he had to return to France to remember what his original cause for having his sire turn him. What his quest was that brought him to becoming a vampire. It was to avoid being murdered by the Nephilim, and he was desperate because he was the watcher for the next sibyl--who would not show up for another millennium and then some. But no one knew this.

This took me weeks to get into the mode to write it. Even while I was off, I could not come up with a place to start it. Where do you start in a scene that takes place in, oh, say the year 1001? What are they doing? Who are they doing it to?

So, because I was stuck (even though I knew what I wanted to cover), I needed a first line. Whenever I'm so desperate for a first line, I have a little trick. I pick up a favorite book. Any book will do. I open the page and BOOM! I see a line that makes me think "Oh! That's good" and then I go and begin typing out a line that similar, or it uses some imagery and eventually I've honed it over the next day or so and it's as good as I think it can be.

Of course, I've been able to write that scene out. It took a painstaking 5 hours for those three pages. However it was hot in the house. 83 at the end of the evening, but it had been 82 in the afternoon. Two a.c.'s going, and I pushed myself to get the scene, dialogue and I felt it was a good first draft.

This morning, I went over it, knew there were some shady areas I needed to work on, and had to get on line to find some things so I knew what I was explaining came out sounding like I know what I'm talking about.

Earlier last week I worked on getting a short story finished that had languished long enough in my documents. It's a horror, and I realized it would be rather long, and when I was finished, it came out to a novella length. Hope to self-publish it at some point this year. I'm letting it sit for a while before I read through it again. It had been one of those rare stories that I wrote in one sitting--or, rather in one day. I wrote it maybe 9 years ago, by hand. It simply poured out of me after a dream I had.

I've been busy and have not had the time to stop by everyone's blogs, but today I made an effort to swing by a few of your sites which I've been neglectful of. Sorry. There are times when I bury myself into my writing nitche and it's hard for me to get out.

We have one more day (they promise), of record temperatures (100+) and then we cool off and hopefully will not see this again!

And lastly, today is my husband's birthday. He's my biggest supporter/fan. Behind me completely. When I come into my office at night we do a high-five and he says "Go make us rich" I chuckle and say, "If only I could!"


  1. Alnwick castle is wonderful! Love the image. I'm intrigued by your storyline - and the scene you had a bit of difficulty with! If you've the time, send me links and blurbs to your books. I'd love to feature them in my Finds & Features category, Lorelei.

    Glad you found a way to craft that scene to your satisfaction - and happy writing on the fifth!

    Happy belated birthday to your husband, too! Have a great Sunday afternoon.

  2. Castles are soooo cool, Nadja.

    Thank you for the offer, and birthday wishes as well!

    I'll send you some stuff soon!

  3. Happy birthday to your husband! :)

    I love castles too. One day, I'd like to see a real one and just explore.

  4. Oh, I agree. I really want to see one up close some day!


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