|From the collection of the New York Public Library on Flickr.com. Source.|
Wednesday, March 28, 2012
Monday, March 26, 2012
|Image from NASA. Source.|
I was absolutely thrilled when I realized that some famous places, like the Karnak temple complex in Luxor, actually pop up away from the satellite map. After some fiddling with the finicky compass settings I was able to virtually walk through the same section of the complex that existed when my characters would have been alive. It isn't extremely realistic-looking--you'll have to consult photos for that--but even so I was pretty impressed by the level of detail. They even included reliefs on the walls.
Naturally I geeked out and spent several hours visiting famous places I thought of, like Vatican City and China's Forbidden City. I was more impressed by what I was able to see there. It was even more realistic than my Egyptian locations.
Google Earth is a great research tool for historical fiction authors who can't afford to fly to the places they write about, or whose chosen settings are difficult or even impossible to reach. Just don't be like me and waste several hours visiting places you'll probably never write about.
Question: Have you ever used Google Earth as a research tool? What do you think about it?
Friday, March 23, 2012
Words written: I hand-wrote a little over a page for a scene that takes place toward the end of my WIP.
Outlining done: Over the past two days I've outlined four chapters. If I keep up this pace, I'll be done with my outline in less than two weeks!
Research done: No notes taken, although I have done some reading and skimming of books and websites which has really helped shape the outline.
Blogging done: 2 posts
- Wordless Wednesday: Wooden Stela of a Priest Worshiping Ra-Horakhty
- This writing recap post
I haven't really blogged for the past couple weeks, although I'm very happy to say that it's because I've gotten caught up in my writing. I've ironed out some of the wrinkles and my outlining is going strong. I'm over the moon about it!
A couple weeks ago I was contacted by Brad Wirz, one of the founders of Gone Reading International, an organization that aims to provide libraries and reading materials to people around the world who don't have access to these things. Gone Reading International works toward this goal by selling fun, quirky items that bookish people love. They donate 100% of their after-tax proceeds to these charitable ventures. Read more about their philanthropic mission.
Here are two of my favorite graphic tees they offer in their shop: When's Wine Club? (ha!) and Take Me to Your Reader alien shirt.
I would like to add that I haven't received any payment or other compensation for mentioning Gone Reading International. I checked out the website when asked, did some research to make sure it was legit, and agreed to blog about it because I feel they have a worthy cause and are funding it in a fun and clever way. If you like it too, please think about buying something or adding an item or two to your Christmas list. Literacy is so important, but so is the sheer joy a child experiences when she can read any amazing book she wants.
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Friday, March 9, 2012
Words written: 0
Outlining done: none
Research done: Read several dozen pages and took approximately 2-3 pages of notes, including a detailed chart that will help with outlining. Watched one or two documentaries but haven't taken any notes from them yet.
Blogging done: 3 posts
- Film Review: The Woman in Black
- Wordless Wednesday: Queen Nefertari Playing Senet
- This writing recap post
I'm pretty pleased with my progress this week. My note-taking was very fruitful and I think soon I'll be using my notes to redo my outline. I'm also seriously considering adjusting the setting of my novel slightly to a more famous reign. Stephanie Dray's interview with Lavender Ironside made me think about it. Lavender's novel The Sekhmet Bed is incredible (you can read my review and my interview with Lavender), but she says that traditional publishers rejected the work in part because it's set during the reign of a pharaoh that not many people are familiar with. (Unless you're an Egypt nerd. Like me.) On the bright side, Lavender says she's still planning on writing the second and third books in the She-King Trilogy despite the first book being a "hard sell." So help her out and go buy it! Because it's awesome. Also because I want to know the rest of the story.
Wednesday, March 7, 2012
Tuesday, March 6, 2012
|Poster for The Woman in Black (2012). Source.|
I have to say that it was a little weird at first to see Daniel Radcliffe playing someone other than Harry Potter, and a widowed father to boot. But the movie immediately launches you into creepy territory in the very first scene. Three little girls are playing with dolls in their attic bedroom. Suddenly they all turn as one and stare straight into the camera, then walk over their dolls (breaking them in the process) and step out the window. In the far right corner of the screen, you can see a woman's head swathed in a black hat and veil.
The Woman in Black is a classic Victorian ghost story, complete with cobwebby Gothic mansion, although it's based on a novel by Susan Hill first published in 1983. Later I realized it reminds me a lot of Henry James' The Turn of the Screw, which I am unable to enjoy due to my high school English teacher's unnatural obsession with the word "ambiguity."
I should confess that I scare easily. I spent most of the movie clinging to my husband's arm and cringing, while he spent most of the movie laughing at me. Still, I think I'm right to compliment the film's creators for their selection of particularly horrific Victorian toys.
After the showing we went straight to the Barnes and Noble across the street and bought the novel. It's in my to be read pile so I can't comment on it, but I recommend going to the movie if you can. It's a good old-fashioned horror story that made me keep a light on for several nights!
Saturday, March 3, 2012
- Words written: 0
- Outlining done: none
- Research done: none (although we bought several documentaries on sale last night, and I've been reading one of my research books)
- Blogging done: two posts, including this one
As you can see, I pretty much fail this week. There isn't any specific reason why. However, as I mentioned above, I have been reading one of my research books in preparation for taking notes, so I'm not a complete slacker.
How have your writing goals progressed this week?