Hild’s family tree

The new title for my novel about Hild is…Hild. It just makes sense 🙂 My hand-drawn family tree for Hild is now neatly printed and legible. I’m hoping readers of this blog will give me some feedback. click to enlarge As you can see, there are several names missing. For example those Æthelfrithings who died […]

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Light of the World

Hild is done (for now). She has a working title: Light of the World. (Subtitle, if novels had such things, might be something like The woman at the heart of war, politics, and religion in seventh century Britain.) The book, volume one of three, is huge: 963 pages, 197,878 words (excluding the title). I’ve sent […]

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2,000 year-old carnelians

*** This is a cross post from my daily blog because I feel guilty about not posting anything here for weeks. *** photo by Jennifer Durham Around my wrist I wear a set of 73 carnelians cut and faceted in Roman workshops in the first century. They were a present from Kelley for our tenth […]

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pewter Hild

Medieval stocking stuffers! What a cool idea. (Via Heavenfield.) Pewter whatchamacallits from Aebba Art Gallery. I’ve always been very fond of pewter–though I hated polishing it when I was a child. It was always my job before Christmas: rub rub, polish polish, tuh. It was the old-fashioned kind of pewter, too, with lead; hand-hammered. Beautiful […]

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dogs in the 7th century

I don’t know much about dogs; my sister had one when I was seven, but I’m a cat person. Nothing against dogs, I’ve just always lived in cities, which I think is a hostile environment for large dogs (and small dogs, in my experience–small though it is–tend to yap). So, regarding dogs: utterly ignorant. I’ve […]

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The Beautiful Sin

Hild is still prepubescent, but I’m already turning my research attention to sexuality. (In writing terms, I need to have facts about four years ahead of character and plot development so my unconscious brain can be knitting things together without having to worry about taking things to places my conscious brain later finds impossible.) So […]

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Charty process porn

I’ve been asked twice in the last week (once over at my personal blog, once during a discussion with an Oregon book group about my most recent novel, Always) about charts: do I use them? What are they like? Are they on the wall? So I thought I’d talk a little about my process for […]

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no comparison

Today I got my copy of British Archaeology (May/June 2008) in the mail. On p.30-37 there was a wonderful, detailed article, “The Lost Royal cult of Street House Yorkshire,” on the finds at Street House Farm, near Saltburn, North Yorkshire, the ‘possible cult centre’ graves with the fabulous jewellery. Everything is now beginning to make […]

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General Update

I now have 37,000 words. Hild is ten. She has just deliberately assumed the uncomfortable mantle of lightbringer, per her mother’s prophetic dream. She knows she has no otherwordly gifts, but she knows this is the only way to persuade the king to do certain things she–being a very bright and observant child–believes to be […]

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