Social Mediaaaaaaagh

It appears that you have to use social media to get noticed for just about any creative endeavour today. I had this explained to me by a very successful artist the other day who showed me how her business took off in only two years due to the exposure on social media. What mystifies me… Continue reading Social Mediaaaaaaagh

After The Deluge… Part 6: Steam Power

traction engines

Irecently received a couple of reviews where my readers had problems with the co-existence of cars and steam engines. This, I must confess, I found baffling. Historically this happened. Steam trains were in commercial service in the UK until the mid 1960s. Steam traction engines were a common sight on the roads and especially on… Continue reading After The Deluge… Part 6: Steam Power

Soups Of Joy… Pea & Ham

pea ham soup white bowl on slate background

Food and mood. I think the two are inextricably linked. I have used food scenes as a way of putting the brakes on the pace of my writing. Eating and cooking implies a pause, a steadying of the narrative pace, a time to take stock - literally in the case of soup. 'Renaissance' is set… Continue reading Soups Of Joy… Pea & Ham

Ancient Food… Part 1

Libum Roman cheesecake

In thinking about a post-apocalyptic world I spent quite a lot of time thinking about food. Nothing new then! Food and the enjoyment of food, as I have observed before, is a universal human trait. What sort of food might people in such an England enjoy? One thing is for certain; that mass produced, packaged… Continue reading Ancient Food… Part 1

Positive Feedback?

cartoon hedgehog writer Erwin

As a novice novelist I am making plenty of mistakes. I am, it turns out, fallible. This is a shock to the system that I will recover from in time. Maybe. In 2030 or so. The whole process of writing my first book was great fun, I enjoyed choosing words, creating pictures in my mind,… Continue reading Positive Feedback?

Is It Tango? Or Something Else? Part 1

tango dancers pose

In an earlier piece I tried to make the case that dance is a universal human activity that would survive a societal calamity. I think that, given the historical evidence, that is probably true. Next question is what kind of dance would survive? I have assumed in Renaissance that the Tango, famously from Argentina, would… Continue reading Is It Tango? Or Something Else? Part 1

After The Deluge… Part 4: Dance

ballet dancer

I have made use of dance in my plot, because, well, it has a long tradition of appearing in literature. Dancing allows people to be intimate, almost private, in a public space, it is a good opportunity to converse - used to great effect by Jane Austen for one. All very convenient for moving a… Continue reading After The Deluge… Part 4: Dance

After The Deluge… Part 2: Wood

Logo wood the original carbon fibre

Wood. The original carbon fibre composite. And still the best. Low energy, clean, green, recyclable, simple to work with and beautiful. Everything to like and universally available. A few years ago I happened across an old book, "Woodland Crafts in Britain" by an H. L. Edlin. Published just after the end of WW2 it chronicles… Continue reading After The Deluge… Part 2: Wood

Italian Inspiration Part 2

ponte vecchio bridge Florence

From the home of Machiavelli I have drawn the way in which an individual, without necessarily officially having power, can control the State. Lorenzo the Magnificent ruled early Renaissance Florence through a mixture of patronage, place men, rigged ballots and calculated violence. Yet he officially held no political office. Bronzino and workshop artist QS:P170,Q4233718,P?,Q7803, Lorenzo de Medici,… Continue reading Italian Inspiration Part 2

Italian Inspiration Part 1

View Grand Canal Venice inspiration for part of Renaissance novel

I am fascinated by the complex history and politics of the medieval Italian city states. Their energy, enthusiasm, violence, political and economic chicanery all add up to a glorious resource on which to draw. They were a melting pot of religious fervour, economic, artistic and intellectual ingenuity at the crossroads of the Mediterranean and northern… Continue reading Italian Inspiration Part 1