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 3: Food

grilled sardines on metal plate painted wood background

Post-apocalyptic food. Is it ever mentioned? Rarely, except where it has been reduced to a joyless protein pill that meets all a human's nutritional needs or the terrifying Soylent Green. Speaking personally food is one of the great pleasures. I am sure, even in these neurotic times, I am not alone. Why should a recovering… Continue reading After The Deluge…Part 3: Food

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

After The Deluge… Part 1: Slow Train

Ffestiniog Railway - c1900

Following on from my little rant in the last couple of posts - too many 'Whys'?? - about our culture's obsession with speed, at the price of quality of life and experience, I thought I would start a series of articles on what I imagine post-apocalyptic life and technology might look like, starting with travel… Continue reading After The Deluge… Part 1: Slow Train

The Need For Speed… Part 1

blurred cars in city street

Photo by Alex Powell from Pexels Why is speed and the ability to act or think quickly so prized? Speed of movement is itself intoxicating - we all love the rush from a very fast car or the shove a plane gives us at take-off, but why? Is it simply that fast movement is rare and often threatening… Continue reading The Need For Speed… Part 1

Italian Inspiration Part 3

Venice gondolas

I wanted a close, almost claustrophobic, setting for my alt. history world in 'Renaissance'. I needed a space in which it was normal that people who wished to be discreet might disguise themselves, as a matter of course, as a response to societal oppression. I turned to the example of Venice. Alley in the back… Continue reading Italian Inspiration Part 3

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

Sourcing Images And Graphics…

coloured paint brushes

Photo by RhondaK Native Florida Folk Artist on Unsplash I used ShutterStock for the base images on my novel cover and to be fair the prices were reasonable and the choice was huge. I cannot afford to do this for day-to-day images to make my blog look prettier but there is help at hand: there are lots of… Continue reading Sourcing Images And Graphics…

Why Post-Apocalyptic But NOT Dystopian? Part 4

So, after thinking these thoughts about a possible post-apocalyptic world over the three previous parts, where did I arrive and why did I pursue it as the background to my novel? I have assumed that a global pandemic has wiped out ninety plus percent of the world's population in the early second half of the… Continue reading Why Post-Apocalyptic But NOT Dystopian? Part 4