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Anne Gracie
http://www.annegracie.com
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Lynne, her SHATTERED VOWS medieval was a stunner.
Toggle Commented 2 days ago on In Memoriam: Jo Beverley at Word Wenches
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Thanks, Linda -- another reason I love libraries and librarians. :)
Toggle Commented 5 days ago on Historical Atlases at Word Wenches
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Thanks, Minna -- its important to know what went before, I think. And how the smaller states have struggled to survive.
Toggle Commented 5 days ago on Historical Atlases at Word Wenches
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I agree, Bona -- written accounts of history are only part of the story without maps to illustrate and place the story in context. In battles, for instance, location plays such a significant role. And how many of the trouble spots of today are caused by man-made borders?
Toggle Commented 5 days ago on Historical Atlases at Word Wenches
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Mary, what a fascinating job — its hard to imagine how you would convey the sense of a map. Good on you! Such an important and useful skill.
Toggle Commented 5 days ago on Historical Atlases at Word Wenches
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Wow, Jenny, that old atlas sounds wonderful. As for why people migrate, its always a fascinating story, I think. And the courage it must have taken to up stakes and travel to the other side of the world, knowing youd probably never again see the people you left behind.
Toggle Commented 5 days ago on Historical Atlases at Word Wenches
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That book sounds fascinating, Elizabeth -- thanks for the reference. And for dropping by.
Toggle Commented 5 days ago on Historical Atlases at Word Wenches
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I sure do. And yes, Id grab one too.
Toggle Commented 5 days ago on Historical Atlases at Word Wenches
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Lovely -- another map geek, Fiona. I have an old early 20th century (just) cyclopaedia (and yes, that's the spelling they used) which contained a section of maps and wow, the changes I could see then. You really can see the pink bits on the map -- meaning the British Empire, so much of which is now independent.
Toggle Commented 5 days ago on Historical Atlases at Word Wenches
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Very cool, Mary Jo. I'd never heard of Couto Misto either. But I just looked it up and this is from Wikipedia: "As a result of complex medieval manorial relations, this land eluded both Portuguese and Spanish control for centuries, actually operating as a sovereign state of its own right until the 1864 Treaty of Lisbon that partitioned the territory between Spain (which annexed most of the land including the three villages) and Portugal (which remained with a smaller uninhabited strip of land). As a de facto independent country, the inhabitants of the Couto Misto had numerous privileges, including exemption from military service and taxes, and could grant asylum to outsiders and deny access to any foreign military contingent." A perfect model for your fictional state. (And adding an explanation to readers — Once a Soldier, the book of Mary Jo's we're referring to is out next month. I was lucky enough to read it in advance.)
Toggle Commented 5 days ago on Historical Atlases at Word Wenches
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Teresa how awful for you. I hate it when an activity that's supposed to help and educate you is done in such a way that it turns you off it forever. Education should NOT be like that. I hope you have someone in your life who deals with the maps for you.
Toggle Commented 6 days ago on Historical Atlases at Word Wenches
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Liewen, I also studied history and geography at university -- and historical geography and political geography (the study of borders) were especially fascinating to me. I love a good map. I get so frustrated when non-fiction books don't include them -- so many books are, in my opinion, crying out for a good map or three, and instead we get masses of pretty pictures, which is lovely, but a map grounds you, and orients you, and give the pictures a context. I make up a board with several maps on it for most of my books, along with pictures. Knowing where my characters live and what the area looks like helps bring it alive for me, especially since I live on the other side of the world and can't just pop out to visit the location.
Toggle Commented 6 days ago on Historical Atlases at Word Wenches
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Sue, you have a mighty tangle ahead of you. The area we know of as Germany today was once a veritable jewel box of small nations -- and the borders changed so much during and after Napoleon, particularly during the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Belgium and the Netherlands also came and went in different forms. Your Brabant people might not even have spoken the same language as their host country — dialects varied quite considerably. What a fascinating area of research for you. Luckily there are a lot of historical maps on line.
Toggle Commented 6 days ago on Historical Atlases at Word Wenches
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Mary Jo, I was thinking about your fictional country when I wrote this. Most people are so used to the borders of Europe as they now stand, that they don't understand how fragmented Europe really was in the past, when tiny nations abounded. Some readers get really cross about fictional countries because they think it's silly. But it's much more realistic than they think. I remember in the research for my second book (Tallies Knight) where the real-life people whose escape from Napoleons forces I used for Tallie, escaped through Schleswig-Holstein, and I thought "What? Where on earth is Schleswig-Holstein?" And when I went looking I found it -- or rather them -- they were duchies that lie between Denmark and Germany and are now part of Germany.
Toggle Commented 6 days ago on Historical Atlases at Word Wenches
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Lillian, those little states are very useful for historical romance writers, I agree. :) Although the one time I needed a princess, I had to make up her principality, as the history of any eligible states didn't fit my story needs, and I decided I would rather make one up than mess with history. That little country of mine (Zindaria) is on a list of fictional countries on Wikipedia, which I thought was rather fun. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_fictional_European_countries#Z
Toggle Commented 6 days ago on Historical Atlases at Word Wenches
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I have a number of historical atlases and it can be very easy to get distracted by the stories that are implicit in the maps. Maps that show the changing borders of countries, also tell a story. Take for instance these two maps, the first reflecting the situation in Europe in Napoleon's time, and the second after Napoleon was finally defeated and the European borders were redrawn at the Congress of Vienna which took place in 1815 — and no, they didn't simply put the borders back where they had been before Napoleon. Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at Word Wenches
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Thanks, Beth -- as I said, theres still more to do. Were still cleaning up and refreshing the site and the sidebar content. But with eight of us, each small decision takes a while. ;)
Toggle Commented May 15, 2016 on Our New Look at Word Wenches
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Anne here. As many of you have already noticed, we're making a few small changes to the WordWench blog, leading up to our 10th anniversary celebrations. The most obvious is the gorgeous new banner, designed by wench Andrea/Cara, in consultation with us all. We love it — what do you think? Last year, our long-time blogmistress Sherrie retired to spend more time with her beloved animals and work on her own creative projects, and we thank her for all the hard work and enjoyment. The lovely Melissa Beverley (Jo's daughter-in-law) has been managing the blog for some time, and is... Continue reading
Posted May 15, 2016 at Word Wenches
That sounds like a good way to go, Molly. As for keeping a book journal, that's an excellent thought -- a lot of people I know have kept reading logs for years, and can refer back to them and recall when they read a book and what they thought of it at the time. I read so many books, but forget many of them. Not the really good ones, of course.
Toggle Commented May 7, 2016 on Bullet Journals at Word Wenches
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LOL, Sheila. I suspect you might like the bullet journal system. :)
Toggle Commented May 7, 2016 on Bullet Journals at Word Wenches
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Thanks, Cara/Andrea. I've realised, since starting the bullet journal system, that the trouble with tossing away completed "to do" lists is that much later, when I wonder, "Did I ever do x y or z?" there's no way to check. Now I can just flip back and check. And the satisfaction of throwing way a competed list is relaxed by the pleasure of staring a new page.
Toggle Commented May 7, 2016 on Bullet Journals at Word Wenches
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The repeating lists, I've found both interesting and valuable, Jeanette.
Toggle Commented May 7, 2016 on Bullet Journals at Word Wenches
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Very interesting, Pat -- I've been in crowds that I've seen swayed by powerful speakers. I think it's more catching onto the mood of the hour and setting a spark to it. But I've also been hypnotized -- I was sceptical, too, beforehand -- so I know that's real.
Toggle Commented May 6, 2016 on Mesmerism at Word Wenches
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Delia, I LOVE that you don't care. Enjoy!
Toggle Commented May 6, 2016 on Bullet Journals at Word Wenches
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Janice I can quite see why you're to-do list-averse! Does Keanu mind being plastered with sticky notes? ;)
Toggle Commented May 5, 2016 on Bullet Journals at Word Wenches
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