Tag Archives: cleopatra

Why I write period fiction

Don’t read this blog if you don’t like history and if you don’t like history what’s wrong with you.

Somewhere in my schooling I heard, from whom I no longer recall, that history is not about dates and legislative acts. Who cares when the Homestead Act was passed. History is about the people and the times. I can relate to that.

Before I tell you why I write period fiction, let me offer three great biographies about people and their times. “Cleopatra” by Stacy Schiff will make you feel you are in ancient Egypt and you will learn more about Cleopatra than you will from any movie. “Jesse James, Last Rebel of the Civil War” by T.J. Stiles is the most thorough study of Jesse James I have read and there are scenes in the book that still haunt me. “Black Count” by Tom Reiss is a revelation about the father of writer Alexander Dumas. If ever a story ever cried out for a movie this is the one.  The story about the Black Count is too detailed, too rich, and to exciting to go into here. All three books are great reads for taking you to another time and place.

And that is why I write period fiction. I want to escape to another time and place. I have no interest in writing contemporary fiction (my short stories an exception) because it is not an escape. When I wrote “Loonies in the Dugout” about a fictional character observing a true story about the 1911 New York Giants baseball team it gave me the chance to go back in time and learn about 1911 New York. I loved the research about buildings, events at the time, the people of the time. I had the opportunity to make true life characters like Christy Mathewson, John McGraw, Damon Runyon, Bat Masterson, and of course Charlie Faust come to life again. They are long dead. I never had a chance to meet them, but by writing about them in my story I was bringing them back to life. I was a kinder Dr. Frankenstein.

Then because I liked my two fictional leads, Chester and Eveleen, I set them in 1922 where they solved the true life murder of William Desmond Taylor, a silent film director, in the book “Loonies in Hollywood.” Once again I brought to life people I would have liked to have met and I solved a murder that to this day is unsolved. I won’t say I had inside information, but I met years and years ago someone who was  involved in the Hollywood scene at the time. My ending is purely fictional though. Although . . .

Then because I loved studying the flapper era with all that jazz, prohibition, speakeasies, and the movies, I gave Chet and Eveleen another chance to solve a murder in a novel that will be released this spring. It takes place in 1927 and though Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, W.C. Fields, Clara Bow, Adolph Zukor, among many others, grace the story along with two fictional characters so important in my previous book, Detective Tom Ziegler and Clancy, my favorite flapper, this story, unlike the other two is not based on a true story.

So if you like history, period fiction, and reading, my Amazon page for my e-books are here. http://www.amazon.com/Terry-Nelson/e/B00EEVHN38

 

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What is the next evolutionary step for libraries

It is said the first great library of the Western World  was in Alexandria, Egypt, then the capital of the Ptolemaic empire. But part of it went up in flames thanks to a dockyard fire when Julius Caesar was being Caesar trying to burn Egypt’s ships. There were between 100,000 and 500,000 scrolls gathered from throughout the world at the Alexandria library.

The idea behind libraries was to gather and protect knowledge, mathematics, charts, anything and everything that would help man. Not really any fiction writers back in those days.

The first American library was at Harvard College in 1638, but the first public library opened in 1698 in Charleston, South Carolina. Benjamin Franklin, America’s Man of all Seasons, opened the Library Company in Philadelphia in 1731. There was even a children’s library in Salisbury Connecticut, opening in 1803. Libraries were created by clubs or by private individuals, but not until 18333 in Peterborough, New Hampshire, did a city vote for public funds to create a public library.  And of course Andrew Carnegie libraries are everywhere, at least in the state I live.

But in the new e-world of e-books what is next for libraries? At some time in the future, someone will develop a huge cloud to store e-books where e-writers can donate their books to be borrowed by e-readers. There may have to be clouds within clouds as there will be millions of e-books, so perhaps a cloud for each of the non-fictional categories now found in libraries and clouds for all fictional categories.

Od course if you do not return a book the cloud librarian will send a virus to your device and ruin your day.

But the day is coming where there will be e-libraries, after all what is Netflix and Hulu Plus, but TV and movie libraries. Even with the speed of todays technology I doubt I will be around to see it happen, but until then we have Amazon where you can find books.

My Amazon page: http://www.amazon.com/Terry-Nelson/e/B00EEVHN38

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Yes there is a god for writers, but who

When I say there is a god for writers I am not talking about William Shakespeare or Stephen King. I am talking about a god that writers can start each day by burning a candle and saying a prayer to the muse of writers who can stimulate the creative juices.

I Googled the question and found Momus, a Greek God, surprisingly not in Edith Hamilton’s classic book on Greek mythology. But the more you learn about Momus from Wiki and the Internet-take if for what it’s worth- it seems that dear old Momus, who is the god of complaint and satire, who likes nothing, is more the god of critics, not writers. Therefore I can not, nor would I urge writers to adopt Momus, for he is clearly in league with Satan.

Hindu’s have Saraswati and there is Baalat, chief deity of Byblos. But a cursory examination of these two fail to absolutely convince me to recommend them to writers.

I do have one to recommend. However, in the honesty of full disclosure I must admit a bias for Seshat, the Egyptian goddess of writers. One is that I am a summer type of guy. I love the heat, I love wearing shorts and a shirt, soaking up rays, and watching women in shorts and halters, and who better to worship than the sun god Ra. Second, because Seshat is depicted wearing a panther like dress and that dress makes a woman look  hot.  Trust me on this.

I  have been to Egypt and that came about by going through a time portal somewhere in France that was discovered by two British schoolteachers, I believe, in the late 19th century. Feel free to Google it. Anyway I  ended up in Egypt during the time of Cleopatra and let me say Elizabeth Taylor looked better. Cleo had a big nose.

Anyway while there I joined the cult of Seshat, whose name means ‘she who is the scribe.’ All in all I had a good time, though I had to pretend to be deaf and dumb as I did not understand ancient Egyptian, or Greek, which most Egyptians spoke. I did mess up one morning when I woke up in bed with one of Cleopatra’s maidens and I forgot where I was and asked what she wanted for breakfast.  She ran screaming, palace guards came for me and took me to Cleo. Whatever she  said I simply spoke English, saying anything that came to mind. I remained stoic, confident, acted regal and spoke the name Seshat many times, almost in every sentence. Eventually they thought I was a god, husband of Seshat, and they gave me a nicer room. 

Notice how when I got to the name Seshat, the Egyptian goddess of writers, my creative juices kicked in. Yes, proof positive that writers need to worship Seshat. Of course, now that I am linked to her as her husband you can see my bias. But she works for me and I am willing to share her with writers everywhere.

My Seshat inspired e-novels at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Terry-Nelson/e/B00EEVHN38

 

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