For the Love of History (and other interesting tidbits)

Best of History Websites

Whenever I’m in research mode I use a variety of sources. If I can’t find exactly what I need in the history books on my shelves, I turn to the Internet. Sometimes specific searches yield zero hits because the historical documents haven’t been transcribed and uploaded. Today, I simply typed “history” into the google search field  and this site came up. I’ve hit the mother lode!


David Rumsey Historical Map Collection: Mapping the Heavens in 1693

I adore ancient maps and use them extensively to decide where my characters would’ve lived and traveled. I found David Rumsey’s site several years ago when I needed a detailed view of Georgian London. Many place names have changed several times over the centuries or completely disappeared. I want to refer to these cities, villages, and localities as they would’ve been in the era in which I’m writing. David Rumsey’s historical map collection has over 33,000 images, many of which are zoom-enabled.


from History Ink

The Life of a Civil War Era Army Laundress – by Jennifer Jakes

You wouldn’t believe how many steps/days it took to do one garment. 😐

I’ll go kiss my washer and dryer now.


RJ Ellory: detected, crime writer who faked his own glowing reviews

Ellory, whose real name is Roger Jon Ellory, also attacked his rival authors, including Mark Billingham and Stuart MacBride, under the same assumed identities, in a series of withering posts.

I don’t understand why? Why would he consider someone else who writes in his genre a rival? Are readers not capable of reading more than one book per year? That’s about how long it takes an author to put out another one. I, personally, can read 3 or more per week when I’m in a voracious reading mood.


Cool new tool: Kindle Sales Calculator

Input your current sales rank and it displays your estimated sales per day.


from New York Times ~ posted June 21, 2012 ~

Reading and Guilty Pleasure


“… Sometimes the attention is misplaced, and the high-powered analysis is more a matter of reading into the text than extracting from it.  But the sign of a superior text of whatever genre is its ability to continue rewarding—with pleasure—those who work to uncover its riches.”
Good food for thought.

 Louisville Author Spotlight welcomes Sue Grafton

August 7, 2012


First she said this about critics of her work:
I think we’d all be well-advised to ignore the opinions of others. There’s always someone who wants to tear you down.
Then she said this about the work of others:
…that a ‘wannabe’ assumes it’s all so easy s/he can put out a ‘published novel’ without bothering to read, study, or do the research. Learning to construct a narrative and create character, learning to balance pace, description, exposition, and dialogue takes a long time. This is not an quick do-it-yourself home project. Self-publishing is a short cut and I don’t believe in short cuts when it comes to the arts. I compare self-publishing to a student managing to conquer Five Easy Pieces on the piano and then wondering if s/he’s ready to be booked into Carnegie Hall.
Seriously? She really said that? I hate blanket statements. The rebuttals to Ms. Grafton’s interview answers were spot on.
Apparently old news, yet cool enough to share:
Do you go through reams of printer paper? As a writer, I go through mass quantities. I’m not sure this would be a big hit with my family though. 😉

The Japanese company Oriental has come up with a machine by the name of ‘White Goat’ recently. It is an innovative machine that converts your wasted office paper into toilet paper in about 30minutes. After you put about 40sheeets of paper into the machine, ‘White Goat’ will then shredder the paper, dissolve it in the water, thin the paper out, and then dry it into toilet sheets. Merely costing $0.11 to churn out one toilet roll, claimed by the company, the machine will save up to 60 cedar trees every year. The cool machine is expected to hit the market in Japan this summer, at a price of $100,000.


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