The Addiction Of Non-Fiction – the pitfalls of writing history….

I always enjoy posts from others about their writing. This one is good.

A Sweet Disorder

I’m doing quite a lot of work at the moment on a non-fiction book, a biography of Sir John Arundell, “Jack For The King” – the man who held Pendennis Castle for the King, aged 70, against everything Thomas Fairfax and the Army of Parliament could throw at him.
He’s an absolutely fascinating chap, and the main thing I’m discovering is that there’s an awful lot of rubbish written about him.

As an instance: one source has him down as having five sons, three of whom died young in the service of the King.
Another one has him down as having four.
A contemporary sexton’s account has one of John’s sons as an ensign who died at the battle of Windmill Hill, in Launceston, in 1643, and being buried there.
One of his sons turns up recorded as a brother in some accounts.

And all of that’s interesting – it’s…

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Using Instagram to Grow Your Blog or Personal Brand

The Daily Post

Some of you may not use Instagram as actively as others, but even if you’re not an addict of the app, it might offer a new outlet to build your blog and personal brand. After all, your blog is just one aspect of you — if you’re on Instagram, perhaps you can find ways to bridge these two networks and grow your online presence.

Lead new visitors to your blog

Instagram profileThe simplest thing you can do? Include your blog URL in your Instagram bio, so app users can poke around on (the mobile version of) your site.

But let’s say you’re a food blogger, and you post pictures of the delicious meals you’ve whipped up, courtesy of the recipes on your blog. Why not mention in a comment that users can prepare these plates themselves by visiting your blog? (It’s worth noting that currently, URLs in Instagram comments

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National Day of Writing, Fantasy Fiction at Goddard High School

National Day of Writing 10/20/16

Goddard High School, Roswell NM

Fantasy Fiction

Many consider George MacDonald’s, Phantastes written in 1857 as the first work of modern fantasy fiction, not least because it was a tale for adults. It greatly influenced many writers including C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien.

Our rich history of literature has always included tales and verbal tellings of the wondrous, unimaginable, and horrific. Often these tales were crafted to instruct and warn, sometimes based on visions of afterlife or another world.

If you study the roots of fantasy, you will find deeply spiritual men and women, and often you will find clues to sustained inspiration.

For instance, MacDonald was said to be influenced by the French fairy tale Undine. C.S. Lewis was influenced by MacDonald, but also by Norse myth and spent some time with his peer J.R.R. Tolkien unraveling and relearning Old English to better understand and engage with the epic poem. Beowulf.

William Morris was a textile designer and a contemporary of MacDonald and G.K. Chesteron. He was an artist with a strong interest in Icelandic literature, and is responsible for translating and keeping much of the Norse myth alive in English today. But what drew me to Morris was his illustrations and textiles. They are richly detailed and inspiring.

In today’s fiction market Fantasy covers everything from high fantasy and faery to science-fiction, horror, paranormal, dystopian and a few things which defy definition and are lumped into speculative fiction.

So, I have some questions for you. What makes you want to write fantasy, or are you here because you needed a place to land?

What are your favorite stories, movies included?

Who inspires you, truly, not just the coolest answer?

What I find most fascinating in the world of other worlds is inspiration. Where do we get it? What is it made of? How do we sustain it?

That is where I’ll leave off talking for discussion. These are questions for you to answer.

Your assignment: pick two of the following, but one has to be the monster/villain

Create a monster, an enemy, or a villain. Give him or her an element of charm and style. Give him or her a weakness. Give Him or her a power. Give him or her a powerful desire.

Create a hapless hero or heroine. Give him or her a weakness. Give him or her an ugliness, a seedy underside. Give him or her a quest that has to do with the villain.

Create a setting or world. Give it a currency. Give it a wonder. Give it a horror.

Play further here on this blog or, talk to us at

(Re-posted from