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Thread: What are you up to?

  1. #1
    Dull Old Person Flicka's Avatar
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    What are you up to?

    There are quite a few fairly regular visitors to this sub-forum and I'd really like to get to know all of you a little better. Therefore, I thought it could be fun if the people posted briefly on what they're currently working on.

    So: what are you currently writing/researching/plotting/editing?
    Consulting girl detective
    Coups neatly executed. Nothing sordid, vulgar or plebeian. Deserving cases preferred.

    The Rags of Time | Twitter | Facebook

    Currently working on:
    A Candle to the Devil (mystery; set in 1628)
    Perfect Shadows In a Sunshine Day (mystery; set in 1919)

  2. #2
    Writing HF Again, Thank God EngineerTiger's Avatar
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    Hi. Just finished updating the cover art for my series; waiting for the narrator to finish the audiobook of Book I; trying to get my head into Book 6 so I can release it in mid-summer; and trying to convince myself that I really need to go outside and do some weeding. Although, there was a rabbit out there this morning nibbling the clover so I'm hoping he'll go get some buddies to take care of it for me. If I didn't live in a subdivision, I'd be tempted to get a pony or goat to take care of the mowing. How is your weekend going?
    Visit my WEB SITE for information about my series, BLACK KNIGHTS OF THE HUDSON

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  3. #3
    Retired and loving it! Puma's Avatar
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    Hi Flicka - That's an interesting idea.

    Puma: in 6th year on AW. Not currently writing anything new (bogged down in forms and paperwork for a non-profit filing). One regional interest historical novel published back door - only local sales. Historical/western novel completed and sitting. Contemporary novel completed and sitting. Geological science fiction novel completed, but to be revised. About 15 historical short stories need some more work. About 15 western short stories either need work or I ought to get on finding a home for some of them. Most likely currently to write something new in response to a challenge topic here or in western. Writing interest is pretty much exclusively in American history (but not the over-done periods.) At this point, I'm losing some of my enthusiasm for writing because I have to wonder what the point is if you can't do anything with it. But, I will critique about anything that shows up in historical or western SYW. That's me. Puma
    "Nothing ventured, nothing gained."

  4. #4
    Toughen up. gothicangel's Avatar
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    Currently I have a almost-complete novel set in Roman Britain [AD 163] and the abandonment of the Antonine Wall. My new WIP is set in Ancient Rome [AD 132], loosely based on the Christian legend/Pious Romance of Saint Cecilia, and set against the backdrop of the Praetorian Guard.

    I have just been accepted on a BA at the University of Leicester to study Ancient History and Classical Archeology. I already have a degree in English Studies and Scottish Literature, which I also took classes in Scottish History, starting with c. James I [of Scotland] right up to the modern Devolutionary era.
    The Speculator: On submission.
    Aelia: Work In Progress

  5. #5
    Dull Old Person Flicka's Avatar
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    Last year was horrible. It was the final of several rather crappy years, in fact, and it lead to me taking last year off writing and thinking about what I really wanted to write, as opposed to setting my cap for something that seemed achievable.

    After thinking long and hard and reading quite a lot, I decided to start with a clean slate. I ditched everything I've worked on up until now and quit the 18th century, which has been my scene for a few years. Casting about for a fresh scene, I ended up between the wars (1920s/30s) which is a period I've always felt a connection with. Somehow, I managed to gain a huge interest in late Roman/early Middle Ages as well.

    I have plenty of ideas, but right now I'm focused on preparing to write a historical thriller/mystery set partially in the 20s, and partially in 5th/6th century Britain. Sort of 'Indiana Jones meets Nancy Mitford meets Dorothy Dunnett', if that makes sense. I'm still hazy on the plot, but I have some bits and pieces worked out and plenty of ideas. Right now, I'm in the research/brainstorming/plotting phase and having loads of fun.

    I have a second idea, which is based on a short I wrote a few years ago, set during the Langobard/Gepid/Avar war in the mid 6th century, that I need to write sooner or later (just to get it out of my head). And yesterday, I came up with a simply brilliant high concept historical mystery that I'm going to keep in mind for later, set in Byzantine Constantinople.

    ETA: I have an almost finished degree in history, with a side of history of religion and Latin. I say almost finished because I dropped out before handing in my final paper to go to law school (rather than accepting an offer to take part in a research project on Sweden in the Middle Ages, because I'm self-destructive like that).
    Consulting girl detective
    Coups neatly executed. Nothing sordid, vulgar or plebeian. Deserving cases preferred.

    The Rags of Time | Twitter | Facebook

    Currently working on:
    A Candle to the Devil (mystery; set in 1628)
    Perfect Shadows In a Sunshine Day (mystery; set in 1919)

  6. #6
    Dull Old Person Flicka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gothicangel View Post
    Currently I have a almost-complete novel set in Roman Britain [AD 163] and the abandonment of the Antonine Wall. My new WIP is set in Ancient Rome [AD 132], loosely based on the Christian legend/Pious Romance of Saint Cecilia, and set against the backdrop of the Praetorian Guard.

    I have just been accepted on a BA at the University of Leicester to study Ancient History and Classical Archeology. I already have a degree in English Studies and Scottish Literature, which I also took classes in Scottish History, starting with c. James I [of Scotland] right up to the modern Devolutionary era.
    I was just thinking someone should write something about the Antonine Wall the other day. Great topic! Can I bug you for reading tips for late Roman Britain, then?

    My sister studied Ancient History and Classical Archeology, as well as plain old Archeology, and she loved it. She dropped out to go to med school, though, but she's still good for bouncing ideas with!
    Consulting girl detective
    Coups neatly executed. Nothing sordid, vulgar or plebeian. Deserving cases preferred.

    The Rags of Time | Twitter | Facebook

    Currently working on:
    A Candle to the Devil (mystery; set in 1628)
    Perfect Shadows In a Sunshine Day (mystery; set in 1919)

  7. #7
    the original blond bombshell MaryMumsy's Avatar
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    I hang out here because I always liked history. Sometimes I even come up with a bit of info for someone doing research. I suppose if I was going to write something it would be set post Civil War in the West.

    For background: I have a BA in Psychology, almost a BA in History, almost a BA in Anthropology, and almost a MAc in Accounting. Why, yes, I did like school, and took massive amounts of electives. I make my living as a CPA.

    MM
    When I'm good, I'm very good; but when I'm bad, I'm better.

    That is Mae West, not me.

  8. #8
    practical experience, FTW flapperphilosopher's Avatar
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    Nice idea! I love getting to know people and you all seem lovely!

    Quote Originally Posted by Flicka View Post
    Last year was horrible. It was the final of several rather crappy years, in fact, and it lead to me taking last year off writing and thinking about what I really wanted to write, as opposed to setting my cap for something that seemed achievable.
    I actually went through a period of this too. I'm really glad you're onto a new phase! I barely wrote at all for a couple years and it's felt amazing to be into it again, I don't know how I ever could have stopped.

    Wellll, I have a BA in history and Celtic Studies, and I was going to go and do a PhD in medieval history but after that was delayed a couple years felt it wasn't 100% right, and if you aren't 100% for getting a PhD in something you really shouldn't. But! I discovered I LOVE old photographs (I have a blog where I collect them from various online sources, "The Passion of Former Day", in my signature) and then I discovered there's actually a master's program in Photographic Preservation and Collections Management, at Ryerson in Toronto, so I'm totally doing that! Starting this fall! (plus they're even paying for it for me). I used to have very little interest in the 20th century, besides liking some of the 20s stuff, but now I'm compelled. I can't imagine studying medieval history any more-- you don't get pictures! You can't see what the people you're reading about looked like! You get so much more of a personal connection with more recent history and I loooove that.

    Writing wise, I'm doing (hopefully) one last rewrite of a novel set in 1927, though I call it literary often. I'd call it historical literary but I don't think anyone uses that, do they? Anyway, it's set in the past!

    Then, my Next Novel that I'm doing research for and thinking about and writing scraps of is set in 1918 or 1919, depending on where I start it, and involves pilots in WW1. Well, mostly people coming to terms with things, but the people are ex-pilots or connected to them. I'm loving the research, there's so much amazing detail and I already feel sad there's so much I can't include! I ought to get back to practising short stories so I can put some overflow in those.

    I'm clearly feeling wordy this morning, so I ought to go and do some real writing before it wears off...
    My (non-writing) blog: The Passion of Former Days, connecting to the people of the past through pictures

  9. #9
    Swan in Process Siri Kirpal's Avatar
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    Sat Nam! (literally "Truth Name"--a Sikh greeting)

    Working on a memoir to include the Sikh experience with the 9/11 backlash. (We wear turbans, so we're mistaken for Muslims a lot.)

    Partially completed a novel on hate crimes against Sikhs (see above) and had to stop because real life started turning into the novel. Now planning on writing a novel about writing that novel.

    Two published works: One is a yoga manual. (If you need information on the chakras, it's a good source of information.) The other is a book on what Sikhs do and why we do it, which includes a bunch of stories from Sikh history.

    Have two ideas for historical novels. One has nothing to do with Sikhs, but is a family saga set against the backdrop of WWI and the great flu epidemic--my husband has a family diary and a bunch of letters from this period. The other would focus on a minor character in early Sikh history, 1696 through the early 1700s. Not sure I'll actually write either, but I'm keeping an open mind.

    Blessings,

    Siri Kirpal
    "The only freedom any of us ever has is the freedom to choose how we will not be free."

  10. #10
    Nerdy Budgie Literateparakeet's Avatar
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    Flicka, great idea. Hello everyone!

    I'm Leslie.

    I'm working on a historical novel about one of the women in the California Gold Rush. Luzena Wilson wanted to see the elephant*, she had no idea the darn thing would step on her. LOL!

    This is my first novel, I've completed 8k...I have a long way to go, but I'm very excited to be this far.

    *"seeing the elephant" was a phrase that 49'ers used for going to California for gold.

  11. #11
    Toughen up. gothicangel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Flicka View Post
    I was just thinking someone should write something about the Antonine Wall the other day. Great topic! Can I bug you for reading tips for late Roman Britain, then?
    I was living in Stirling, Scotland a year ago and that was where the idea came from, I saw a lot of what is left [Rough Castle near Falkirk is pretty impressive.]

    My favourite books are:

    An Imperial Possession: Britain In The Roman Empire [David Mattingly]
    The Wall [Alistair Moffat]
    The Antonine Wall [David J Breeze]
    Eagles Over Britannia [Guy de la Bedoyere]
    The Decline and Fall of Roman Britain [Neil Faulkner.]

    Hope that helps.
    The Speculator: On submission.
    Aelia: Work In Progress

  12. #12
    Retired and loving it! Puma's Avatar
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    Flapperphil - One of the other things I'm into is genealogy which includes a lot of old pictures. What's the best way to take care of tintypes - preferably so they can be seen, not hidden away? I have a bunch.

    Little more about me: degree in American History and just one credit shy of a second major in Spanish. I had planned to go into central American archaeology but realized I'd starve if I wasn't independently wealthy or got a grant from National Geographic. I have worked in - ready - missile engineering, editing, department management which included everything from budget to human resources, human resources, gardening, structural engineering, back to missile engineering, and finally inventory control in children's publishing. On the side I've written a 400 page history and "everything you wanted to know" about our township plus 25 separate booklets about township history and ecology (from which the township gets all the money). I also judge at science fairs up through the state level. I'm apparently one of the lucky individuals with both the mathematical and verbal sides of the brain equally developed. (Thanks, I need to spout off a little.) Puma
    "Nothing ventured, nothing gained."

  13. #13
    It's a bird! It's a plane! It's an AW Moderator Ol' Fashioned Girl's Avatar
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    Excellent topic! I'm semi-surprised and then not really that we all have so much in common. I've got a BA in Psychology with a double major - second half is -tada!- English History. I could NOT get enough of the Tudor era; and this was long before The Tudors debuted on HBO.

    I've written three historicals: Tudor England (Surprise!) with a heavy dose of Witchcraft and 1870's England on the coast. Think Daphne duMaurier, only darker. Third is 1870s Kansas. I'm currently working on another set in a little town called Ruby in Nevada, near a fort. The town needs a doctor and they contract with one from back east... only he gets killed along the way and replaced by a woman. I'm not sure whether she's related to him or not... she hasn't told me yet.
    aka: OFG




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  14. #14
    the original blond bombshell MaryMumsy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ol' Fashioned Girl View Post
    Excellent topic! I'm semi-surprised and then not really that we all have so much in common. I've got a BA in Psychology with a double major - second half is -tada!- English History. I could NOT get enough of the Tudor era; and this was long before The Tudors debuted on HBO.
    And sometimes it is in the blood. I found a cousin (5th, 6th, whatever) on the net. Her G Gma was the youngest sister of my GG Gpa. We are about the same age. She studied finance and ended up as the Dean of Libraries at Hardin-Simmons. I seriously considered Library Science and ended up in Accounting. We both found that amusing.

    MM
    When I'm good, I'm very good; but when I'm bad, I'm better.

    That is Mae West, not me.

  15. #15
    Retired and loving it! Puma's Avatar
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    Love your "she hasn't told me yet" OFG.
    "Nothing ventured, nothing gained."

  16. #16
    practical experience, FTW mayqueen's Avatar
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    What a great idea, Flicka. It's fun getting to know all of you.

    I'm working on my PhD in sociology (so I completely agree with flapperphilosopher that you shouldn't do a PhD unless it's really, really right). I'm in the field right now doing my data collection. Part of what I do is historical sociology, which is nothing like being a historian, but I do spend a lot of time in archives.

    Because apparently I have too much time on my hands, I'm querying a thriller/mystery set in eleventh century England. I love writing and reading about the early middle ages in England/Ireland.
    "I'd rather be a cyborg than a goddess." -Donna Haraway

  17. #17
    never mind the shorty angeliz2k's Avatar
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    I studied Communications as an undergrad and publishing as a grad student, which I parlayed (after over a year of job-hunting) into a job in publishing. No, I'm not in New York. I wouldn't really want to live there; it's just not my kind of place. I live and work in DC.

    I've always loved history. I usually say that I first started loving history when I was in 1st grade, picked up an encyclopedia, and learned that there had been a great queen named Elizabeth (like me). But really, I think it's just inherently in my nature to want to know about other people's lives and analyze the hell out of them. I only took one course in psych as undergrad, but I loved it.

    I started writing historical stuff some time in high school. I began with an abandoned story about the Salem Witch Trials (Mercy Lewis). I did a school project about it (National History Day for AP US History, for those who care), which really got the creative juices flowing. After that, I jumped ship to Boudicca, or more precisely her daughters because I was curious about what happened to them after the Romans publicly raped them. I finished that while I was in college, and it's shelved for now because it probably needs both research and editing.

    I finished The Grove of Venus while in graduate school in England about a year and a half or two years ago (curious? see my blog at the link in my signature for way more info than you will ever want to know). Because of moving from country to country (and back again), then trying to find a job, then finding a job and moving, now moving again . . . it's been tough to keep my eyes on the querying prize. I did get three full requests, but they were rejected (the comments were encouraging). I need to query some more.

    I've been working on my current project ever since finishing Grove of Venus, and it's been dragging because of the same reasons the querying has been slow--and because the story/plot has been kicking my skinny white ass. Sigh. I think I've finally worked through it. 1850's Washington City and then the Sea Islands of Georgia. There's a duel and a shotgun wedding and escaped slaves. Should be great fun!
    "Cotton. Cotton until Kingdom Come."

    WIP 1: Britannia c.AD 60. Trunked.
    WIP 2: Paris, 1780s.
    WIP 3: Channing. Antebellum South, 1854 Now Being Repped by an agent!
    WIP 4: Novella. Civil War w/a hint of supernatural.
    WIP 5: The Cotton Wars [prequel].
    WIP 6: Sci-fi-ish. In progress.

    My Blog: MARIE ANTOINETTE'S DIAMONDS:

  18. #18
    Historicals and Horror rule donroc's Avatar
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    Doing the final polishing of my novel set mostly during the reign of Louis, the Pious (814-840) about Bodo, the Apostate and awaiting editorial comments from the publisher of the sequel to Rocamora, House of Rocamora.





    "Chronology is not destiny"
    Donald Michael Platt

    "If, as Napoleon said, History is a myth agreed upon, let mine be the definitive myth."
    Donald Michael Platt

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  19. #19
    Third time's the charm Tom from UK's Avatar
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    Thanks for posting this, Flicka. I spend almost all my time on AW in Historical or SYW Historical. Sometimes people here can be harsh and blunt, but I feel that they do really have my best interests at heart and that they are, oxymoronically, real virtual friends. So it's nice that we all get the chance to say, "Hello," like this.

    My degree (a hell of a long time ago) was in Experimental Psychology, so I'm interested to see so many psychologists and sociologists around.

    I got into this historical fiction business because I was once on holiday in Sarawak and I was fascinated by what I learned about James Brooke. Eventually I wrote a book about him. It was agented but all the major publishers it was shown to said it was too "difficult" for a first novel. Perhaps I was oversensitive, but I couldn't help feeling that part of this was because the romantic subplot involved two men. So I took it to JMS Books, who specialise in m/m stuff and they published it and seemed to make a pretty good job of it to. They suggested a sequel, so I did that and it was published at the end of February. Meanwhile I'm working on something I am hoping will not be seen as so "difficult". It's another historical but, this time, much more heterosexual and upbeat. It's set in Argentina, a country I have visited several times and, by now know a reasonable amount about. It's going through its umpteenth round of revisions now.
    'Burke at Waterloo' will be out in time for the 200th anniversary of the battle. (What do you mean, you don't know when that is?) http://thewhiterajah.blogspot.com/

  20. #20
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    Er...

    I think puma and I prefer 'realistic' to 'harsh and blunt' Tom.

    Editors are far more harsh and blunt than I have been.

    Seriously, pop into SYW Literary and read the lovefest crits of 'it's marvellous darling and I'd love to read the finished article.' which are going on in there in the threads I looked at recently.

    Which is more helpful? Me saying that an opening simply won't work unless it does a,b, and c. Or me saying 'I loved it, your writing is so Hilary Mantel'?

  21. #21
    Third time's the charm Tom from UK's Avatar
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    I know I'm sometimes harsh and blunt. You and Puma on the other hand are always simply wonderful, darlings.

    But, most importantly, you care. And you've helped me improve. A lot.
    'Burke at Waterloo' will be out in time for the 200th anniversary of the battle. (What do you mean, you don't know when that is?) http://thewhiterajah.blogspot.com/

  22. #22
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    Ah!

    Definitely absolutely fabulous. Ain't that just so!

  23. #23
    Third time's the charm Tom from UK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pdr View Post
    'I loved it, your writing is so Hilary Mantel'?
    That would clearly be absurd. But I did just get a Goodreads review that said, "Approaches that ranks of Sarah Waters in storytelling." I found I could live with that.
    'Burke at Waterloo' will be out in time for the 200th anniversary of the battle. (What do you mean, you don't know when that is?) http://thewhiterajah.blogspot.com/

  24. #24
    Retired and loving it! Puma's Avatar
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    Thank you for the mentions, pdr and Tom. I think I'd say I try to be honest in my crits and comments; I don't think telling someone a post is wonderful when it isn't is helpful. I'd like to see all of us successful in our ventures, and yes, I do think of people who've been around here for a while as friends and not just names on a page. AW Historical is definitely a community. Puma
    "Nothing ventured, nothing gained."

  25. #25
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    And on that subject...

    of friends, I mean, does anyone have Calmy's personal contact details?

    We can't keep up with or support her writing ups and downs now she has been banned and I know she enjoyed contact with us on this Historical board. I know I will, and I'm sure those of us long standing members down here will miss her contributions too.

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