Today’s another entry in the Background & Research posts for The Songweaver’s Vow.
When Thor goes to fight Jörmungandr, he seeks the sea-sized serpent at a place he calls the Wyrmhole, baiting him out with a bull cut into quarters. The Wyrmhole is shamelessly based on a real place I visited in Ireland. (Though I saw fewer sea serpents.) Continue reading
Spoiler alert: Baldr dies.
Okay, seriously, there be spoilers ahead. Mythology nerds likely already know some of what goes down in The Songweaver’s Vow, but if you haven’t read it yet, I suggest you grab a copy and then come back for the background material. (Though to be perfectly fair, even knowing the base myth won’t give you a complete picture, so as long as you’re fully apprised of the spoiler-ific nature of this post….) Continue reading
So to start, we don’t know very much about Norse mythology.
Thor’s Fight With The Giants by Mårten Eskil Winge
Oh, sure, we have quite a lot of stories, and we’ve made them into quite a lot more stories. But we don’t really have a grasp of how old proto-Germanic religion functioned, how seriously people took these stories, and how these stories fit together.
The Songweaver’s Vow was a tough book to write, for a number of reasons. For one, this was the first time I was writing a story which wasn’t entirely mine and I had to follow a previously-defined plot, as the base story of The Songweaver’s Vow is a Greek legend. And Euthalia brought her Greek stories with her to Asgard, so this meant that I had two separate mythologies to blend while simultaneously trying to make the determined plot my own. It was like writing historical fiction which had to fit both our history and an alternate Earth history. Not gonna lie, it was a workout. Continue reading
I’ve loved kennings since I first learned what one was. My formal introduction, the first time I knew a kenning for what it was, was swan-road, a Norse kenning for the sea, and with that romantic imagery I was hooked.
A kenning is a figurative phrase to replace a more mundane noun, and they’re especially common and appreciated in older Norse and some Anglo-Saxon literature. To travel the swan road you would need a wave horse, or a ship. If you were telling Greek legends to entertain Norse gods, you might be a songweaver. /cough cough/
Basically, kennings are metaphors cranked to eleven. Continue reading
When you’re working with two full mythologies, there are a lot of tidbits to include that just don’t get the screen time for full explanations. There are a lot of these “Easter eggs” hidden in The Songweaver’s Vow, and I’ll have a whole pile of them to share — in March. (Yes, in March, because some of them would be spoilerific, and we don’t need to revisit exactly how I feel about spoilers, do we, hmmm?)
But here’s a snack to hold you over. Continue reading
So I’ve been chatting on social media this month about The Songweaver’s Vow, sharing tidbits for #WIPjoy. Right now I’m throat-deep in revisions, which is always a challenge but especially so with this book, as I did not write it linearly (start to finish, straight through).
I know a lot of writers who can write out of order. Apparently I am not one of them. These revisions are kicking my butt like… well, like Vikings trashing a fishing town. Continue reading
Common Ash (Fraxinus excelsior) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Just because a book is a fantasy does not mean it does not require research (and in fact often requires more). Right now I am writing about the plants and animals of Asgard, and I am working to make them as probable as possible.
How do we know what animals lived and what plants grew in a land that never was? We look at where the storytellers lived. The Danes who first told these stories likely based their creatures and plants on the more familiar specimens they knew. Continue reading
The top of the London School cenotaph by sculptor Matchett Herring Coe (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
It was a nearly-inconceivable tragedy.
The New London School explosion has gotten relatively little coverage over the decades, in part because the traumatized community did not want to be put on display — and this was before exploitative news camps hounding victims to supply 24-7 coverage, so they were better able to refuse. Rather, it’s reported that rescue organizers told journalists helpers were needed more than news reports and recruited their aid. But it’s one of the most significant disasters you’ve never heard of. Continue reading
Remember that research into sound and infrasound for a WIP (work in progress)? Well, it brought me more cool things than just earthquakes.
Check out this amazing video demonstrating how sound waves affect matter. It’s a bit mesmerizing. Continue reading
So Corvidae released yesterday, and today I thought I’d share some bonus content.
Twitter personality Magnus E. Magpie wrote short reviews of each story and poem included in Corvidae. You can find them all collected at editor Rhonda Parrish’s blog, so hop over and give them a browse.