Okay, I didn’t realize the full extent of how hilarious that title was until I came back to it. But it’s accurate.
In August of 2004, I checked into a tiny motel in Hot Springs, Arkansas. Each of the dozen rooms was decorated with a different theme, and mine was Coca-Cola.
I was in Hot Springs for three weeks of Bailey & Bailey chicken training workshops. (This is a sort of litmus test — if you work in modern animal training, you probably responded with, “Oh! Wow, cool, what an opportunity!” If you don’t, you probably responded with, “…Wut?” Because this is the author blog and not the training blog, I’ll keep it short and say that Bob Bailey and his late wife Marian were, with Keller Breland and B.F. Skinner, some of the most important researchers and practical administrators of modern behavior science. The chicken training workshops were legendary, and I owe a huge debt of training success to their teaching.)
Last year at Realm Makers conference, I sat in a session with author Wayne Thomas Batson, in which he assigned us a writing exercise. I don’t remember exactly what the prompt was, something about tension, except that it had to be a scene with two people and we had to use two supplied, uncommon character names. (As I wrote in first person, my protagonist’s name is lost to my faulty memory. Ah, the sadness. Edit: Thanks to fellow attendee Andy for reminding me of Biff!)
This entry is part 9 of 9 in the series The Songweaver's Vow: Easter Eggs & Background
I just found this post in draft form, never published, and I thought since The Songweaver’s Vow is the March 2018 read for the Fellowship of Fantasy online book club (join us!), now would be a good time to add some more background. (Check out the rest of the posts in the series.) Plus, everyone likes to talk about Loki.
So, as you may have heard, my war unicorns Nova & Reaver won the Equus Battle Royal. While I totally played it cool, inside I was doing a Snoopy dance and singing something like this:
So, I’d promised that if Nova & Reaver went all the way, I would read you a snippet from an upcoming story. Since you got an excerpt of “Rue the Day” in the Equus battle, I decided to read something from a different story, but one that’s also coming soon. Continue reading
This entry is part 1 of 9 in the series The Songweaver's Vow: Easter Eggs & Background
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.)
This entry is part 3 of 9 in the series The Songweaver's Vow: Easter Eggs & Background
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….)
This entry is part 2 of 9 in the series The Songweaver's Vow: Easter Eggs & Background
So to start, we don’t know very much about Norse mythology.
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.
This entry is part 4 of 9 in the series The Songweaver's Vow: Easter Eggs & Background
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/