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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

SONG FOR A SWORDS WOMAN

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In writing my novel DRAGONS IN THE SKY  because it is a Celtic tale I'm using some bardic verse in place of regular chapter segments which I call 'stanzas' .  Here's an example of one:




SONG FOR A SWORDS WOMAN

 

Stanza One

                   Who is she who comes riding,

                   Wearing ermine skins and hawk feathers

                   in her thick tresses?

                   Who is she who rides through the sedge,

                   A graceful huntress queen?

                   Sure-footed is her pony

                   Sharp-pointed is her spear

                   Leaf-shaped are her arrow-heads

                   Her bow is supple, made from a yew bough.

                   She rides, stately and proud

                   A wild-eyed warrior queen.

                   Who is she who comes riding

                   On the spirited chestnut mare?

                   Who is this bronze-cheeked swords woman

                   With hawk feathers in her hair?

 

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

INTRODUCING PHILIP

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PELLA
 
 
I have just introduced Olwen to Pella. The first couple of chapters set in the Macedonian royal city have gone fairly smoothly. She has been rescued by the young Alexander and put in the care of a court physician, Theon, on a farm in the north.  But Alexander wants them to come the Pella before winter sets in, so they have arrived there and Olwen is introduced to Macedonian royal life. Quite a stretch of imagination for her after her months of wandering as Sholto's 'hostage', far away from her Celtic home on the Salisbury Plain.
 
 


ALEXANDER, a bust from Pella, aged about 15
 
This is the Alexander who rescues Olwen from her captor. He is fifteen at this time, and soon his life will take a drastic change, just as Olwen's has. 
 
She has already had one encounter with his mother, Olympias, and has been warned.  Now she's going to meet his father, Philip, who has been away in Thessaly.  This is the chapter I'm starting now and having a little bit of trouble setting it up just right. I'm finding it a bit more difficult writing this first-person totally fiction story than I did Shadow of the Lion which was based on an actual historic plot. Dragons in the Sky has a particular cadence and it is strictly in Olwen's point of view, so a bit more restricted than third person. So far, I've managed to capture her voice and my critique group is very enthusiastic about this story. 
 
I'm sure I'll find my way around this chapter, introducing Philip who is an interesting character to say the least. I'll also be introducing Olwen to the family dynamics between Olympias/Alexander/Philip. That should be quite a fascinating experience for her. 
 
KING PHILIP of MACEDON

Artist's reconstruction of Philip's face from the skeleton found in his tomb. Notice the scarred right eye. Quite a formidable fellow!