Sunday, October 30, 2016

A Message

I love Coldplay and one of these days I am going to do a whole post about them.  For today though, this is the perfect Sunday afternoon song.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Of Mice and Men

Image result for of mice and men

Of Mice and Men
John Steinbeck
Pascal Covici, 1937



I had to read Of Mice and Men for English class.  I must say, that while I typically enjoy reading books and analyzing them in English, I am not a huge fan of this book.

Of Mice and Men tells the story of Lennie and George, two vagabond workers who wander around California seeking work as laborers during the Great Depression.

The book describes George as a small and nimble man who knows his way around, is crass but caring, and very loyal.  Lennie is a large child-like man who has a mental delay which causes him to rely pretty heavily upon George's guidance.

The pair get a job working on a ranch where they meet several colorful characters including Curley, an insecure bully, Curley's wife, a suppressed ditz, Crooks, an African American who dreams of companionship, and Slim, an old man who has all but given up on life.

Image result for of mice and men characters
Pinterest

Lennie has a bad habit of touching things he shouldn't and getting overwhelmed when people panic.  After awhile getting to know the aforementioned characters, Lennie spends some time with Curley's wife during which he pets her soft hair.  She asks him to stop, and when he doesn't, she begins to panic.

Lennie gets confused and overwhelmed and eventually snaps her neck.

Curley goes after Lennie hoping to shoot him in the stomach so he can die a painful death in revenge for killing his wife.  Lennie runs away and hides down by the river.

George ends up shooting Lennie in the head doing him in quickly so that Curley can't kill him slowly.

First off, some cons.

I didn't particularly like the writing style or setting of the story.  I am not a fan of country-ish books, or books written to sound country-like, such as Mark Twain books, or even this one which took place during the Great Depression.  I don't know why, but it just bothers me when all the dialogue is just swearing and poor grammar.

Image result for great depression
Wikipedia

Anyway, I got over that, but I was bored throughout the book anyway.  The climax doesn't come until the very end of the book and the rest of the story is just hearing the background of these ranch hands who don't really push the story along too much.  This book is more an analysis of characters rather than a clearly motivated plot.

I didn't really care for the characters, either.  Sure I felt a little bad for all of them (except Curley) and wanted them to have a happy ending, but I just wasn't engaged.

This book didn't keep my attention, so I found myself kind of skimming for awhile, which may be why I don't really care that much about it.  Perhaps the book is not to blame, but I'm just a poor reader :/

Image result for skimming books gif
The Innocent Smiley

There are some good things to the book, though.

Even though I wasn't particularly invested in the characters, they are very realistic.  Maybe that's even the reason I wasn't that interested.  They are so realistic that I don't find them that intriguing.  If I'm surrounded by people just like them, why would I want to also read about them??  I dunno, again maybe this is my own problem not the books.

The book does have some good themes, and a very controversial ending.  Was George right in shooting Lennie?  I also liked all the symbolism, because symbolism is one of my favorite things to analyze.

Have you read Of Mice and Men?  What do you think of the ending?

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

The Magician's Nephew

Image result for the magician's nephew

The Magician's Nephew
C.S. Lewis
The Chronicles of Narnia
The Bodley Head, May 2nd 1955


The Magician's Nephew tells the story of Digory and Polly, two youngsters who accidentally interrupt Digory's Uncle Andrew in his study.  

Uncle Andrew tricks Polly into taking a magic ring he has been working on which causes Polly to vanish.  Digory takes a ring upon himself in order to find Polly and bring her back.

This is the first instance of Digory doing the right thing and going off to save Polly.  Throughout the story, Digory remains a character of high integrity and benevolence.

Digory and Polly find themselves in the Wood between Worlds where they can enter various pools to get to different universes.

They decide to explore and jump into one of the pools.  This was probably not a great decision on their part, but it works out in the end.

They first travel to a desolate and sad world called Charn which is full of ruined statues of former rulers and bears no life.  Also in Charn is a bell with a message asking any visitors to ring the bell.

Image result for charn
The Chronicles of Narnia Wiki - Wikia

Digory rings the bell, again, not a very good decision.  The primary problem it appears that Digory and Polly (but Digory in particular) have is that they are a bit too curious and meddlesome.

This decision does not end well, and awakens from statue form the witch, Jadis.  They learn that Jadis had killed everyone in Charn by speaking the Deplorable Word to avoid losing a battle (very cowardly of her).  She put herself in an enchanted sleep which would only end once someone rang the bell.  

Digory and Polly realize that this Jadis person is not very good, and try to get back to England.  Jadis follows them and grasps them just as they put on their rings.  She turns up in England where she attempts to take over the world by ordering Uncle Andrew to fetch a cab.

She robs a jewelry store and when confronted by crowds of people and the police, tries to fight them off with an iron rod (her magic doesn't work in England) but Polly and Digory grab her and put on their rings.  Jadis, Polly, Digory, the Cabbie Frank, and Uncle Andrew end up in the World between Worlds where they jump into a pool hoping it's Charn.  

Image result for world between worlds
The Chronicles of Narnia Wiki - Wikia

It turns out to be a new world, Narnia.  I like the name Narnia, because I am pretty sure the Sindarn word for "story" or "tale" is Narn.  That makes this land the Story-land, which is a pretty cool.  I wonder if C.S. Lewis borrowed this title from Tolkien's language, perhaps?

The witness Aslan the lion create the new world through song, another parallel with Tolkien's universe in which the Ainur sing the world into existence.

Jadis tries to kill Aslan but he throws her aside easily and her iron rod becomes a lamp post in Narnia.  Jadis runs away.

Aslan tells Digory he must make reparation for bringing Jadis and evil into Narnia.  He is sent to a garden to fetch an apple to bring back to Narnia.  In the garden he meets Jadis who tempts him to take the apple of immortality for himself and bring it back to save his dying mother.

Image result for aslan
Wikipedia

Obviously this story bears strong parallels with the story of Adam and Eve, accentuated by the fact that Narnians call boys Sons of Adam and girls Daughters of Eve.

Digory withstands the temptation, brings the apple and plants it in Narnia.  Aslan tells him he can get another apple for his mother.  Digory, Polly, and Uncle Andrew leave Narnia but Frank and his wife Helen stay behind to be the first king and queen.

Digory's apple cures his mother and he and Polly remain friends for life.  He plants the apple core and the rings in his yard and they grow into a large tree, which then blows down in a wind storm.  Digory makes the wood into a wardrobe which comes into play during The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe.

I thought this book was pretty good.  It is a little below my reading level, so I found myself a wee bit bored at times, but I think this is a great book for 10-11 years old.  I know there has been a lot of analysis done on the whole Chronicles of Narnia series, so I would encourage you to check that out.

Have you ever read The Magician's Nephew?  

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

A Few of my Favorite Things

I've been tagged by the Author of To Write or Not to Write!  Thank you!!

Ze rules:

1. Add the above picture to your post.
2. Acknowledge the person who tagged you.
3. Answer the questions. 
4. Tag a person, or multiple persons, or no persons. Whatever suits.


Ze questions:

Favorite book

Image result for the silmarillion
Amazon.com

Favorite animal


Image result for humpback whale
Humpback whale
Wikipedia

Favorite color


Image result for rainbow gif
AnimatedImages.org
Even though I know this will bother a certain Miss Baggins, my favorite color is white... 0.0

Favorite flower


Image result for hydrangea
Hydrangeas of any color
Symbolism Wiki - Wikia

Favorite language 


Image result for i love latin in latin
Love You Mr Arrogant Forever Quotes So Much Images

Favorite country 


Image result for vatican city
Probably.
Wikipedia

Favorite time period 


Image result for medieval times
Not the restaurant, the era.
Maple Leaf Tickets

Favorite historical ruler 


Image result for constantine
Constantine the Great?  Maybe?
Biography.com

Favorite number 


Image result for number 28
Free Numerology

Favorite beverage 


Image result for tea
Kingofwallpapers

Favorite finger


Image result for ring finger
The ring finger (on the left hand unlike in this picture)
KoreanClass101.com Blog

Favorite snack


Image result for pretzels
Kidzworld

Favorite season


Image result for autumn
Visit Finland

Favorite kind of clothing 


Image result for king arthur painting
Long dresses
BBC

Favorite music (particular songs, artists, or just in general)


 
Favorite time of day

Image result for sunset
www.landsofamerica.com

Favorite school(-ish) subject 


Image result for violin painting
Orchestra <3
Pinterest

Favorite spice


Image result for salt
Does salt count??
The Luxury Spot

Favorite superhero 


I don't know much about superheroes :/

Favorite anything of your choice....


Favorite Christmas Carol

Image result for veni veni emmanuel
Another Year of Insanity - Lutheran Church of Honolulu

I tag everyone who likes 80s music.  You've been tagged!!

Monday, October 24, 2016

J'ai Vaincu le Livre!

An Update on Le Livre


Yay, I finished the typescript of le livre, The Last Generation!!

I got all of the story typed up and I feel great about my progress.  Right when I finished, I happily pulled up my favorite word counting website to check on my vocab and predicted reading level.

It was then I realized I had only written 9,000 words which is not quite the length of a novel.  In fact, it doesn't even fit into the category of a novella.  It's only one step away from being a short story, and apparently is called a novelletta.  I didn't even know such a thing existed!

Frankly I'm just happy the word "novel" is at the beginning of that word.

Image result for novel novella novelette
Wikipedia

But anyway I realize I have to revise a ton.  I think the main thing my book needs is more character development.  As I was writing the first draft I was nervous that I would forget certain plot points I was coming up with on the fly, so I rushed ahead to those parts, often neglecting the character development parts.
But now I can rest easy knowing that no matter what happens, the book is safely on paper (well I haven't actually printed all of it, but it's safely in a Google Doc).  I can take my sweet time editing for character development and keeping things mysterious throughout.

The word counter didn't bring all bad news, however.  It revealed the story is still in the 9th-10th grade reading level which is perfect; exactly what I was going for.

Image result for 9th and 10th grade level books
SCCPSS

I was actually surprised to find this out, because the beginning of the book is written so much better and with much more finesse.  Like I said, I rushed to get to plot points before I forgot them for the other parts of the book so not only did character development suffer, but my writing voice kinda got thrown to the wayside as I focused on word vomiting things before I forgot them.

I know am convinced that there is no need for NaNoWriMo for me this year.  I am having no trouble getting motivated to write and I hope to ride the momentum I'm feeling right now straight through the tedious editing and revising process.  I can do it!

Image result for editing meme
MemeCaptain

My goal throughout this editing and revising process is to turn my book into the perfect specimen.  I like to compare my book to a human body.  Right now, it's just skin and bones with not much to make it look nice.  I need to add the muscle of character development and stronger themes in the coming weeks, and finally cover it with a layer of fat that makes it transition smoother, but not enough to make the story overweight and boring.

Finally I need to dress it up all fancy with pretty vocabulary words and quotable sentences.  Yay!

All you writers out there...what tips do you have for character development?  What order do you edit and revise by?

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Songs Stuck in my Head

I listen to these while I write, blog, draw, do homework, read, eat, and live in general.  Golly though, they are so catchy!!!


Sweet Victory



Final Countdown



Sound of Silence



Jessie's Girl



Africa



You're the Voice



Vivaldi's Seasons



Legend of Zelda 25th Anniversary Symphony



Can't Help Falling in Love



Don't Stop Believing



Eye of the Tiger



Living on a Prayer



Hallelujah


Saturday, October 22, 2016

Why Deadlines are Bad

If you've ever read a single goal-setting book, you know that deadlines are a huge part of making attainable goals.

Personally I use deadlines for all sorts of things: I want to finish my typescript by the end of the year, I want to be fluent in a foreign language at least by the time I'm 22, I want to be on the varsity tennis team by the time I'm a senior, etc.

But, deadlines are not always good.  I've learned this the hard way.

Image result for goals gif
What is the best way to reach a goal??

I am a very organized person.  I like everything to fit perfectly in little compartments and refuse to let things spill over.  I get very attached to deadlines--too attached.  If I fail one or get a little off track, I am liable to abandon it completely.

I used to be very compulsive about things, particularly cleaning my room.  Instead of just keeping my room routinely clean, I needed to completely empty it on a regular basis, clean it from top to bottom, and then put my stuff back in.  This was a very time consuming process, which meant I would wait until a significant occasion to actually do it...

...oftentimes this coincided with the beginning of school.  Over the summer I would think about how I wanted to improve in the school year: I want a clean room, to do my hair every day instead of just throwing it in a braid, to take very neat notes, etc.
Image result for perfection quote


The problem was that I wanted a deadline to match these goals.  I would push my goals to the start of the school year.  I would say to myself: don't start doing your hair nice until school starts, or don't worry about your handwriting until school starts.

The problem with this mentality is that it causes procrastination.  A much better idea is to get a head start on the things you want to change.  I've learned this very slowly, but I think I'm finally getting a better grasp on things.

Image result for procrastination meme
Self

There is no way that any deadline is magically going to make you better at something.  If you want to get into a routine, start today.  Don't wait until some milestone comes along--stop putting it off!  Don't be like me.

If you want to start learning a language, take the first steps today.  Don't wait until the New Year to make a resolution about it, just look up a book today and start working on it.  Make a plan, and run with it.

If you want to be on the varsity sports team as a senior, don't wait until senior try-outs to do your best.  Go out now and practice!

Alright there is my little rant about simple things you probably already knew about.  This is more like convincing myself that I need to get a head start on things rather than taking life on passively.

Carpe diem!


Image result for carpe diem photo
Go Overseas

Friday, October 21, 2016

How to Make a Romance Perfectly Frustrating

Everyone loves a good romance, right?  Whether you're into something classic like Pride and Prejudice, something a bit more atypical and mysterious like Jane Eyre, or a romance set in the background of a larger story like The Hunger Games, I feel like every fiction-lover has a special place for romance in their book heart.

My book heart <3



While I do love a happy ending like Pride and Prejudice, the masterful thing about that book is that it makes you work for the ending.  How boring that book would be if it was just about Lizzie and Darcy meeting and immediately falling in love!

I mean, as much as I love Mr. Bingley and Jane, their romance would make a much more dull book than Lizzie and Darcy's did.

I personally love a frustrating romance, one that has you rooting for the pair but not quite able to attain the end satisfaction of seeing them together.

A prime example of this in The Hunger Games.  Everyone loves Peeta, right? (If you're a Gale supporter leave now--just kidding ;)

Image result for katniss and peeta gif
PopSugar

You root for Peeta because he's nice and you can tell he really loves Katniss.  For this reason, you desperately want his relationship with her to work out.

Katniss, on the other hand, is indecisive and preoccupied which gets in the way.  Some times you hate Katniss for not seeing clearly that Peeta is the one for her, but you never give up on the two because of Peeta's unwavering affection.

If Peeta were as wishy-washy as Katniss, chances are I would have given up on the both of them and not cared if they ever found happiness.  But since I love Peeta, I wanted him and Katniss to work out and it caused me a great deal of frustration through the three books.

Image result for katniss and peeta kiss gif
Tumblr

So tip number one is:

Make your readers root for the relationship


If your readers simply don't care if the characters are happy, then they won't be invested in their relationship.  

This was basically what happened to me in Divergent.  I didn't like the characters of Four and Tris, so I couldn't care less if they were together or happy.  This caused the entire romance plot-line to fall short and since that was such a big part of the story, I found that I didn't really like the series that much. 

 It was decent, but with a better romance, I feel that it could have been great.

Image result for four and tris
Hypable

Set up realistic conflicts, both external and internal


If both your characters are likable but they are just not getting together for no apparent reason, it's going to frustrate your readers in a very real (and not good) way.  We're looking for frustration to lead to interest, not frustration to lead to despair and apathy.

You need actual, concrete reasons for your characters to not be getting together.

A good way to make sure you have a clear conflict is to make it external.  In The Hunger Games, Peeta and Katniss have a very real external force preventing them from initially being together, namely the fact that they are both pitted against each other in an only-one-person-can-be-victorious death match.  

Image result for happy hunger games
Tenor

This puts a bit of a block in the way of their relationship, and while it's frustrating to the reader that it is in the way, it is understandable.

You don't have to have something that extreme though, as long as you have a strong internal conflict preventing the union, like in Pride and Prejudice.  

There was nothing physically keeping Lizzie and Darcy apart, but they both had their...um, pride and prejudice....preventing them from getting together.  

Image result for lizzie and darcy gif

Leave your readers wanting more


You can do this to varying degrees, depending on how frustrated you want your readers to be.  I personally love to torture my readers by leaving my romances up to the imagination.

Pride and Prejudice has a fairly conclusive ending, with Lizzie and Mr. Darcy getting married, but it still leaves somethings open-ended to allow the readers to think for themselves.  What happens after they get married?  Are they happy forever?  

There is a whole TV show that takes place after the wedding called Death Comes to Pemberly.  If Jane Austen had just sealed the ending air-tight no one would have spent that extra time thinking about her characters and what happened to them.

Image result for death comes to pemberley
JUNE H. - WordPress.com

In my novel, (I don't want to give much away so I'm going to be extremely vague) I am hoping to drop hints along the way that the characters are going to get together, but it doesn't happen until the very end when one of the characters is erm...incapacitated...and they don't actually get the chance to be together.  

My hope is that readers will be satisfied that the two characters revealed their feelings at the end, but also I'm leaving things open by not allowing the characters to completely be happy.  This was a very horrible description of what I'm doing, but it basically summarizes my intention.

Image result for lizzie and darcy gif

The above gif represents one of the greatest scenes in Pride and Prejudice (2005).  Darcy and Lizzie fight and towards the end it seems like they are about to kiss, and Darcy leans in.  

Closer...closer...closer!  And then suddenly it breaks off and he leaves.

This is the ultimate crushing moment for and P&P fan.  They were so close!  It makes the watcher want more, for sure.

So how are you going to make the romance in your next novel dramatic, suspenseful, and just a wee bit frustrating?

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Word Wednesday: 10 Words I Love

I think I'm going to start a series of posts about words, their origins, unique words, and words I like or dislike.  These will go up on Wednesdays, but not necessarily every Wednesday.

I'm a regular logophile so I decided to compile a list of some of the words I love.  There are so many that I can't get them all in one list, but here are just a few.  I'm going to put the definition of the word that I like most, but I will link you to the OED page (not the Webster dictionary or Dictionary.com page of course!  Sometime, I should explain why I strongly dislike those dictionaries and only trust the OED...)



Incandescent - Full of strong emotion; passionate.


Origin
Late 18th century: from French, from Latin incandescent- glowing, from the verb incandescere, from in- (expressing intensive force) + candescere become white (from candidus white).

I blame Pride and Prejudice for this.  And of course I love Anglo-Norman words, so the fact that this is derived from French makes it tres fantastique et magnifique!

Image result for incandescently pride and prejudice
Pinterest


Chivalry - The combination of qualities expected of an ideal knight, namely courage, honour, courtesy, justice, and a readiness to help the weak.


Origin
Middle English: from Old French chevalerie, from medieval Latin caballerius, for late Latin caballarius horseman (see chevalier).

Before even the definition of this word, I just love the way it sounds!  French is such a beautiful language and I love when beloved English borrows from it (obviously).  Shi-val-or-ree...it's just music to my ears!  

This word also has a positive connotation for me, because I absolutely love medieval romances and quest stories.  This word makes me think of Percival and Galahad, and thank goodness I'm not an extreme feminist who obsesses about men doing nice things for them.  Yay, I can enjoy this word!!  

Image result for medieval knight meme
Keyword Suggestions

Essential - Absolutely necessary; extremely important.


In addition to liking the "sh" sound, I also like the sound "tial" which really sounds more like "chahl".  


Omniscience - The state of knowing everything.

I like how this word sounds and also I find it such an odd word.  What a concept: knowing everything.


Valiant - Possessing or showing courage or determination.


Origin
Middle English (also in the sense ‘robust, well-built’): from Old French vailant, based on Latin valere be strong.

This word remembers just how much I love Latin.  Also this brings me back to my love for medieval romances.  This is definitely one of my favorite adjectives of all time.

Image result for deeds shall not be less valiant because they are unpraised

Noble - Having or showing fine personal qualities or high moral principles.

In my mind this word and valiant go hand in hand.  I think valiant may be my favorite of the two only because I sometimes associate noble with the noun meaning the king's nobles in charge of land and serfs.  Nobles were not always...erm...the greatest, so it puts a bit of a damper on the word for me.


Maiden - An unmarried girl or young woman.

Maidens are always the most pure and respected women in ancient (especially medieval) literature, so I associate this word with good characters like Percival's sister and the Virgin Mary.

Image result for fair maiden in tower painting
Pinterest


Fair - Beautiful.

This is similar to my feeling for the word maiden--I associate it with good characters which makes me think of this word in a positive light.

Sonata - A composition for an instrumental soloist, often with a piano accompaniment, typically in several movements with one or more in sonata form.

There are so many beautiful musical words: glissando, concerto, nocturne, requiem, etc. but I had to decide on one.  Another one of my favorite words is sonnet, and this word encompasses both of the phonetic aspects I like about both musical words and the word sonnet.



Cloak - A sleeveless outdoor overgarment that hangs loosely from the shoulders.

Cloaks just scream adventure and mystery, in my opinion.  The dramatic pull of a cloak means a great story is afoot!

What are some of your favorite words?  Leave a suggestion for next Word Wednesday in the comments!

Monday, October 17, 2016

Can't Help Falling in Love

Emily and I preform our cover of Elvis' famous song, Can't Help Falling in Love.

Emily is on the viola and I am playing the piano.

Emily came home from college for a day and we quickly hammered out this performance, we hope you enjoy!

Mobile viewers may not be able to see the video so I recommend watching via PC.

video

Thursday, October 13, 2016

The History of the Medieval World Book Review

Image result for the history of the medieval world
amazon.com
The History of the Medieval World is a history book written by Susan Wise Bauer which covers the time between the Conversion of Constantine (312 A.D.) to the First Crusade (1095 A.D.).  

The first thing that struck me about this book was how good the writing is.  It is very concise and specific yet not too cumbersome or overburdened with complicated and pretentious vocabulary.

I also liked it because it covered history from all over the globe--Asia, Europe, and the Americas.  I suppose the only place rarely mentioned was Southern Africa which didn't really have much official history to speak of.

I'm always very cautious when reading history because I like to think I'm rather perceptive when it comes to bias or prejudice.  This book seemed very straightforward and unbiased.  I found this very refreshing, especially when it came to the coverage of the Crusades which are almost always saturated with bias.   I was happy to just get the facts right up front.

There are also helpful little timelines included in the book which I liked--they listed rulers and dates which was helpful since so many were mentioned throughout the course of the story.

I also appreciated the chapter lengths which were not too long and were very manageable.  They allowed a bit of time to digest what you had read rather than launching into a very long tangent like so many other historical books do.

I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in the medieval times, and it's very accessible, so even if you're not a fan of the particular era, give it a read because it offers all the general information you need to know about the time.

The other thing is that it highlights very important events, but provides enough details to make the time come alive.  Oftentimes books will be too heavy with inconsequential details which makes them difficult to read.  Other times books leave out too many things and what they're saying seems too abstract.  I think this found the perfect balance between that line.

Image result for byzantine empire
Britannica.com


Table of Contents
  • Unity: 
    • One empire, under God 
    • Seeking the mandate of Heaven 
    • An empire of the mind 
    • The Persian threat 
    • The apostate
    • Earthquake and invasion 
    • Refounding the Kingdom  
    • The Catholic church
  • Fractures: 
    • Excommunicated 
    • Cracked in two 
    • The sack of Rome 
    • One nature versus two 
    • Seeking a homeland 
    • The Gupta decline 
    • Northern ambitions 
    • The Huns 
    • Attila 
    • Orthodoxy 
    • The high kings  
    • The end of the Roman myth
  • New powers: 
    • The Ostrogoths 
    • Byzantium 
    • Aspirations 
    • Resentment 
    • Elected Kings 
    • Invasion and eruption 
    • The Americas 
    • Great and holy majesty  
    • Pestilence 
    • The heavenly sovereign 
    • Reunification 
    • The South Indian kings 
    • Two emperors 
    • The mayors of the palaces
    • Gregory the Great 
    • The Persian crusade 
    • The prophet 
    • Tang dominance 
    • The tribe of faith 
    • Intersection 
    • The troubles of empire
  • States and kingdoms: 
    • Law and language  
    • Creating the past 
    • The days of the empress 
    • Paths into Europe 
    • The Kailasa of the South 
    • Purifications 
    • The Abbasids 
    • Charlemagne 
    • The An Lushan rebellion 
    • Imperator et Augustus 
    • The new Sennacherib 
    • Castle lords and regents 
    • The triumph of the outsiders 
    • The third dynasty 
    • The Vikings 
    • Long-lived kings 
    • Foreign and domestic relations 
    • The second caliphate 
    • The great army of the Vikings
    • Struggle for the iron crown 
    • Kampaku 
    • Basileus 
    • The creation of Normandy 
    • The kingdom of Germany 
    • The turn of the wheel 
    • The capture of Baghdad 
    • Three kingdoms 
    • Kings of England 
    • The baptism of the Rus
  • Crusades: 
    • The holy Roman emperor  
    • The hardship of sacred war 
    • Basil the Bulgar-slayer 
    • Defending the mandate 
    • The new found land 
    • Schism 
    • Danish domination 
    • The Norman conquest 
    • The kings of Spain 
    • The arrival of the Turks 
    • The loss of the song
    • Repentance at Canossa 
    • The call 
    • Fighting for Jerusalem 
    • Aftershocks

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Did You Know...Medieval Edition

Did you know...

The term "peasant" was not used in England until at least the 15th century.  It is, in fact, a French word based off paisent meaning "country dweller"

30 locals and 60 students from Oxford University were killed during a brawl in 1355 fought over the quality of a local tavern's drinks

The existence of witches and witchcraft was denied by mainstream Christianity as Pagan superstition and only became a popular belief in the 1400s

Image result for monty python witch gif
movie quotes

Long-toed shoes were fashionable for men but made it very hard for them to run

"Mob football" or soccer played with a pig bladder was banned in England circa 1314 by the king because it was too violent

"Blood of porpoise" was listed as an ingredient in a certain 14th century cook book called The Form of Cury(e)

Image result for porpoise
Katie's Marine Bio Page

Every male in England was forced to practice archery for two hours every Sunday by King Edward III

A few mice were once publicly tried for contributing to crop failure, convicted, and sentenced

Some products used to make bread would mold over time and could cause symptoms similar to taking LSD and death

In the 1390s men would sometimes wear corsets

There are a few known cases of pigs eating children in the Middle Ages

Image result for pigs
Sesen Farm
Source: The Middle Ages Unlocked: A Guide to Life in Medieval England, 1050–1300