What I’m Reading – May 16, 2014

I’m right into the thick of plotting and building a really big novel. Consequently, there are a lot of non-fiction research titles plugging up my readers.

Let’s see:

The VikingsA Brief History of the Vikings: The Last Pagans or the First Modern Europeans?

Jonathan Clements

This is a great book for research, because it skims over the top of a sprawling, complex culture, giving you exactly the “cut to the chase” information you need.


English-Old Norse Dictionary

Compiled by Ross G. Arthur

I found this book freely available on-line. It’s not on Amazon. But it should be – it’s amazingly useful!


norse mythHandbook of Norse Mythology

John Lidow

Just one of the current references. The Norse gods were as numerous and in-bred as the Greeks and Romans gods were….


viking worldThe Viking World

Stefan Brink, Neil Price

Normal every-day Norse culture, rather than the childish antics of their gods….


one and futureThe Once and Future King

T.H. White

I’m listening to this one mostly on Audible, as I was offered the audio files cheap when I bought the book. I have an ancient print copy at home, that is falling apart – the glue has dried out and the pages fall out if you even look at them. Nevertheless, this is one of my well-thumbed favourites of all time.

So the audio book is a real treat – especially as the narrator has exactly the right rich English accent. He also does characterizations instead of just reading it. So Merlin sounds wise and measured, while Ector blusters. It’s marvellous.


rock your plotRock Your Plot: A Simple System for Plotting Your Novel

Cathy Yardley

It seems odd that after writing and releasing so many stories, I still don’t have a formalized system for outlining and plotting novels, but I really don’t. I think this is one of the last areas of unconscious effort left in my process of developing books. The method I’ve used to date to outline is very messy, organic and follow-my-nose.

I’ve read a lot of plotting how-to books lately, trying to find a formal process that suits me and matches my current ad-hoc system as closely as possible. Yardley’s is very close to how I work (it might help that she’s a fellow romance writer, too). I’m consciously formalizing my own process using her steps to fill in the gaps and give a structure to a process that didn’t have one. Much.


bra fittingDemystifying Bra Fitting and Construction

Norma Loehr

This is one of the two sewing how-to’s I’m currently flipping between. This one is research for upcoming garments. Lingerie construction — especially bras – is a new area for me and I’m easing into it.


tailoringTailoring: The Classic Guide to Sewing the Perfect Jacket

This is the other sewing how-to. It’s living on my tablet at the moment, permanently open. The tablet is living on my sewing table, and I consult the book for each step as I work through the current project.


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