Sunday, November 19, 2017

A Role for a Mountain Range?

I am staying in my apartment in Mystras, making casual day trips to visit old friends, new excavations,and generally renewing knowledge of the area's geography and overall feeling for the section of the new book that is told from Helen's point of view. Don't know now how these two disparate sections will fit together, especially since Aias and Helen had nothing to do with each other. beyond him being one of the crowd of suitors for her hand and property years before. But they seem to want to and, as long as we are all still moving toward the same ending (a rule: always write a book's ending first!), I'll let them for now. It might end up being two separate books, although so much has been written about Helen that yet another book about her would have to be extremely different from the general run... This day's travel in the Taygetos gave me some ideas, only half-formed or less for now.

One thing I know for sure: my love for the Taygetos has not diminished. That first sight of them as I drove over the last ridge and there they stood, immovable, implacable as always, asking nothing, offering nothing but simply themselves, was, as always, incredibly moving.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

But Why, You Might Ask...

... did the Trojans build their city wall to slant inward?  Any enemy could easily climb it.

But when you stand beside it, you understand. This, like Greece, is a land of earthquakes. A purely vertical wall can easily be shaken askew and broken under the force of those tremors, while a wall that leans against the earth will only settle and become stronger. The outer walls of Mycenae show multiple repairs, while this wall still stands solid.

And besides, you can't easily climb it. not only is it quite steep, but it was topped with a vertical addition several meters tall, at least.

In my book "Warrior" which is currently in process, Ajax encourages the damos - senior village heads - of Salamina to send a force with him to Troy, arguing that the Trojans are so foolish and lazy that they build their walls to lean inward, as if they are already surrendering. So how hard will it be to overrun the place?

Then he sees the wall himself, and understands.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017


Pulling a trigger, loosing an arrow, flattening a gas pedal --- they are equally scary and exciting. Joining those moments is the mouse click that posts a book for sale on Amazon.

(And no, dear Amazon, the clicker did NOT mean to find Kathryn Back!)

Then there is what follows, which includes postings to reader-specific sites such as Goodreads. And on Goodreads, a sort of lottery: offering five books as prizes in a random drawing that already, only ten hours later, already has fourteen people hoping for a copy of a totally unknown writer's first volume: