Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Meyers-Briggs Were (Was?) Onto Something

I often recommend that writers who have trouble building an interesting and complete fictional character trot that person through the Meyers-Briggs personality assessment. I just did that for Peryton's protagonist and this is no surprise: Akhaides is an ISTJ, a Logistician. Perfect!

Logistician (ISTJ) personality

"When Logisticians say they are going to get something done, they do it, meeting their obligations no matter the personal cost, and they are baffled by people who don’t hold their own word in the same respect." Totally true for him.

Monday, January 15, 2018

Sailing into the Wind

I used to sail a Sunfish around Baltimore harbor and the Chesapeake Bay, but now I'm spending entertaining hours learning about how to sail square-rigged ships, such as were used all over the Mediterranean before the Arabs invented lateens.

It is common belief that a square-rigged ship can only be sailed with the wind. But that's not totally true. While no sailing boat can sail directly into the wind, and lateen sales allow much closer upwind travel, a square-rigged ship CAN move forward into an angled wind - not efficiently and maybe no faster than walking - or swimming - but it can do it. It's tacking, just far more broadly than is necessary in a lateen-rigged boat. The limit appears to be at more than 45 degrees in a boat with a deep enough keel to keep it from sliding too much sideways.Image result for minoan ship

Mycenaean ships had modest keels, but they did use ballast (or else put the heaviest trade goods in the bottom of the boat), and had pointed underwater prows. Like Viking ships, that also used only square sails, they were also lapstraked, yet another feature that would encourage forward motion.

So yes, the Greeks could have sailed to Troy in any season, but the spring winds, blowing from the southwest, would have made it far easier.

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

The Chickens Have ... Hatched?

All four parts of 'Peryton' - the saga of Bronze Age Greece as it teetered on the edge of collapse - are safely in that massive electron universe we call Amazon. Both paperbacks and ebooks are either available now or will be within 24 hours, and I was able to keep the pricing even, even though the books are of different lengths. Ta da! Now the rain is gone, the sun is shining on Panonas, and I'm going out to breathe some lovely Greek air!