Showing posts from 2019

The Romanovs Part 6: After Life

There is a truck driving around the woods outside of Yekaterinburg, carrying the sheet-wrapped bodies of eleven brutally murdered victims. The truck is heading toward the Koptyaki woods, where Yurovsky had earlier identified disused mineshafts that might work as a gravesite. But the truck breaks down.

Another gang of men wait in the woods for them. Turns out there's only one shovel amongst them.
Yurovsky dismissed the majority of the men. The victims were stripped--this is when the jewels sewn into underwear, corsets, hats and other items were discovered--disfigured, dumped into the mineshaft, and doused with sulphuric acid. Their clothing was burned.
But Yurovsky realized the mineshaft wasn't deep enough. The men tried to grenade the mineshaft into collapsing, but it still wasn't good enough.
The murder of the Romanov family and their loyal retainers is so messy that yeah, you could almost believe that one of the children, wounded and injured but still breathing, could ha…

Introducing Fuckbois of Literature: A New Podcast

Hello gang! Today I am bringing you a repeat guest and Friend to The Blog, Emily Edwards, who you all may remember from previous guest posts here as the author of Collecting the Constellations and Pursue The Unknown End. Emily is now launching a new creative endeavor--a podcast called Fuckbois of Literature--so I had to ask her about it.

Have a listen to the introduction here:

1. Fuckbois of Literature is an irreverant, hilarious deep dive into the problematic characters in literature. Where the heck did this idea come from?

A few months back, a comedian named Sara Benincasa asked her followers, "If you could murder anyone from literature, who would you kill?" It's morbid and macabre, but without hesitation, I responded back with JANE EYRE, because, you know, she's awful. She married someone after he locked his first wife in the attic! I thought nothing of the response, but the tweet– both Sara's and mine– went viral, and I woke up to hundreds of replies. People …

IWSG: March

It is the first Wednesday in March, so it is time for the IWSG post! Check out the group here.The awesome co-hosts for the March 6 posting of the IWSG areFundy Blue,Beverly Stowe McClure,Erika Beebe,andLisa Buie-Collard!

As I don't really have any writing news to share, secure or insecure, let's go to the monthly question!
Whose perspective do you like to write from best, the hero (protagonist) or the villain (antagonist)? And why?
I don't know if I've ever written a story with a proper villain. I feel like a lot of my characters are more fighting against societal things or circumstances than merely one person. So I guess I tend to write from a protagonist's point of view. I don't really like to read books in an antagonist's point of view either. I think they can be deeply interesting and I don't mind watching movies or TV with anti-heroes or villains (hellooo, Breaking Bad!) but reading is a much more personal experience and there are simply things I don…

Music Boxes by Tonja Drecker

Today's a really cool day, everyone! My writing friend Tonja Drecker is releasing a book!

Music Boxes By Tonja Drecker Middle Grade Fantasy / Performing Arts 158 pages Dancing Lemur Press Release date: March 5th, 2019 Ages 9 to 12
·ISBN-10: 1939844568 ·ISBN-13: 978-1939844569

Book Blurb:
“I only desire your talent...”

Twelve-year-old Lindsey McKay's biggest dream is to be a famous ballerina. But after moving to New York, she ends up at the Community Center with a teacher who’s a burly bear in tights.
When she meets Madame DestinĂ©e, the teacher of a top dance school who offers her classes for free, Lindsey can't believe her luck. In exchange, she must perform in the school’s exclusive midnight shows, ones sure to make her a star. But something’s not right...
One by one, the other dancers disappear. Each time they do, a music box with a figurine just like the missing ballerina joins Madame DestinĂ©e’s growing collection. If Lindsey doesn’t discover the truth about the dance school, she mig…

Romanovs Part 5: Yekaterinburg

Warning: bad stuff happens in this installment.

Nicholas II, Alexandra, Maria, and their servants are on their way to Tyumen to get on the railway. The fastest way to get to Moscow from Tyumen was to ride the train west, but that would take them through Yekaterinburg, a large city in the Urals, full of communists. The Ural Soviets were based in Yekaterinburg and they were baying for the Romanovs.

Yakovlev opted to take the railroad east to Omsk, there to transfer to a westbound train and bypass Yekaterinburg. But since Yakovlev's intentions remain sketchy to this day, nobody actually knows if he intended to bring the family to Moscow or to escape to Japan or to do what actually happened:

The Omsk Soviet handed the Romanovs over to the Ural Soviet. Four days later, on April 30th, the Romanovs arrived in Yekaterinburg. After a thorough inspection--Maria wrote to her siblings back in Tobolsk that the soldiers rifled through everything even "the candy" and "the medicine…

Romanovs Part 4: The Winter of 1917 to 1918

The Romanovs are in Tobolsk, in a remote part of Siberia. They aren't allowed to walk about the town on their own and are usually confined to a fenced-off portion next to the house. They are allowed to venture under guard to church, though.

Because Tobolsk was so remote, it took a few weeks for the news of the Bolshevik coup to reach them--especially since it was winter and the river nearby was frozen. According to Sydney Gibbes, the childrens' English tutor, Nicholas was "depressed" after hearing the news of the Communist uprising. If he had any sense that he and his family's safety was in danger, we don't really know. Nicholas's diary from 1917 has been published but it's not particularly interesting or illuminating.

But just because the Bolsheviks had overthrown the Provisional Government didn't mean they had total charge of Russia--there were factions that supported the tsar or at least the Provisional Government and they were gathering and fi…

Romanovs Part 3: House Arrest and Tobolsk

Last time on the Romanovs...

Nicholas II, former Tsar of all the Russias, has abdicated and finally arrives home to the Alexander Palace.
Nicholas returned home to be placed under house arrest.
No longer the tsar, he was addressed as "Colonel Romanov" or
"Citizen Romanov."

There were guards stationed all over the palace, though the family was allowed to live fairly normally--the children's tutors had stayed on, so they were kept busy--there were still servants around--but their movements were restricted. Alexandra could not sit on her balcony. After a while, her visits to church were curtailed.

On the advice of her friend Lil Dehn, who was in the palace with the family, Alexandra had been burning her diaries and some of her correspondence, especially her letters with her father and brother, since the Provisional Government was suspicious that Alexandra was pro-German and had been committing treason against Russia.

Kerensky, leader of the Provisional Government,…

Happy 10th Birthday, blog!

I cannot believe it's been ten years since I essentially pulled an all-nighter, made an account on Blogger, and wrote my first blog post. At the time, I just wanted a central Internet place to post a story I was working on so my friends could read it at the same time. That was it.

Happy 10th Birthday to the blog!!




In 2009...
-Blogging was pretty popular
-Twitter was brand new
-Oh hey, YouTube! Vlogging? Like a video diary? Huh. Interesting.
-Kindles and other ebooks were also still fairly new
-Publishing was supposed to sink into a hole and die as an industry (I was about two months out of publishing grad school when I started this blog and literally, that's all we kept hearing in grad school)

In 2019.... -Blogging is not as popular. It's been replaced by podcasts, Tweeting, Snapchat, more YouTube videos, and yelling at a robot in your house who is collecting all of your information and your conversations so it can kill you in the night
-Twitter …

A Plot Bunneh Question

Guys, I have a quick question:

Okay, so as stated in a past post Stately, Country English Houses, part of my latest Plot Bunny involves a smallish country house built in the Victorian era. The house belonged to an old woman, who inherited it from her parents. Now, the old woman's family is trying to decide what to do with the house. Do they try to build up a case to get it listed in the register of historical buildings? It's not old enough to be automatically listed, so they need to show it has historical significance.

Or maybe they'll turn it into a business venue or some type. Either way, the task is left to my contemporary hero, Liam, a half-Irish, half-English thirtysomething year old man. This is his mother's family, the side he's not very close to, having been raised in Ireland by his dad after his parents divorced. Liam has always perceived his mum's side as being secretive, but when asked by Mum to help clean the house up and hire an architect, a decora…

IWSG February 6th

It's time for IWSG Wednesday. The Insecure Writer's Support Group posts their writerly insecurities out to the world every first Wednesday of month! Check out the group here.

February's question is:

Besides writing, what other creative outlets do you have?

Writing is my main creative outlet. Sometimes, I think it's my only creative outlet since I can't draw, can't dance and can't sing on key.

But then there's blogging, which is writing, but wayyy looser, at least for me. I've never kept a regular schedule on the blog nor have I only stuck to a narrow set of topics 'cause I'm a rule breaker like that.

I like to cook and bake--I don't cook as often as I'd like and my cooking skills are still fairly limited--as is the size of my kitchen--but I do enjoy both when I do them.

Sometimes I like to scrapbook. I have a stamp collection my grandmother left me and just last week, my mom and I decided to make a little collage with some of the st…

Romanovs Part 2

Part Two of my Romanov-related blog posts!

1915: Nicholas II is at military headquarters, commanding the Russian army. He's left his wife Alexandra in charge of the governing of the empire. Alexandra hates Nicholas's ministers, appoints her own ministers (at the advice of Rasputin), and the extended Romanov family pick representatives to approach the emperor and empress to give them interventions in the whole matter of Grigori Rasputin--and the peril they thought the country was in. There were cousins planning coups, for goodness' sake. 
Mind you, this is going on while the Russian army is cannon fodder in WWI and unrest is churning at home. 
On December 30, 1916, Rasputin was invited to the Yusupov Palace, home of Prince Felix Yusupov, husband of Tsar Nicholas's niece. Also, Prince Felix is ridonculously rich. Richer than the Romanovs kind of rich. 
Anyway. Felix has Rasputin over. Felix and several other men are there, including Grand Duke Dmitri Pavlovich Romanov, a…