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Archive for July, 2012

Hi Friends,

I just uploaded my new Lady Blade Website. (Now I remember why I hated doing web design. Sure, the design part is fun, but  the coding…erkkk! It makes me want to rip my hair out. Where else can you spend two days trying to move a page over a 1/16th of an inch – and still fail!)

Anywho, take a look, www.ladyblade.com

I can’t wait to get back to writing. It’s so much simpler. You watch a movie in your head and write down what you see. Piece of cake. (Now the rewriting… we won’t get into that.)

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From the Dictionary of Nautical, University, Gypsy and Other Vulgar Tongues

Bacon: “to save one’s bacon,” to escape.

 

(Now whenever someone saves your bacon you’ll know people have been doing that for over three hundred years!)

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From the Dictionary of Nautical, University, Gypsy and Other Vulgar Tongues

Ballyrag: to scold vehemently, to swindle one out of his money by intimidation and sheer abuse, as alleged in the late cab case (Evans v. Robinson).

 

 

(Yikes! I wonder who won the court case…)

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From the Dictionary of Nautical, University, Gypsy and Other Vulgar Tongues

Back Jump: a back window.

 

(Guess we know what back windows were used for…)

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From the Dictionary of Nautical, University, Gypsy and Other Vulgar Tongues

All-There: in strict fashion, first-rate, “up to the mark;” a vulgar person would speak of a spruce, showily-dressed female as being All-There. An artisan would use the same phrase to express the capabilities of a skillful fellow workman.

 

 

(I’ll have to work on being All-There.)

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From the Dictionary of Nautical, University, Gypsy and Other Vulgar Tongues

Cakey-Pannumfencer: a man who sells street pastry.

 

 

(Now there’s a yummy mouthful.)

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English: Rapier

English: Rapier (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Swords come in many different sizes and shapes, from the curved scimitar to the two-handed claymore. A rapier is a slender, sharply pointed sword ideally used for thrusting attacks.  A rapier usually weighs under two pounds where a two-handed broadsword can weigh upwards of six. That makes the rapier a quick, agile weapon that won’t tire its user.

The modern sport and competitive fencing weapons the epee and the foil are based upon the rapier – without the sharp bits.

I fenced foil for over a decade and occasionally during class, our maestro, John DeCesare, would twirl his handlebar mustache and we all knew a story was coming. One of his favorites was about the development of the rapier. I can’t verify the accuracy, but I like it:

Back in the day (the 1600s), Spanish operas were held out-of-doors in the hot sun and were a day long event. The peasants would bring their lunches and a bottle of wine and sit comfortably in the shade watching. But the poor actors on stage, dressed up in their heavily layered costumes and slathered in makeup, had to lug around six-pound broadswords as they sang,  swaggered, and acted. By the end of the show they were sweaty and exhausted.

So one of the actors went to the local swordsmith and asked for a blade just for show. He wanted one that was lightweight and wouldn’t tire him out on stage. After all, he didn’t actually need to use the weapon, he only needed to wave it around. The swordsmith happily made the requested weapon, and the actor wore it for his next performance.

Well, some of the spectators saw the advantages of a lightweight weapon and pretty soon people who weren’t actors showed up at the swordsmith requesting a similar blade. They called it an espada ropera or an opera blade. As the weapon gained in popularity and passed from country to country it became known as a rapier.

 

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From the Dictionary of Nautical, University, Gypsy and Other Vulgar Tongues

Cag-Mag or Gag-Mag: bad food, scraps, odds and ends; or that which no one could relish. Grose gives Cagg Maggs: old and tough Lincolnshire geese, sent to London to feast the poor cockneys.

 

(Huh, certainly sounds like what it means. You wouldn’t catch me eating cag-mag and especially not gag-mag.)

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From the Dictionary of Nautical, University, Gypsy and Other Vulgar Tongues

All My Eye: answer of astonishment to an improbable story; All My Eye and Betty Martin, a vulgar phrase with similar meaning, said to the be the commencement of a Popish prayer to St. Martin, “Oh mihi beate Martine,” and fallen into discredit at the Reformation.

 

(Hey, that’s the problem with definitions that were written in 1860. You need a definition of the definition.)

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There are an infinite number of ways to get from point A to point B. Never is this truth more blatant to me than when I’m working on a new novel.

 My new work, (cleverly titled Lady Blade Sequel at this point) has a specific staring point – point A, where the last book ended. That was predetermined. I also know where I want Francesca to wind up. (But I’m not telling.) In between – where I am now – is that overwhelming infinity.

 I suppose a clever and efficient writer would plot it all out on a graph, drop in the needed plot points in the correct places, and determine, if not the most direct line between A and B, the most effective in terms of plot and character.

 Sigh. I suppose I shall have to do that soon enough. But for now I’m enjoying letting my subconscious slosh and swim in the infinite possibilities in between. Every time my subconscious comes up for breath it brings along a new and exciting idea – or a stupid one. This is my favorite spot in writing. The rest is all just narrowing down the infinity.

 Here are some of the books I’m reading as research for the sequel – and to add to the Sea of Infinite Possibilities:

 Seven Myths of the Spanish Conquest
Matthew Restall

Invading Colombia
J. Micheal Francis

The Women of Colonial Latin America
Susan Migden Socolow

Pre-Colombian Civilizations: The People and Culture of Southern America (Inca, Moche, Musica, and More)
Edited by Beatriz Scaglia

Women in the Inquisition: Spain and the New World
Edited by Mary E Giles

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