Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Amber Waves of Curiosity, revised

For some reason my spell check did not work and I blithefully went ahead and posted anyway Please read the revised version instead, with corrections! My bad!

As Catherine so beautifully put it, my novel AMBER WAVES would make a great holiday gift. What more can a person want or get for under a buck?

In this book i have given you a smorgasbord of history. But, after all, history is a smorgasbord -- all you can eat,m choose what you want. One day I'm reading Carl Sagan;s COSMOS and come across the name Christiaan Huygens for the first time, and fall in love. Curious, I did deeper (to the point of visiting the Huygens summer house in Hofwijk, near Den Haag, in the Netherlands). On another trip to Holland, while visiting a good friend in Nijmegin, i happen on the ruin of Charlemagne's castle -- one of many castles he constructed throughout northwestern Europe so he could better monitor his kingdom. The encounter sparks memories from school, and those memories spark further interest. Another day I'm watching Brad Pitt as Achilles in the action adventure flick, TROY. Curious, I read Robert Graves' brief but both fascinating and entertaining account -- well, you get the point.

So this novel is my restaurant, my menu, my delights, selected from the so very many choices out there. One day you want Swedish meatballs, the next fried chicken. Or, in terms of the book, one day you want to hunt the Bull of Heaven with Gilgamesh and Enkidu, the next you crave a glimpse of Cleopatra in her bath.

This being a work of fiction, I am allowed a certain amount of license in what I present and how I present it. The fundamental facts cannot be changed. The characters ;iving through those facts -- and not always aware of how those facts will be remembered or why -- have greater freedom. What makes writing fiction so much fun is to set the characers free and let them tell me, the writer, what to say.

The truth is, no one really knows what happened back then, whenever then was. It's all our best guess. We learn new things about such people as Gilgamesh or the Frankish King all the time, revise our thinking, and press on./ We now know that Troy did exist, the Dark Ages were far from dark, and so-called golden ages pop up from time to time as a matter of course. As one of my former co-workers might say, "It's all good."

There just isn't time to learn it all.

So, Gentle Reader, if you become curios, even the tiniest bit, from my book or merely this brief discussion of my intent, make like an archaeologist and dig deeper!

Thanks for listening.

No comments:

Post a Comment