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Awards, Wicked Deeds, & Medieval Heroines

It's been a busy May/June transition here. After a jaw-droppingly amazing visit to WisCon in Madison, I was home in Chapel Hill for about 36 hours before departing immediately for Chicago for work. I just checked my fitness app and I've walked about 30 miles since last Wednesday when I arrived. 

This week, however, marks Frost & Filigree's first anniversary! Masks & Malevolence will drop this July, and Rock Revival soon after. So while it may seem like things have been a little slow for the first half of the year publication-wise, I promise you'll be sick of me by the year's end.

AND THEN... I got some really awesome news! It turns out Frost & Filigree is also a finalist for the Manly Wade Wellman Award! Even better, I'm with some incredible company, including John Hartness, Mur Lafferty, Gail Z. Martin, and Darin Kennedy. 

The Reading Situation 

I have a 6th sense when it comes to geeky stores, and there happens to be a great comic book shop not far from my hotel here in Chicago. I've found that I really enjoy omnibuses, and so after hearing it mentioned a few times at WisCon, picked up the series The Wicked and the Divine. It's got reincarnated gods (a theme I'm quite fond of) as well as pop music. And gorgeous art. I stayed up later than I should have reading the first volume.


On the Record

I fell in love with Neko Case a long time ago, and not just because she's a phenomenal songwriter. My favorite album is Middle Cyclone, and on the cover, she's standing on a classic car and wielding a sword. Her newest album is Hell-on. And I can't tell if it's an homage to Helen of Troy and her hair is burning because she's Lavinia or if I've just read too much Classical fiction lately.


Not everything is terrible news!

The LA Times put together a great list (with some beautiful pictures) of new species. Including this great ape. 
“People who deny the existence of dragons are often eaten by dragons. From within.”

Ursula K. LeGuin 
“Never love anyone who treats you like you're ordinary.”

Oscar Wilde
"Everything just seems to take so much time. I don't know why. Time… evaporates."

Kate Bush

Medieval Meanderings

I ended up on a very long detour while in Madison. A detour through manuscripts. I started out a St. Katherine's docks, turned right at Phillippa of Hainault, went on a Jean Froissard path and then found some of these incredible images from an illustrated manuscript of De Mulierbus Claris by Giovanni Boccaccio (who's best known for his book The Decameron). The images are decidedly pale and pasty in terms of race (the one in the boat is ISIS, oh, my...) the emotion and composition of the images just struck me as so gorgeous I wanted to share. They are Jocasta (top left), Lavinia (top right), Gorgone (bottom left), and Isis (bottom right). You can see the entire manuscript online here. It dates from the about 1360.

What I'm Writing This Week

I've been chipping away on Masks & Malevolence and have made some really good progress. Almost 1/4 of the way through. Or 1/5, because it's rare that my novellas manage less than 50,000 words. 

“Ophaniel will likely visit later this evening,” Nerissa said, double checking her watch. It conveniently displays the phases of the moon. A few years ago she would have shunned such a piece of technology, but being the guardian of an angel means she has to work within her limitations. “But you still have time.”

“He has the strangest eyes,” Micheaux says, encircling his own with long, bony fingers. “Micheaux gets the feeling the angel is looking through him when he comes into view. Like a window and not a being.”

“You likely don’t have a soul,” says Nerissa. “It’s probably confusing for him.”

“Micheaux likes to think that he is enticing to the angel. But that is probably hoping for too much.”

“Yes. The utter absurdity of such a match is beyond even my ability to imagine,” Nerissa replies. “Would you like some tea?”

I also jumped into Cinderglow a bit while I'm here, which is my Next Big Fantasy. Figured out the whole trajectory of one of the main characters. So yay!
Getting Dressed in the 14th Century, and based on the Luttrell Psalter.
A preview from Neko Case. Some bad, bad luck. 
That's it for now! Thanks for being part of the Zegedine. Take some time to walk in the sun, look at the stars, and try something new.

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Natania Barron · PO Box 16293 · Chapel Hill, NC 27516-6293 · USA

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