Hammocks & excerpts, a review + Ancient Egyptian houses & beds, Lawrence Oliver's "
GRAB A BOOK AND READ IT IN A HAMMOCK
On July 22nd, relax in the shade and enjoy National Hammock Day. A hammock is a portable sling that creates a great napping space no matter where you are!
A hammock, used for swinging, sleeping or resting, is a sling made of fabric, rope or netting. When suspended between two points, a hammock forms a sling used for swinging, sleeping or resting.Usually, a hammock suspends between two points such as trees or posts.
Though the hammock dates back thousands of years to Central America where it protected people from creatures and dirt, the netted bed didn’t find Europe until explorers brought it back in the 17th century. Not long after, the hammock found its way onto naval ships, providing comfort and maximizing space.
After swaying across the oceans, the hammock eventually became a more leisurely item. Made from a variety of fabrics, it suspended between trees in backyards and at lake cabins. Easily packed into a backpack, hammocks became essential elements of survival. Hikers, campers and mountain climbers added the light and compact sleep sling to their kits.
Whether you use a hammock to take a nap or as a convenient tool in your camping kit, July 22nd
recognizes one innovative way to catch some sleep.
AND A GREAT PLACE TO READ, TOO!!
Hammocks, beds and housing in ancient Egypt
Some of you mentioned my series Children of Stone, so I thought I'd see if our ancient folks used hammocks. I never saw any artwork depicting those of Ancient Egypt sleeping in hammocks, but I'm certain they might have created something similar. They did have beds and a rather unusual way of sleeping.
Egyptians of all classes furnished their homes sparely. Everything was about function. Wealth was displayed by use of better materials rather than quantity of goods. In Voices in Crystal - Book 1 of Children of Stone, Marai arrives in Kemet and goes to the "Poors" Neighborhood. I hadn't seen much in the way of ancient peasant city dwellings or markets so I described what came to mind. Much of it was based on pictures of 19th century river towns such as Memphis, Tennessee and roamings in Mexican town Mercados. Here's a description from the newest version of Voices in Crystal
“This is the way everything looked when I came here in dreams when the Children told me where to go in Kemet. There’s just a few differences – more buildings across the river than I remember – but I know this is the place!” Marai pointed to the rows of marketers setting up for the morning.
Women were grinding grain and patting dough for the hive shaped ovens that magically produced bloated loaves of flat bread. Beyond that there were wares of every kind: cloth, paint, little idols, baskets, pottery urns, jewelry, spice and perfume.
A brackish stench rose from the black water’s edge, indicating the drying of the river as the growing season was starting. Throngs of goods streamed in. Here and there, arguments erupted about setup space, stopped by an occasional white-capped peacekeeper.
The voices he heard were dialects of the Kemet speech Marai had learned, but just as many people chattered away in a variety of Shinar, Akkad, and Kina tongues, as well as a dozen more he didn’t know.
“Poors?” Ariennu questioned. “Looks rich enough to me, and talking like I haven’t heard since I was a girl – like Kina-Ahna.” She unfastened her head cloth, sighing as if she had breathed fresh air for the first time in ages, shook out her russet curls, and took a step forward. “I’ll call it ‘Little Kina-Ahna’.” She glanced back at Marai. “You want to stand here all day?” she asked.
“Oh,” Marai roused himself, then decided: “you three go together among the people here and see what you can find out about who’s in charge, or where we can stay for the night. I’ll wait here with our things.” He noticed Ari moving away from the group and sent the thought after her: Stay together and Wise MaMa, don’t steal anything. He couldn’t suppress his laughter when he saw her wide shoulders freeze as if she had already scanned a few items and was making decisions when he found her out.
Beds: No Hammock found but there's a head stand from Hell.
At night. wealthy Egyptians lay in beds on open air cooled areads or roofs. Their heads balanced on a stand that kept the head elevated and off the bedding. I've read reports that this creates better spine alignment and keeps the neck cool.
My take on this, and one I use in my story is that these "head stands" were likely padded and definitely an acquired taste.
I wouldn't have been able to sleep a wink.
My characters opted for frame beds. and in the case of royalty, even portable boat-shaped beds for naps before an all-night gala.
In Book 2 Going Forth By Day, Naibe sees these "boat beds" set up for the princesses. *** The party could not start soon enough in her opinion.
Naibe noticed the two princesses enter the women’s area with their handmaidens.
She thought neither woman looked happy to be there. They stayed together as if they were joined at the arms, whispered in low tones, and spoke to only a few of the guests.
At first, Naibe wondered if it was her presence that made them uncomfortable. She watched Ariennu pause as she returned from the common area by the pool and bow to Princess Bunefer. The tiny woman greeted her with a mittened hand wave and a coy smile.
Encouraged, Naibe stood, but felt ill at ease about being sociable to either woman. She moved to embrace them, as if there had never been anything between them, but they quickly turned to go meet privately with the king. When they returned, their handmaidens had arranged two portable boat-styled beds made of woven rushes. They looked like long baskets filled with great puffy pillows.
The two princesses laid down to rest without any further conversation.
Possibly not authentic, but a great fantasy, don't you think?
It's always a great good morning to get a 5-Star Review. This is one I received for Voices in Crystal last week!
F. Stephan's Reviews > Voices in Crystal
Voices in Crystal (Children of Stone, #1) by
Mary R. Woldering (Goodreads Author)
F. Stephan's review
Jul 17, 2019
It was amazing
bookshelves: adventure, other
What I really liked Voices in Crystal is a great read, one that I recommend. I have been fascinated by the ancient civilisation of Egypt, Summer, and Akkad, read a lot about it and then went into science-fiction until I crossed the path of this book. I can tell the precision of the descriptions. It feels like you live through those ancient times, full of passion, primal emotions, and god reborn walking on earth. I love also how the future technology from the Children is described by the inhabitants of that age. Often, writers uses modern words to describe those encounters. Here it feels like you were living through those ages.
What I struggled with The author has chosen to build the action slowly and gradually to immerse you in the world. Sometimes, I would have like the action to go just a little faster. I still continued, glued to this epic world, though ! My overall impression This is an powerfull novel of raw, primal emotions in an harsh ancient world. And it's a great satisfying read ! I loved it.
Last week I introduced Lawrence Oliver!
This week he presents Ella
1. Go ahead and introduce yourself.
Nolan, Ella Nolan. I’m a VIP shuttle pilot out of Alpha City, Mars.
2.Tell us where and when were you born.
Aldrin, Mars. Little algae farming settlement in Area 1734. April 3rd 2751, I just turned thirty.
3. How would you describe yourself?
I get by. Try to do what’s right as long as what’s right keeps the wolf from the door. Might not always look pretty but I get the job done. The cybernetic leg doesn’t slow me down. I’m 5’8” I try to keep in shape, I like my ink, my booze and women mostly. Light brown hair, I like to keep it short less to bother with. Eyes are hazel, I might have a freckle or two if you look in the right place.
I mean who cares I’m a nobody. I just keep my head down and take care of business. I’m licensed orbit to surface VIP shuttle pilot, I’ve also got a commercial cargo rating. Did seven years in the Fleet Infantry, two years Commonwealth Re-education facility for assaulting an officer and refusing a lawful order.
Married to great gal for the last two years. Eidnam, I call her Eiddy mostly.
4. Tell us about where you grew up.
Aldrin? Not much to tell, just another algae farming community on Mars there’re about a million of them. Not much to do but work and ed sims.
5. How old are you?
6. Did you have a happy childhood? Why/why not?
Can’t complain, food on the table, warm hab to live in. Five brothers and three sisters so we didn’t really have a lot. Ma and Da did the best they could, made sure we passed our ed sims, got everything we needed to be citizens if we wanted. Some of us went one way, some went the other.
7. Past/ present relationships? How did they affect you?
Fleet Infantry taught me to think for myself and fight, those men and women I served with will always be family. Eidnam well she’s none of your damn business. She drives me crazy but she keeps me on the straight line.
8. What do you value above all else in life?
Freedom. If you don’t have freedom to make your own choices, to fail or succeed you’re just a pawn, a slave, a robot. I ain’t none of those.
9. What are you obsessed with?
Ha, uh… Like I said freedom. That and making enough credits so I don’t have to worry about doing for anyone else ever again. I just want to be left alone to live my life with my wife and my guns on our own little section of land. If the fucking Cutts or any other damn alien army comes calling, Martians ought to be able to defend themselves the ones they love and what they’ve worked for.
10.How do your beliefs make life better for yourself and the people you care about?
Freedom and self-reliance never hurt anyone or the ones you love.
11. Biggest fear?
When you’re little people you’ve got a lot to be afraid of. The LEO Service kicking in the door for some new reg or ordinance you violated. The Cutts hitting Mars. Losing the war. Our so-called allies the Gar Rei Jhi ripping our throats out and draining us dry. Solar flares, space herpes, drone shuttles, the price of operators insurance. The fucking criminals, organized or otherwise, either one can flip your switch the same. Hell any one of those could ruin your day, your career or your damn life around here.
12. What line will you never cross?
I won’t run hits. I’ll burn your ass down, you draw on me but I ain’t a cold killer. And I don’t sell my ass on the street or deal in chem. Well not the really bad stuff any way. I make a deal I keep, all things being square.
13. What is the best thing that ever happened to you? The worst?
The Fleet Infantry. Same answer both questions.
14. Most embarrassing thing that ever happened to you?
Why would I tell you that…? No come on next question.
15. Biggest secret?
I’d kill to get back into the service, to fight this damn war, keep it from spilling over any more than it already has. Cutts don’t care if you’re young or old or you fight back or not. They just destroy and there’s no making peace with that. I want very much to have my name and my service record cleared of any wrong doing. Though I’d never admit it.
16. What is the one word you would use to define yourself?
17. What is your current goal?
Make credits, make credits, make credits. Enough to get out from under the authorities thumb, give Eiddy a better life.
Jennifer Anderson, author of Buku is next! Welcome!
What made you want to be a writer?
My 10-year-old self was the one who first decided that I would tell stories. I wrote other things for a living – advertising copy, radio shows – it took me a long time to finally get back to those early dreams.
When is the release of your next novel? Name genre or if it’s part of a series. If your book is part of a series tell the readers about the others that are out for sale.
I am a slow writer, so I am not sure when my current work in progress will be done. It will be the sequel to my first novel Buku, which is a sci-fi, dystopian, action-adventure.
How important is it to read books when you want to be an author?
I don’t think you can learn how to write a book without reading awesome examples of how to do it right. You can’t really be taught everything there is to a great story. You have to absorb it.
Do you remember the first book you read?
I do not, because I have a sieve for a memory. I do remember my mother going to the library and coming home with a bag full of books for the whole family. I read a lot of “novels of romance and suspense” back in the day. And then I discovered Stephen King.
What book are you reading now?
I am in the midst of a post-apocalyptic series by Ryan Schow. Also just read
Protective by Lulu Sylvian who I met in a writer’s group. I’m exploring genres, trying to get a feel for different ones (and having fun in the process!)
How did you come up with the idea for the book or series, especially the title? Buku started with a dream. Really. Though it was just one scene, it was one of those vivid dreams that you wake up from remembering the details. I thought about the scene a lot, and then just stared developing a story around it. The name Buku came from a search on Wikipedia. In my book, scientists engineer a new animal – loosely based on a hippo but engineered to carry a lot of blubber under its hide, like its distant genetic cousin the whale. The Swahili word for hippo is kiboko… which became buku.
Which character do you identify with most in your novel?
The main character is Iris, a young woman, so I see everything through her eyes. But Micah is probably most like me.
How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Buku is pure fiction! It’s set in a post-apocalyptic world with giant creatures and evil men and a tall, dark stranger who helps save the day. So there’s nothing in it that resembles my life. My beliefs, though, are a big part of it.
To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
Buku takes place in the Rocky Mountains. I did a lot of looking at Google Maps, but no, I didn’t travel there.
Tell us how the atmosphere needs to be for you to be able to write. Example, music on or quiet etc.
I am still working on how best to focus while writing. I have a nice set-up in a sunroom. To try to get myself in the mood, I light a candle, find some “spa music” on youtube and turn it very, very low. I am highly distractable!
What is one goody you must have at your desk when you’re writing?
A comfortable chair, a decent keyboard. I don’t like typing on a laptop. I learned to type on a typewriter. I need “real” keys.
Which part of the publishing process do you detest most?
Advertising. Which is funny, because I have a degree in advertising. Some aspects of marketing spark my interest, but I nodded off a lot in the classes where I was supposed to be learning about ad placement. I don’t like having to keep up with ads, and analyze their effectiveness, etc.
What is the worst thing you’ve had to overcome before publishing your novel? IF it’s too personal just make a generalized statement if you can.
Fear. It doesn’t look like fear. It looks like procrastination and writer’s block and story angst. But, I have learned that it is fear. The thing is, I am struggling just as much with the second book as I did with the first. Maybe one of these days, I will master that!
When you need some extra encouragement who do you turn to?
My pastor started a class on creativity several years ago. It was awesome. Basically, creative therapy.That helped me a lot. Alas, he moved to a different church, but I still fall back on what I learned about myself in the class. I do have a new writer’s group I’m a part of now, though we talk more about marketing and such. You’re right. I need to find an encouragement source!
How do you market your book?
Since I have just the one, I’ve been going slow with marketing. Facebook. I have a website. I’ve done some advertising. All of that will pick up when I have more than one to market.
Have readers ever contacted you? If so, tell us the best thing they’ve said to you. I’ve had friends, or friends of friends, who have read Buku and yes, we’ve discussed it. The best thing I’ve heard was that I’ve kept people up late… or interfered with their sleep. One guy said he ran all night in his dreams, trying to save the world.
Who do you trust to read your finished books before publication?
I have a friend who is a librarian! She is definitely on my list. I also have some friends who are writers, and one superfan of my genre. They were my beta readers for my first book.
Tell us all about your very first book signing. Take us there with your description of people, place, food, décor etc.
So, I grew up in this little town. Eldorado, Illinois. Only 5,000 people or so. As I said before, my mother read all the time and she spent hours at the library there, picking out books. So, that’s where I had my first book signing. I was nervous, because I had moved away from there some thirty years ago. But it was wonderful. Childhood friends and classmates. Former neighbors. People who knew me when I was just a child, all in a place where my mother had found so much enjoyment. It was perfect. Afterwards, I visited my 6th grade English teacher, who was a huge influence on me, and gave him a book and told him what he meant to me. You can go back home again. It’s changed. But it’s still home.
Is there a message you’d like to send through your book?
Buku has an element of faith in it. It gets pretty dark at times, but there is a theme of hope running through it.
If your book was made into a film, who would you like to play the lead?
I have no idea who would play Iris, but Jason Momoa would make a good Oso!
Is there one person, past or present, you would love to meet? Why?
Lots of people. As a writer, I’d like to meet Stephen King and tell him how much he influenced me. And discuss words. I think we’d have a good time discussing words.
Do you have any hobbies?
I’m a tinkerer. I have a garage full of furniture I’m going to paint one of these days to sell. One of the most time-consuming things I do is to head-up a local mission project in which we explore creativity with at-risk kids.
What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I like action/adventure movies - The Marvel franchise, Star Wars. Stranger Things is fun.
Just about anything Mexican.
What’s your sign, lucky number. I’m a stubborn Taurus. I don’t think I have a lucky #.
What’s your favorite color.
What music do you hear in your latest book.
I actually wrote a lullaby for Buku, and a love song for the sequel. I use the lullaby in my book trailer. I imagine I will do the same for the love song.
Imagine a future where you no longer write. What would you do?
Read. Do other creative projects. Garden. I am pretty good at entertaining myself.
You only have 24 hours to live how would you spend that time?
It would be nice to have a big reunion of friends and family and spend the time reminiscing and laughing.
What do you want written on your head stone?
I don’t need a headstone.
Are there any mistakes you made with your first book?
I took too long to write it! Trying not to do that with the second one!
What kind of advice can you give to other either aspiring authors?
Don’t let fear keep you from writing your story.
When in doubt, who do you trust to help you out?
God and I have quite a few conversations.
Tell us how we may get a copy of your book. (Kindle, Amazon, Barnes and Noble, paperback etc.)
Buku is available on Amazon! Paperback and Kindle. It is in Kindle Unlimited to read for free.
I do have a prequel novella – Buku: Micah’s Story, which you can find on Amazon for 99c, or you can download it for free when you sign up for my newsletter on my website.
Social media links and websites?
Colp: Big Kindle Edition
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Pulling the Rug IV: a sideways glance at life in short fiction and verse Kindle Edition
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Next week, more food! Books writing and food for the body and thought