Domains gone wild!

If you’re looking for the blog for Clio Wired, there was an issue earlier today with the domain mapping.  Please go to http://blythmcmanus.com to view the Clio Wired works in progress site.


The Shakespearean Insult Generator doth fascinate me!  Today’s insult: “[Thine] horrid image doth unfix my hair.”

To get your own randomly generated Shakespearean insult, click here.

Fifty six degrees

A welcome break from the heat

Windows wide open.

I should probably confess here, publicly, that I am succumbing to my happy addiction to fantasy and am in the process of writing a novel.

I came by this addiction honestly, being weaned on a diet of Mervyn Peake (Google “Gormenghast Trilogy” if you haven’t read him yet), Tolkein and CS Lewis in the 1970s and 80s.  Yes, I know there will be a conversation about whether Mervyn Peake’s sprawling trilogy is truly fantasy, since it doesn’t meet the usual requirements, but I didn’t know about labeling in the 70s.  I just knew I liked these huge inner worlds which gave my extremely active and vivid imagination a place to romp freely.

Thanks to my undergraduate education in Art History where I got to study, among other things, Pre-Roman Europe, I am enjoying creating the setting in a world resembling that of the Iron Age Celts.

It is great fun. 

It takes me an hour to even really get into the world when I write.  How Faulker did this while working at the post office, I don’t know, but I salute him and all the other writers out there, like me, who are crouching over our keyboards before and after our day jobs, while our families wonder if they are ever again going to see more of us than just our hunched backs as we click away, we coffee-scented conduits, bringing the words out of the ether and onto the page.

Fishing with Dad

Dad, the Husband, and I got to go fishing Monday afternoon.  It was hot, close to ninety degrees; the fishing expedition became more of a lazy, sitting-under-the-shade-tree expedition watching hundreds of dragonflies zoom along the shore.  Today was too hot to catch any fish – we were there at the wrong time for fish, but exactly the right time for enjoying a beautiful afternoon and listening to my father’s stories of fishing with his parents.  Bliss. 

This week’s reading

Currently on my desk is A Perfect Red: Empire, Espionage, and the Quest for the Color of Desire. It’s a detailed history of the quest for cochineal, a surprising material which yielded what was once viewed as the perfect red dye.  Written by Amy Butler Greenfield, this book takes an in-depth look at the way the European search for a great red dye is interwoven with the political and social history of Europe and the New World.  Highly entertaining and well researched by Greenfield, this book is an enjoyable ride through centuries of red-infused drama, royalty, soul-numbing drudgery, and intrigue.  

Writing, with bees

In the evenings I like to sit outside and write while the evening birds sing.  As the weather warms up, I have noticed that often I find true honeybees quietly and unobtrusively hovering about my surroundings. As I am not allergic, the bees don’t bother me; rather, I am happy to see them as I know true honeybees are facing a difficult existence right now.  Colony Collapse Disorder threatens both their existence and the economic stability of our food supply. 

However, I’m interested for a much less practical reason. Bees were seen as messengers of the gods in ancient Greece.  Mythology suggests that we should “tell it to the bees” when we have a desire we seek to come true, so the bees could pass along our wishes to the deities. This appeals to the mythographer in me; perhaps it is a good sign that they buzz around me while I’m writing. If my whispers are heard, I’ll report it here first.


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