Do societies re-package their narratives of recent events? And is that ‘history’?

Great, thought-provoking post!

Matthew Wright

The other day a reader commented on a post I’d written about 9/11 as history and pointed out, quite rightly, that it doesn’t take long for events to be ‘packaged’ in ways that stand against the more dispassionate requirement of historians to understand.

The cover of 'Shattered Glory'. Now out of print. The cover of ‘Shattered Glory’. Out of print (sigh…)

I agree. There’s no doubt in my mind that dramatic events affecting whole societies are swiftly re-invented by those who live through them. Not least because of emotional entanglement with what’s just happened. This is normal, historically. I traced just such a re-invention of New Zealand’s 1915 Gallipoli defeat in my book Shattered Glory (Penguin 2010). By April 1916, just five months after the stalled campaign ended in an ignominious retreat, it had been re-cast as a glorious victory, because it was a sacrifice for Empire. This reflected prevailing pop-sentiment of the day towards our place in a wider British Empire and helped…

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It’s Blog-moving day!

I finally got a self-hosted site, so this blog is now going to be located at Most of you won’t notice a thing, since presumably WordPress is moving my followers over sometime today and everything more or less looks the same. The only bigger change is that you can easily sign up to my mailing list, which entitles you to special sneak previews of my book as it marches ever closer to publication. Be sure to stop by and say hi!

Liebster Award: Acceptance and Nominations

liebster2It seems I’ve been nominated for a Liebster Award by the awesome Kate M. Colby. This is a great way to get to know some of your fellow bloggers a bit better and give some attention to ones you particularly enjoy. Here are the guidelines:

  1. Post the award on your blog.
  2. Thank the blogger who presented this award and link back to his/her blog.
  3. Write 5 random facts about yourself.
  4. Nominate 5 bloggers (they should have less than 300 followers).
  5. Answer 5 questions posted by the presenter and ask your nominees 5 questions. 

Five random facts about me:

1. I used to be a banker! I had a variety of roles, including small business loan officer for Wells Fargo.
2. I have a mallorn leaf tattoo; I am that serious a Tolkien geek.
3. Before getting into the truck my husband drives, I’d been to twelve countries besides the US. Now I’ve visited all lower 48 states, too.
4. My first serious crush was on Admiral Horatio Lord Nelson. I was a strange child.
5. I have three siblings who have provided me with nine nieces and nephews.

Five questions from Kate:

  1. What is your number one “Bucket List” item?  I would love to visit the ruins of Troy. I’ve been obsessed ever since reading The Iliad as a kid.
  2. If you could live inside of one book, which would you choose? Tolkien’s Middle Earth, with Narnia coming in a close second.
  3. If you could have any career in the world, what would you do? I’d write novels 🙂
  4. If you could have one wild animal as a pet, what would it be? A tiger.
  5. What is the legacy or meaning you want to leave on this world? A bunch of really good books that people will enjoy reading and thinking about for years to come.

Five bloggers I nominate:

1. Impromptu Promptlings
2. Neva Squires-Rodriguez
3.  Alexis Duran
4. Veronica Scott
5. Phoenix Grey

Five questions for the nominees:

1. Who was your hero/role model when growing up?
2. Was there a book/movie that changed your life?
3. Why did you start your blog?
4. Your favorite place in the world- whether or not you’ve been there.
5. A song or piece of music you especially love.

Feel free to pass on the love and Happy Holidays!

The Berlin Wall Came Down 25 Years Ago!

This is always an important anniversary for me, though this year especially, it makes me feel old. When I was 20, I spent a week in Berlin. in November of 1989. Change was in the air, but the Iron Curtain was still very much in place. I crossed the border – guards with machine guns! dogs! barbed wire! watchtowers! – several times and got a chance to see what life was like on the Eastern side. It was a bit surreal- one of those things you have to see to believe. My trip ended November 7th, and I went back to Freiburg, where I was spending a year at the university. Bad timing!

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Cyberbullies, Trolls, Mobs & Haters—How to Protect Yourself & Others in a Dangerous World

Some good advice on dealing with trolls.

Kristen Lamb's Blog

Image via "The Terminator." Image via “The Terminator.”

As the WANA Mama, I am fiercely protective of my writer peeps…like Giant Kodiak Mother Bear Protective. I will and have gone to the mattresses for fellow writers who’ve found themselves under senseless attack.

Yet, as a counterpoint, I choose my battles. I love Sun Tzu, and have read his Art of War until the pages were falling out. When it comes to dealing with a formidable enemy, Sun Tzu is the master tactician. One of my favorite quotes?

The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting. ~Sun Tzu

A few days ago Psychology Today posted an article I found interesting in that 1) this article gives data to support what we all know deep down but 2) don’t want to believe. We know there is something different about trolls. They exhibit what is called The Dark Tetrad Personality—Machiavellianism, narcissism, sadism, and…

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