R is for Resources and Recommendations

I don’t usually post roundups of links, but I’ve been finding a lot of really interesting and informative stuff lately on the web, so I thought I’d share. To me, that’s one of the coolest things about the blogging community – you find people of like mind and, through them, resources you’d never be able to dig up on your own. So thank you to everyone who has helped me so far. I’ll try to give credit where I can remember where I got this information from. (Those who follow me on Twitter may have seen some of these links already.)

Resources

ORBIS  The Stanford Geospatial Network Model of the Roman World (via Lora Geneva) – Ever wonder how long it would have taken to get from place to place in the Roman world? Or how much of a factor the time of year is? Well, look no further than this amazing system that lets you pick your departure location, destination, route, mode of transportation and time of year. I’ve found the results on par with the mathematical formula recommended by Leslie Alcock and this is so much more fun!

Creating Better Fantasy World Maps – This is for all my fantasy writing friends out there. I’ve hand drawn my own fantasy maps in the past (which is actually kind of fun, even when you are artistically challenged like me), but from the examples given, this software makes maps look so much more sophisticated. If a later version of this exists when I write a fantasy in the future, you can bet I’ll be using it.

Articles/Blog Posts

Random House Explains What Publishers Do – The PR pro in me says Random House’s PR department did a great job with this video because the writer in me actually thought, “wow, I hope I get picked up by Random House someday,” when I finished watching this. My professional issues aside, it’s an interesting look inside the publishing world, especially for those of us not under contract yet.

Story Lessons from Pixar (via Lora Geneva) – Some great tips. You never know where that perfect bit of advice may come from.

What if Grammarians Had Their Own Magazine? – This is just funny.

12 Ways to Research a Historical Novel (via Historical Fiction Daily) – Some of these may be obvious, but a reminder never hurts.

Books

Food in Roman Britain by Joan Alcock – You’d be surprised how much is known about what the Celts and Romans in Britain ate and where it came from. Amazing amount of detail in this book.

Daily Life of the Pagan Celts by Joan Alcock – How have I written 1.5 books without this resource? Seriously.

Celtic Daily Life by Victor Walkley –  I haven’t actually started this one yet. That’s what I’m going to do after I hit “publish” on this post. But it looks very promising.

And if you want an odd take on Arthurian legend that places Arthur, Avalon and whole kit and caboodle in Lothian, northwest England (now Scotland), try Land of the Gods by Philip Coppens. I can’t say I agree with his theories, but I did learn a lot about Traprian Law and Caledon Wood (two locations in my second book).

What articles, blogs, books, etc. have you found useful lately? Do you like these roundups? Would you like to see them more often?

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