Hello from SF and the 1st Annual Historical Writers’ Conference (put on by the Beau Monde and the Hearts Through History Chapters). I’m drowning in riches here–so many appealing workshops that I long for the Time Turner Hermione Granger uses in Harry Potter III!
The first workshop I attended was “Black Powder Weapons Through the Ages”, by Gordon Frye, who brought examples of all sorts of period pistols, muskets, rifles and also swords and demonstrated how they were carried, loaded etc… Very, very cool, and many of us fell in love with the small Regency era pistol, perfect for a heroine to tuck into her reticule.
It seemed only natural to segue to the workshop on “Trauma Surgery” by Scott Moore, where I learned, among other things, how gunshot wounds were treated, how arrows were extracted and how amputations were actually performed (Hollywood usually gets it sooooo wrong). This was particularly interesting to me since my mess-in-progress features an army brat hero and also many ex-soldiers among the secondary characters.
“Sex Through History” by Delilah Marvelle was also brilliant and chock-full of interesting tidbits, naughty language and naughtier pictures that prove there’s nothing new under the sun. I am quite dying to go explore some of the sources in her bibliography!
Next many of us enjoyed “Kickshaws: Regency and Victorian Refreshments” by Kalen Hughes. We sampled rout cakes, pound cakes, seed cakes, Banbury cakes and much more. Yum! I’m so glad the handouts include recipes.
After I finish this post: dinner, booksigning and the soiree. I’m sure we’ll be posting many pics soon. And it’s been great meeting Keira, Jane George, Doglady aka Pam aka Louisa and others–wish all our Risky friends could be here!
“Dash it all!” muttered Sir Todd to himself. “Town is frightfully thin of company right now! Where can everyone be?”
He surveyed the nearly empty glass of brandy in his hand, weighing the desirability of refilling it against the already loose feeling in his knees. Eventually he tossed off the rest and set the glass aside, rising to slightly unsteady feet and dragging on his greatcoat. He would find out where everyone had gone!
The quiet, which had seemed merely unusual from the warmth of his own fireside, seemed positively eerie on the deserted streets. Oxford Street was empty–not even a crossing sweep to relieve the emptiness. Bond Street echoed with the sound of his own footsteps. Where could everyone be?
At last his weaving progress approached Grosvenor Square. What was that, in the distance? Faintly, on the breeze, a hint of music, of laughter, of merry voices raised in conversation? Sir Todd broke into an awkward trot, stumbling along towards that evidence of company, only to halt abruptly in front of a broad mansion. Candles and firelight glowed in every window; he heard the merry sound of dancing inside, and eager voices from the card tables.
“Of course!” he grumbled in disgust. “It’s Lady Elena’s rout party! And I, cursed fool that I am, misplaced my invitation!”
Sir Todd waited a few minutes there, basking in the echoes of conviviality, before turning his weary way towards home. “Oh, well. Might as well go and feed the cats.”
“Black Powder Weapons Through the Ages, Sex Through History”:
See!, I knew I would miss out….now I’m jealous!
Can Todd come to my house and do all my writing for me? He does it so much better than I.
As for me, I’m just plain jealous. I’ll be in SF, but not until week after next so will have missed not only Lady Elena’s rout but all of them. My friends and I will wander lonely as a cloud down streets empty of lectures on black powder and syllabub.
On the brighter side, I’ve discovered “The Book Club Cookbook” by Gelman and Krupp. It has recipes inspired by classic novels and/or by authors. Now I just need to check the index for Banbury cakes.
I am desperately trying not to be jealous and failing miserably. It sounds fabulous!!
And Todd, that is a brilliant bit. LOL! Takes a bit of the string out of not being at Lady Elena’s rout party.
“Black Powder Weapons Through the Ages, Sex Through History”
Hmm. Black powder weapons through the ages. Sex through history. Hmm. Something vaguely Freudian there, but I can’t quite put my finger on it…
Sir Todd, your presence was all that was missing to make the occasion completely perfect.
Todd, wish you were here. You would’ve so loved the History Conference. I’m not sure there’s going to be another conference of its kind anytime soon. This being president Kalen Hughes’s town, her vast drove of specialty friends were out in full force.