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Most any author you know will complain about not having time enough to write. I am no different, but today, I want to discuss productive ways to procrastinate!

See, if you are being creative–even if you’re not creating right at this very minute–I believe your brain is working on your WIP, or getting you geared up to balance the budget, or help your kids with their homework, or finish that report, or whatever it is your mind needs to concentrate on next. So I present some tried-and-true sure-fire time-wasters, as well as some new ones you might not have known about.

1. Check email. Because someone legitimate might have decided to offer you a million dollars in the last ten seconds.

2. Visit your news site of choice: Mine is the Huffington Post (’cause I’m a Proud Liberal; your causes may vary).

3. Free Rice: This site is a vocabulary test that donates ten grains of rice for every word you get right.

4. Mind Habits: This site provides mind games to “reduce stress and build self-confidence.”

5. Your library, to check how your request list is shaping up (I’m 42nd in line to get 300, Diane!)

6. Go Fug Yourself: Plenty to mock.

7. The “Blog” of “Unnecessary” Quotation Marks: If you’re a word and grammar person, this is punctuation porn.

8. Hello Kitty Hell: Just in case you ever think you have a small obsession with your books, check these people out. Even Amanda isn’t this nutty about HK! (Are you, Amanda?)

9. Amazon. You never know when you might see that ohmylord my favorite author has a new book coming out! Must get!

10. Clive, Orlando, Gerard, Jeremy Northam, some nude statue Janet saw, Elena, ‘fess up who’s your secret crush, Sean Bean, Takeshi Kaneshiro, etc., etc. ad abdomen.

So–what’s your favorite way to procrastinate?


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What does the movie 300 have to do with the Regency period? Other than my eager anticipation, that is. I’ve now seen the move THREE times and, needless to say, I LOVED it. Not only was it visually stunning (and I’m not referring to the Spartan abs; one quickly accepts the undress as costume), it was marvelously acted (Gerard Butler was superlative. He totally inhabited the role of Leonidas), and quite emotional. It also was very violent. I talked my friend Katie in to seeing the movie with me by saying, “The violence is so stylized, Katie, it won’t bother you.” Then watching the movie with her, I suddenly saw the blood and carnage. There are reasons it is rated R.
For those who may not know, 300 is based on a graphic novel by Frank Miller. It tells the story of the Battle of Thermopylae in 480 BC, when 300 Spartans sacrificed their lives battling the largest Persian army ever assembled. This battle is considered a pivotal event in history preserving Western Civilization. The movie was filmed against a blue screen; the setting and special effects were computer generated, making it a whole new movie-going experience. This is, however, a Risky Regency blog. So what does 300 have to do with the Regency?

1. Regency education included studying Greek and Roman texts. I could imagine Regency boys reading Herodotus’s history of the Battle of Thermopylae and being as enthralled as the young guys in the movie theater. After the movie, one of them said, “That was awesome!”
2. I also imagine that military men in the Regency studied the Battle. King Leonidas chose the High Gates, a narrow passage through the mountains, as the best place on which to fight the Persians. The terrain gave the massively outnumbered Spartans enough advantage to cause huge Persian losses. Wellington also used terrain to advantage. He picked the location of Waterloo for its advantage and at a crucial moment in the battle hid his troops behind a hill, surprising the French and helping to turn the battle around to victory.
3. The Spartan’s use of the phalanx formation, forming a line of shields and spears that made them impenetrable by the attacking Persians. In the Napoleonic Wars, when infantry formed squares, they were similarly impenetrable. At Waterloo, Wellington’s squares held over onslaught after onslaught by French cavalry.
4. After the Persian King Xerxes won at Thermopylae, his army pillaged Athens and destroyed its temple. The Parthenon replaced that temple. During the Regency, Lord Elgin rescued (purloined??) the marble friezes and took them back to England hoping in vain, to earn a fortune for them. The Elgin Marbles remain in the British Museum, and, coincidentally, 300 premiered in London March 14.
5. In 1823 Lord Byron traveled to Greece to join the movement for Greek independence from the Ottoman Empire. Before he could participate in battle, though, he died of fever. In his Don Juan canto, he wrote about Thermopylae:

Must we but weep o’er days more blest?
Must we but blush? — Our fathers bled.
Earth! render back from out thy breast
A remnant of our Spartan dead!
Of the three hundred grant but three,
To make a new Thermopylae
.–Don Juan, Canto iii, Stanza 86
On March 20 on the Wet Noodle Posse blog and the Warner Women blog, I’m going to talk about what the movie 300 can teach us about story-telling.
About love scenes
About minor characters
About theme

Have you seen 300 yet? What did you think? Can you think of any other connection to the Regency?

Remember this day, men, for it will be yours for all time–King Leonidas


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