Sunday, October 21, 2018
Guest Blog--Stephen Crabbe
2:06 pm pdt
I am happy to have Stephen Crabbe as my guest today. Thank you, Stephen, for joining me on my website.
Author Stephen Crabbe
Stephen, can you tell us about yourself and your background? What do you currently do outside of writing?
Well, it’s a real pleasure to be here, Jess! I’m on the leading edge of the baby-boomer generation, hitting
earth just after the end of World War Two in Adelaide, South Australia. My family on both sides goes back to the early colonial
years in that State; before that they were in Scotland, Germany, Cornwall and a few other parts of the British Isles. In 1993
I moved to Western Australia with my family.
I’ve worked in several different fields, but teaching
predominated until my later years and I specialized for much of that time in music education. It was when I began to reduce
my teaching hours that I started to write for publication. In 2016 I stopped teaching altogether and decided to pour my energy
into writing books.
Apart from writing, I still have a deep interest in music; I was trained as a classical
pianist from the age of five and it’s an integral part of my being, even though I no longer teach it. I’m also
very keen on sports of various types, but these days I only participate in Masters Athletics. I’ve won a few medals
for sprinting at State and National level. Amongst all that, I spend hours caring for grandchildren and simply communicating
with my expanding family—all of which, of course, is a labor of love.
Stephen in the 100 Meter 2016 World Athletic
Championship Perth, WA
What books have you written, and what are their genres? What audience are they aimed at?
Song of Australia and Conflict on Kangaroo Island
I write fiction for adults, which so far is
of the historical kind. Song of Australia was published in 2013, Conflict on Kangaroo Island in 2016. The third book is still
in progress, but I expect it to be published early next year. All three are set in South Australia 1913-1918. As you have
probably guessed, World War One looms large in the stories, but the narrative concentrates completely on the home-front. There
are no battle scenes, and not even a glimpse of life on the battlefield, and yet the impact of the war twelve thousand miles
away permeates the lives of the characters.
What prompted you to write
what you did? Where do you get your writing inspiration
I’m sure there are powerful unconscious
motives determining the content of my stories, but I’m conscious of several. At the start of my first book, there was
an urge to show how fundamental and potent music is for human life and civilization. There was also a conviction that Australia,
my country, sorely needed to come to terms with unresolved issues left over from the period around the First World War—the
national adolescence, so to speak. Moreover, in the process of researching and writing, I felt pleasantly close to some of
my ancestors and my childhood piano teacher, all of whom lived through that period. I wanted to honor them through my stories.
The characters are not those people, but they are inspired by them.
My fiction attempts to tell absorbing stories
that put readers in the shoes of the characters, but I hope they also give an insight into the human condition. When I look
back over my work, it seems I’ve been exploring some fundamental questions. What does it mean to be human? What impedes
us from being the best people can be? What is human goodness? How should we relate to other people and to the rest of the
universe? I don’t consciously address these questions as I write, but I think they operate in the background nevertheless.
Do you write short stories, articles, or have a blog?
ago, I went through a period when articles and a blog were my focus, but eventually I abandoned them because writing fiction
was much more satisfying.
What do you find the hardest about writing? The
Writing the first draft is so hard! I tear my hair out at times because, while I know the basic
story I want to tell, it is so difficult to decide how to present events and information in the manner and in the order that
will make the best reading experience. I suppose what comes easiest is the research; I do heaps of that before and during
the writing. It can be so interesting that I often struggle to wrench myself back to focus on my story.
What’s next for you after your Book?
My work in progress is a novel
which brings together characters from my earlier books to grapple with life on the home-front over the course of World War
One. It’s taking me much longer to write this one, partly because interruptions from general life have been much more
frequent lately. But what is slowing me down immensely is the far greater complexity of this novel. Again and again, I have
revised sections, discarded one general plan after another … Thank goodness I’m just a few chapters away from
the end now!
How can we follow or contact you?
My website: StephenCrabbe.com
My Facebook Page: Facebook/StephenCrabbe
Where can readers buy your books?
My Amazon page: Amazon/StephenCrabbe
My books are also available at The Book Depository and Booktopia.
Thank you for an insightful interview into the life of a writer.
Next month, my guest will be Author Wylie McLallen.
For now, Salve Atque Vale! Hail and Farewell!
Saturday, September 22, 2018
Guest Blog: Gigi Sedlmayer
11:42 am pdt
happy to have Author Gigi Sedlmayer, a resident of Australia, as my guest today. Thank you, Gigi, for joining me
on my website.
Gigi, can you tell us about yourself and your background? What do you currently do outside of writing?
I was born in Berlin, Germany, on 19 May 1944. Escaping to
the West before the wall went up, we moved a lot around. Changing schools many times, (Because my father had to go where he
found work after the war) was not good for me, since I didn’t make any friends. Why should I? I would lose the friend
anyway, when we are moving again. I crawled into a block hole, as I said, or into the shell of a turtle. Since I had to wear
glasses from my young age, I was laughed at. That didn’t help either, to get more confidence. I put my face into books,
and that a lot of them. I was reading, mostly animal stories, or adventure.
Finally, we settled in Munich.
Mum put me into a school to study architectural drafting. Because
she knew, I was good with my hands. Copying pictures. I met Albert there in 1965, marrying in December 1967. (He must have
seen something in me. and he still does.) I was still in my shell and started to write short animal stories. I loved it.
In May 1975 we moved to New Zealand. Because of language challenges, I started a handcraft business. It was very lucrative.
(Parrots, sleepy tigers, koalas.)
In 1988 we decided to adopt and became adoptive parents of twin girls from Fiji
the year after.
In September 1992 we immigrated to Australia.
In 1993 I was diagnosed with cancer. Surviving, I started to write short stories, as I remember I have written some
before. One of the short stories was about handicapped Matica and her giant condor, Talon. Since she faces a lot of challenges,
Matica is me and about my life.
What books have you written, and what are their genres?
What audience are they aimed at?
Talon book covers
I have written up to now five books and they are all published. They are aimed for children, reading age
and even for parents to read to their younger children. But, as many reviewers said, they are for all ages. Because they can
benefit from it as well.
The sixth book, TALON, WINDSONG in the series is nearly
finish. I am re-writing it in the moment. I have to do that many times. I can’t let the first or second go. The
seventh book, TALON, MYSTERY OF LIFE I have started to write.
TALON, COME FLY WITH
ON THE WING
FLIGHT FOR LIFE
What prompted you to write what you did? [or Where do you get your writing inspiration?] What message(s) do
you want readers to take away?
Because of my own life, and surviving cancer I couldn’t
go back to work any longer. Thinking back where I wrote some stories, when I was younger, I started again to write. And there
I wanted to let the world see, what damage can be done to a child, when a child is rejected. I wanted to put that in the story,
but not in a boring way, just telling my life, no I put it into an adventure, so children and parents can read the stories
and see and feel the heart ache children face they are rejected. But, when you put your mind to something you love, you can
change and see the world, not with dark eyes, but with the light.
The message is:
“Teaching Children Self-Confidence through
Service to Others.” Children today face immense pressure to fit in with their peers. This pressure is leading to record
rates of depression among preteens and teenagers and this to suicide. Parents look for ways to build their children’s
self-esteem; however, teens look to their peers and popular culture for acceptance rather than their parents. This puts parents
in a challenging situation. Most children of this age group have issues with acceptance and this is explored and resolved
in a positive manner within the story line of the Talon series, Matica shows children and teens that they can overcome great
obstacles with love, patience and a selfless attitude toward helping others and experience exciting adventure on the way.
I wanted to let children and parents know, that they don’t need to suffer more than they already do. So:
Children suffer from all sorts of afflictions and through my book they can learn how to coup with everything, as Matica
did, the main character in my TALON books. She had to learn it in her early life. Children can find a “Condor”
as Matica did. Not literally a condor, but every child or adult for that matter, they are battling with non-curable afflictions,
should find something that let them forget what is happening to them. Finding a “Condor” would help them to overcome
Parents can read my book to younger children so they can see that they are not alone, but that they can overcome
it in a positive way, not in a negative way.
I say: Children with special needs or with disability,
or are handicapped don’t have an illness, so there is no cure and it’s not contagious. They want what we all want,
to be accepted.
My books are not only for children. As I said, adults face some illnesses as well, so my books are
for adults as well as for children.
worst and greatest problems in life cannot be solved. They can only be outgrown.’ And I have been outgrown them. Many
times, I might say.
I wanted to write a story about a handicapped or challenged girl to show readers what
they can achieve if they put their minds not to the negativity but to the positivity. (As Matica had to learn it as well,
and I have done nearly my whole life myself. Being rejected in school as well, I was always an outsider, keeping to myself
in the shell of a turtle, had hardly any friends.) And since I love birds, I decided to let her have a bird. But then came,
what bird? And then the idea went even further. What is if she could fly on the bird? That would be something. But to do that,
she has to have a disability to be very small. But again, the bird has to be big as well. And there the condor came to my
mind. I loved the condors before. Amazing birds. They are the biggest land birds (vulture) on our wonderful earth. And so
the story about Matica and Talon came to existence. And then I had to set the scene in Peru close to the great Andes where
the condors live. And so it came, that I decided to let her family go to Peru as missionary from Australia.
Do you write short stories, articles, or have a blog? Where can we find them?
written a lot of short stories, before I started to write the Talon series. All these short stories I put into my books, mostly
as dreams of Matica, my main character.
No, I don’t write blog and so I don’t have a blog.
I have a website,
Barnes & Noble-Gigi Sedlmayer
My website: http://www.gigised.com
do you find the hardest about writing? The easiest?
The hardest for me was, when I started to
write the Talon story, to face myself. Because Matica is me. I don’t have her disability, but others. It doesn’t
matter what affliction you have, or incurable disease, it all is the same.
The easiest? Well, when I think
about the story what I would like to write next, nothing comes to my mind, absolutely nothing. But I know, as soon as I put
my fingers on the keyboard, the ideas floating at me. Then my fingers can’t type fast enough over the keyboard. You
should see, what sometimes comes out of my sentences. I laugh out loud. It’s really funny.
What’s next for you after [Your Book]?
I like to finish the sixth book, TALON,
WINDSONG so it can be published soon. But as I said, I have to re-write it again. I though I was finish, but reading
it again, oh boy, I am making too many changes. But I know, one time I have to declare, it is finish. After that re-write,
I guess. And then go on with the seventh, TALON, MYSTERY OF LIFE.
What special thing about yourself would you like to
share with readers?
Since Matica is me, I let her talk and tell you all about her and me. That is
special for me.
"My name is Matica and I am a special needs child with a growth disability. I am stuck
in the body of a two-year-old, even though I am ten years old when my story begins in the first book of the Talon series,
TALON, COME FLY WITH ME.
Because of that disability, (I am saying ‘that’
disability, not ‘my’ disability because it’s a thing that happens to me, nothing more and because I am not
accepting it as something bad. I can say that now after I learned to cope with it.) I was rejected by the local Indians as
they couldn’t understand that that condition is not a sickness and so it can’t be cured. It’s just a disorder
of my body.
But I never gave up on life and so I had lots of adventures
roaming around the plateau where we live in Peru, South America, with my mum’s and dad’s blessings. But after
I made friends with my condors I named Tamo and Tima, everything changed. It changed for the good. I was finally loved and
accepted by the Indians. I am the hero now and I embrace my problem. In better words: I had embraced my problem before I made
friends with my condors Tamo and Tima. I held onto it but I still felt sorry for myself and cried a lot, wanting to run away
or something worse.
But would it have helped me? Would it have become
better? Would I grow taller? No, nothing of that would have happened. I didn’t have those questions when I was still
in my sorrow, but all these questions came to me later, after I was loved and was cherished.
One day I looked up into the sky and saw the majestic condors flying in the air. Here and now, I made up my
mind. I wanted to become friends with them. I believed, if I could achieve that, all my sorrow and rejection would be over.
And true enough, it was over. I was loved. I even became famous. (You can read all about it in the series) And so, if you
are in a situation, with whatever your problem is, find something you could rely on and stick to it, love that and do with
that what you were meant to do. And I never run from conflicts."
How can we follow or contact you?
Barnes & Noble-Gigi Sedlmayer
My website: http://www.gigised.com
Google + -Gigi Sedlmayer
Linkedin-Gigi Sedlmayer-Talon Twitter-Gigi Sedlmayer
Where can readers buy your books?
My books are everywhere to find and can be
bought. See above.
Awards and Recognition for the Talon Series
AWARDS FOR ALL TALON BOOKS
BOOK 1:Talon, come fly with me
5 star Review by Readers Favorite,
Silver for BOOK
COVER competition with Authorsdb,
Finalist with: BOOK EXCELLENCE
Finalist with: IAN Book of the year award 2017
- The Independent Author Network
4 out of 4 stars
review by Online Book Club
2: Talon, on the wing
5 star Review by Readers Favorite
BOOK 3: Talon, flight for life
review by Readers Favorite
SEMI FINALIST for BOOK COVER
competition with AUTHORSDB 2017
3 out of 4 stars
review by Online Book Club
4: Talon, Connected
5 star review by Readers Favorite
FINALIST in First line competition with AUTHORSDB 2018
BOOK 5: Talon, Encounter
4 out of 5 -
star review by Reader’s Favorite
BRONZE for FIRST
LINE COMPETITION with AUTHORSDB 2017
GOLD for BOOK COVER
COMPETITION with AUTHORSDB 2017
Nominee by GLOBAL EBOOK
Sole Medallist Winner with New Apple in the
Young Adult General Fiction category of our Annual Book Award 2017 Book Awards for Excellence in Independent Publishing
Finalist with: BOOK EXCELLENCE AWARD, 2018
Thank for this wonderful eye-opening
in-depth look, as to why you wrote these books, but into your own journey through life as well.
In my next blog, I will interview Author Stephen Crabbe.
For now, Salve Atque Vale! Hail and Farewell!
Wednesday, August 22, 2018
August Update-The Peacekeeper
8:54 pm pdt
Book Launch-Signing Follow-Up
Jennifer at B&N Spokane Valley, Victor
at B&N Kennewick, WA, The Peacekeeper
The book launch of my latest historical, The Peacekeeper, started at Barnes & Noble-Booksellers, Spokane Valley, Washington, August 4th, and
continued at two other B&N's at Kennewick and Spokane - Northtown Mall, Washington, August 11th and 18th. Sales of this
particular book were moderately successful, but as a whole, across the board, all five of my books did well as these events.
Unfortunately, for whatever reason, the Northtown Mall store did not receive copies of The Peacekeeper in time for
the August 18th signing. Assistant store manager, Bryan, is looking into the reason for the delay. Regardless, my other four
novels, did well, sales wise. All in all, the three events were successful, and I will return for encores at each store (see
book signing page).
Britannia Romanus Series Book Covers
the month of July, 2018, all five novels in the Britannia Romanus series
were in the top 20 in sales for Sunbury Press' Milford House imprint. They
were as follows: (3) The Peacekeeper; (6) The Wolf of Britannia, Part II; (10) The Broken Lance; (12) The Wolf of Britannia, Part III; (17) The Sign
of the Eagle.
The Emperor's Hand - Continuation of a new
novel in progress
Roman London Overview
The work on this novel continues at a slow pace. I have gone
back to the beginning to rewrite. Only a few changes made to chapter one. Chapter two required major changes and a lot of
rewriting. I will probably return to it for more, but now I am focusing on chapter three. I made what I call a couple of "left
turns," and that is why I returned to the beginning. My publisher was hoping I would complete this novel in less than
two years, but this is doubtful. I could, but it would be a piece of junk. That is not me.
How The Ancient Romans Made Better Concrete Than
We do Now
If you've ever wondered why the ancient structures of Rome have
endured for millennia, when our own modern concrete is susceptible to cracks and crumbles, well, now you have your answer.
Researchers recreated the Roman recipe and discovered that the formation of a certain kind of crystal in the concrete is the
reason for the durability.
Image: The Pantheon by the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World
"Mechanical resilience and cementitious processes in Imperial Roman architectural mortar" published in PNAS, researchers, led by Marie D. Jackson of the University of California at Berkeley, detail their work
and the results. The team reproduced the Roman concrete recipe, allowed it to harden for 180 days, and then examined it using
The Roman recipe used by the team involves
adding volcanic rocks to a liquid mortar. To make the mortar, ancient Romans — and the modern research team —
started by heating limestone into quicklime, and then added water and volcanic ash. The key ratio for this mixture is three
parts ash to one part lime. Rome had no shortage of volcanic ash to use, since volcanoes lay to north and south of Rome. But
the ancient Romans settled on the Pozzolane Rosse ash from the Alban Hills volcano
to the south. For additional information see link below. Roman Concrete
On a Personal Note
Chatty introduces himself
Chatty and Lionel become friends
A new cat has become part
of our family. His name is, Chatty, a Siamese-tabby mixture who is probably no more than a year and one-half. He wandered
into our yard from our pasture, we don't where he came from. We made inquiries, but no one claimed him. He is very friendly,
apparently, he had been around people, but our veterinarian believes he might have been abandoned. He seemed to be more
of a feral cat, but now he is getting use to coming into the house, but for now he still sleeps in the barn. We hope to have
him fully use to being in the house by winter, as we want to protect him from the elements. We get nearly fifty inches of
snow each winter and experience several arctic freezes as well. Fortunately, he and our other cat, Lionel, get along very
For now, that's all there is until next time, Salve Atque Vale! Hail
Tuesday, July 10, 2018
The Peacekeeper is Published!
8:35 pm pdt
is Available, Now.
The Peacekeeper, the fifth historical novel in what has been now designated as the Britannia Romanus series, was officially released by Sunbury Press. Followed by Amazon in paperback and Kindle.
It is also available through Amazon's
international outlets including Great Britain (.uk), Canada (.ca) and Australia (.au).
book launch, where I will conducting the first signing of my new novel, will take place at Barnes & Noble,
Eastside, 15310 E. Indiana Ave., Spokane Valley, Washington, Saturday, August 4th, 11 a.m./5 p.m. I will also be signing copies
of the other four novels in the series. For additional signing events, please check the book signing page.
Book Signing Successes
Jennifer and Dyes Inlet from Silverdale, WA New Reader Jennifer at Siverdale B&N
I continue to do well at Barnes & Noble, Spokane Valley, Washington,
where I conducted a signing, Saturday, June 9th. I live only about ten minutes from the store and am considered the unofficial
resident writer. Once again management was pleased with the large number of sales and the store will be the site of
my book launch for The Peacekeeper.
The book signing at Barnes
& Noble, Silverdale, Washington (next to Bremerton US Naval Base), Saturday, June 23rd, located near Dyes Inlet,
on Puget Sound, was successful beyond my expectations. I met a lot of interesting people, passed out many flyers and signed
many copies of The Broken Lance and The Sign of the Eagle Trilogy. To say the least, management was pleased.
"This is the best book signing the store has seen in a long time," store manger, Martha, said. "I'm pleased
you made arrangements with Amy (events coordinator) to return in September 8th."
I want to thank store
manager, Martha, events coordinator, Amy, assistant manager, Sarah, associate, Jordan, and the rest of the Barnes & Noble
staff who contributed to the success of this event.
The Sign of the Eagle Success
Once again, my first historical novel, The Sign of the Eagle, placed in the top fifteen in sales for the Milford
House imprint, in position number two. This novel has been one of Sunbury Press' best-sellers in fiction since
it was first released in 2012. I believe part of the popularity comes not only from the story's time period and suspense,
but also because of the number of strong female characters within the novel.
Discovery from Turkey
Two Emperors 290 A.D.
Recently a major discovery was made of the statues of two emperors
(a Diarch), Diocletian and Maximian, embracing one another. This comes from Nicomedia (Turkey), dated approximately 290 AD.
What is so remarkable is that it can be seen in its painted (albeit fading) form. Usually, most statues from the classical
world have been bleached white of all paint by modern times.
Restoration of an ancient
fountain from Pompeii
Fountain from Pompeii
Members of the the Marco Aurelio Project have done an wonderful
job of restoring this fountain to an incredible level of color.
On a Personal Note - Confession of a Writer
at Starbucks B&N in Spokane Valley, WA
Many of you know me on FaceBook as a writer of historical novels.
You may also know I am one who likes model railroading, Roman history, horses, weight lifting, etc.
many years my first passion has been writing. I realize a lot of you have no interest in that or any other literary activities.
I respect that, we all have different interests. But at age seventy-six, like my other activities, it gives me reason to live
and keep going on, I'm not one to sit around doing nothing.
I have a confession to make. I am not a natural-born writer.
Every page I write is a struggle of creation. Every page means re-writing and more re-writing. And I am not the most eloquent
writer. I am slow; a plodder. It takes me a long time to produce a compelling (I hope), readable work. It is why for many
years I attended the writers support group, Red Ink Fictioneers. This group of established authors kept me honest; learning
about writing fiction.
Over the years I have observed many perspective writers who were endowed with far greater
talent than mine, who gave up before completing what would have been great books. Why? Because they were quitters, they lacked
self-discipline and persistence.
In the meantime, I kept
plugging away, continuing to learn from my mistakes, despite one set-back and rejection after another.
grateful to have found a publisher, Sunbury Press , a traditional press, who believed in me, and gave me a chance to succeed. Even then, the editors assigned to my novels,
made sure to get the best out of me. In each one of my four published novels, I did major rewrites of chapters, added new
chapters and changed endings. The goal was not a good novel but a great novel.
Whether or not I have succeeded,
I am not sure. However, I will continue to promote my novels (some of you FB friends find it boring) and will to continue
to write. This is my passion, and this with the support of my wife, Liz, an my other interests keeps an old guy like me going.
I hope I haven't bored you too much. I know the writers out there will understand, if no one else does.
Another Personal Note - Wedding Anniversary
Liz & Steve's Wedding Day
As of Wednesday, July 11th, Liz and I will have been married thirty-seven
years. This was my second (and last) and Liz's first marriage. We have had our ups and downs and in most marriages, but it
has passed the trials of time; this one is a keeper. I love you, honey, you truly are my soul mate.
That's all for now. I wish everyone a great Summer! Salve Atque Vale! Hail and Farewell!
Wednesday, May 9, 2018
4:13 pm pdt
Publication of the Peacekeeper Draws Closer
As the picture says, The Peacekeeper is coming soon, either June or July. I finished the review
of the formatted PDF copy (this will be used to format the actual book), finding very few errors, and emailed it back to the
editor for her final review. From there it will go to the production manager and the publisher of Sunbury Press, url:Sunbury Press, Lawrence Knorr, for final approval and publication. It has been a long process, but worth the wait.
following is a partial review by a person who prefers to be called, Convoke. This person is author of several excellent
historical and fantasy novels and whose review should not be ignored.
"If you haven't read this fourth book
in the Sign of the Eagle series, better read the Broken Lance next, because #5 is coming soon. Everything you want in an historical
novel of quality: mystery, adventure, romance, and command of the period that makes your read so real you'll think you've
been to Roman Britain yourself! Few can equal Jess Steven Hughes. So come spend some time in Roman Britain with characters
you'll never forget."
I will keep you updated when the novel is about to be released.
Book Signing Successes
New Reader Gunnar at Bozeman B&N,
New Reader Dave at B&N Northtown Mall
I conducted several more book signings since the last blog entry, including: EntertainMART,
Coeur d'Alene, ID; Yoke's Fresh Market, Liberty Lake, WA; and Barnes & Noble stores: Northtown Mall, Spokane, WA, Spokane
Valley, WA and Bozeman, MT. The events at B&N outlets were far the most successful. I will be returning to all five stores
in the future (see book signing schedule) plus encores at several other venues.
- Julius Caesar - Museum of the Rockies
Roman Armor Display Museum of the Rockies, Roman Machines, Julius Caesar Armor
When I was in Bozeman, Montana, for my book signing (April
28th), I had the opportunity, the day before to visit the Museum of the Rockies (it's just across the street from Montana
State University) to visit the phenomenal exhibition: Julius Caesar: Military Genius and Mighty Machines. Presented by The
Niccolai Group, Artisans of Florence PTY Ltd, Italy, showcases over 50 interactive machines, reconstructed scaled models,
recreated artwork and frescoes.
The exhibition covers four themes:
Genius:The machines are interactive, reconstructed to scale by the Niccolai Teknoart Artisans, using only materials available
in Roman times. Follow the exploits of Gaius Julius Caesar, reformer (inventor), military and political leader, and who played
a crucial role in the transition from a republican system of government to an imperial one. Through the conquest of Gaul,
Caesar expanded the Roman “res publica” from Egypt to the Atlantic Ocean and led the Roman armies to the first
invasions in the written history of Britain and Germany.
All Roads Lead
To Rome:The Romans understood physics and excelled at controlling natural resources (the aqueduct), and used the abacus to
manage their finances. To communicate with and better administrate (control) their multi-ethnic populations in such a vast
Empire, they adopted a sophisticated strategy of propaganda images, which we now refer to as Public Relations or even “Spin”.
Building Rome:The Roman Empire was in a state of constant expansion. Engaging in large-scale
construction projects, from roads and bridges to baths houses and majestic monuments such as the Roman Arch that was symbolic
of the Empire’s greatness. What made these feats of construction engineering so remarkable and durable was the sophisticated
Roman use of construction materials. Inventions like cement, glass windows and large-scale production of an incredible variety
of brick and marble products are examples of such.
Entertainment and Lifestyle:They
built amphitheaters (the Oval Arena is their invention) to host gladiatorial games, their favorite sporting event. The Colosseum
is one of the world’s most famous monuments. This stadium, technologically advanced even by today’s standards,
was fitted with features such as the velarium, the vomitoria, lifts, turning platforms, and turnstiles. The skilled Teknoart
artisans have meticulously reconstructed these features to scale, and have even recreated the gladiators in their dramatic
final act. Other forms of entertainment and lifestyle are examined (gambling with dice, playing with dolls and fast foods).
In fact, Roman citizens enjoyed a busy calendar of religious rites and social events aided by gadgets such as pocket sundials
and personal “notebooks."
You have to see this exhibition to truly appreciate the work that went into putting
it together. Unfortunately, the exhibition closes May 13th. However, if you go to the link, you will find many pictures displaying
the exhibition in all its glory, go to the following link Museum of the Rockies: Caesar Exhibit
Just to go along with this, I am currently reading: Caesar: Life of a Colossus, by Adrian Goldsworthy. This is a
very readable biography about Caesar which I would recommend to anyone who wants to read about this extraordinary Roman.
For the month of March, all four novels were
listed among the top fifteen best-sellers for the Milford House Imprint. They were as follows: The Sign of the Eagle,
No. 2; The Broken Lance, No. 8; The Wolf of Britannia, Part I, No. 12; The Wolf of Britannia,
Part II, No. 13.
Dozens of Roman graves found under York Hotel Swimming
pool (Insert picture Roman graves, etc. here)
MORE than 70 Roman skeletons were discovered
on the site of a former hotel in York.
The grade two listed building, formerly the Newington Hotel in Mount Vale Drive,
overlooks Knavesmire and has been stripped back by developers to create seven new family houses.
During the renovation of the Georgian building, developers were surprised to find human
remains, and the York Archaeological Trust were called in to assist with the recovery. For further information see enclosed
link: Graves Found under York Hotel Swimming Pool.
Once again, I am cleaning my outdoor model
railroad to run this Spring and Summer. A lot is involved, but is worth the effort. The first picture is me weeding around
the tracks and second picture of what the area will look like when I start running trains.
Steve Gardening the Rail Road Tracks Roman graves found
under York Hotel SP Daylight passing under trussel bridge
I am pleased to announce that
my granddaughter, Veronica Hughes, will be graduating from Presentation High School, San Jose, California, June 2nd (I will
be attending) and has been accepted for admission at the University of Alabama this Fall. Liz and I couldn't be more proud.
Happy Birthday Veronica and Congratulations!
Ready to proudly wear our University of Alabama Shirts
That's all until next time. Salve Atque Vale! Hail and Farewell!
Jess Steven Hughes