Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Medieval Manor Terms

It's time again to bone up on our medieval vocabulary with a terms that might come in handy with your next medieval/historical/fiction/fantasy story. I love to use archaic terms such as these for my medieval fiction and you might find other glossaries there useful. I have only chosen a several simple terms for this post but if you want to see more, I have included the link to this glossary by T. J. Ray: The Eclectic Eccentric.  

Manorial Terms

Amercement - Fine.

Bondman - Serf, q.v., villein.

Charter - Official document, usually deed or grant of privilege.

Cotter - Tenant of a cottage, usually holding little or no land. 

Croft - Garden plot of a village house. 

Distraint - Summons or arrest. 

Fair - A market held at regular intervals, usually once or twice a year. Fairs tend to offer a wider range of goods than normal markets. They are generally licensed by either the king, the local lord, or a chartered town. 

Hallmote - Manorial court.

Quarter - Unit of volume, eight bushels.

Ring - Unit of volume, four bushels.   

Tithe - Payment to church, consisting of a tenth of produce. 

Villein - The wealthiest class of peasant. Villeins usually cultivated 20-40 acres of land, often in isolated strips. 

Woodward - Manorial official in charge of the lord's woodland. 

I must caution the writers of medieval stories (fiction and non) to be careful when using the terms found in any of these glossaries. It will make readers tired or bored quickly if they have to look such terms up in a dictionary, and you don't want that! Provide a glossary of any terms you use at the back of the book as an appendix or at the bottom of the page where you used the term. 

And if you have any other suggestions on how to use these medieval terms without putting off the reader, please comment below. I am sure there are other clever ways to make the book enjoyable without confusing the reader by such words.

Here is the link where I got the terms above. Manorial Language  Enjoy and feel free to comment!

Friday, November 15, 2013

Druid Nurses?

Have you thought about how much your healers can do and how? In many fantasy stories and games, it seems that healers can expend a lot of healing energy in order to save the victim from dying or injury. Some of you may have such characters and may have developed a system for the way they are going to be able to heal.

I would really like to hear your thoughts and ideas for creating fictional characters that can heal or even resurrect other characters in your fictional worlds. It would be very interesting to me to learn about the ideas you came up to make healing believable.

Let's face it. We can't expect healers of fantasy worlds to understand and react the same way we would expect them to react in modern day. For medieval fiction, Florence Nightingale, who developed the modern system of nursing, had not been born yet.  Even medicine was very different, involving a lot of strange ideas regarding the human body. I have seen historical videos and programs and it's really bizarre and scary to see what doctors used back then.

When I read The Midwife's Apprentice by Caren Cushman, I was amazing by some of the ingredients midwives used. Though it is a fictional tale about a girl who finds work helping the town's midwife, the author added a glossary and some information about what it was like in those days. I was fascinated and I recommend this book to anyone interested in medieval medicine. It is not fantasy, but it is historically based and an entertaining read.

But now back to fantasy fiction healers.

I am currently writing a blog story called Add a Spark of Valor with my friend and co-author, Jack Shepherd. If you have read any of the blog "mini-chapters" here you will see we are getting to a place in the tale where little Audrey and her druid sisters are healing the victims of a ship attack.

As I write the next few posts regarding the healing abilities of my druidesses, I have decided to make the healing spells somewhat draining to the inexperienced.  In other words, the less you cast healing spells, the more tired or draining of energy you will feel. Druids who use it often will not feel so tired or drained unless they keep casting for long periods of time. I can imagine a druid healer in a war torn area becoming totally worn out after constantly healing the wounded all around him. So what it boils down to for my fictional characters is that casting spells -- ANY magical spells -- will take energy and leave the caster weak and tired. The caster will need rest and food before they can travel, work or do anything that requires normal strength.

And what do you think about a healer resurrecting the dead?  How do you handle this topic in your stories?

A good friend of mine who read my latest story post from Add a Spark of Valor : Crescent Cove Village shared some thoughts with me and our chat went like this:

Friend: one thing I noticed that didn't seem "natural" to me was the sisters talking to folks before rushing to the injured.....EMS here would talk while running to them

Me: Heheheh

Friend: course EMS don't have a chance to res them if they die.

Me: True. Well, they did move on quickly once they met the halfling

Friend: yes....but asked a couple of times if anyone know what happened...no biggie...just how I saw it. Medics rush in where bombs are going off and into machine gun fire to reach wounded soldiers.

Me: You are thinking too modern and remember they can cure anything even death. My druids didn't get formal training.

Friend: At least they didn't stop for a smoke and coffee.


Let me point out that my druids can't always resurrect the dead. To keep them from becoming too powerful to believe, I made it a rule that the goddess of Tiaera, Astria, has the final say who can be revived and who stays dead. No, I don't roll any D&D dice to decide what my fictional goddess will do, but at least it doesn't make my character too god-like. 

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Free Download of "The Priestess and the Ravenknight"

In the mood for a romantic fantasy that isn't too long? Are you short of time or very busy but would like a tale of adventure, magic and romance?

I have edited and converted "The Priestess and the Ravenknight" into a printed trade book version and a new ebook version. And in doing this, added more story content, chapters and graphics. I even changed the book cover as well.


Here is a blurb from the story:

“How long have you been doing this, High Priestess?” I asked, feeling more relaxed now that we were alone.

“Quite a long time,” she answered calmly. “My thanks for allowing me to finish my task with the wood elf. I did wonder how long you would stand there and watch.” The high priestess turned and gazed up at me with her dark azure eyes. She looked so proud and fearless, but mayhap, also, a bit unsure about what to do next. I know I was. Her beauty rendered me speechless until I realized she was frowning. Afore I could utter a reply, she stood up in haste, and stepped away from the fiery pit, her eyes never leaving mine. I stepped back when I saw her extend her right hand, which held her sceptre, turning the ornate rod into a full-length staff that glimmered in the firelight. She whispered a quick incantation that made her entire body shimmer. Poised to attack, she lifted up her staff, aiming its sharp point at my chest.

This was not at all what I expected.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

If you want to advantage of the FREE download of this ebook, click here:

Prime Amazon Members can check it out for free, but tomorrow I am offering it to everyone who wants it. This 2nd edition of the Kindle ebook will be FREE at Amazon tomorrow and Saturday. And don't forget, if you do not have a Kindle reader, that same website has a link on the right side for getting the free Kindle app for your PC, Iphone, Android and tablet. Look for this image and click it.



Monday, November 4, 2013

My 2013/14 Winter Events

November is here and with it a good number of craft fairs and store events. People here are revving up for the holidays. Lake Havasu has the "snow birds" coming back for a break from the freezing temperatures up north. The weather is absolutely beautiful. I got my fire logs ready for the fireplace and have set up my home office where I can write by the firelight, so to speak. Now that I am done with the new and improved "The Priestess and the Ravenknight" I plan to craft some items, order more books to sell and attend these events.

Here is what I have scheduled so far:

The Book Exchange - Authors Meet & Greet on Saturday - Nov. 9th - 11 - 3:00

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
WNEA Extravaganza on Saturday - Nov. 16th - 9-3:00 

 * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
E.V. MEDINA BOOK SIGNING at Hastings Books, Videos and Music on Sunday - Nov. 17th - 12-3:00

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
E.V. MEDINA BOOK SIGNING at Arizona Renaissance Festival on Sat. - Feb. 15th 12 - 4:00

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

I also hope to take part in the Lake Havasu Winterfest in Feb. 
Will post those details as soon as I get them.
Venue: McCulloch Blvd (Main St) btwn Acoma & Smoketree
Contact Information: Jeni  Coke
Phone: 928-855-4115
Email: jenic@havasuchamber.com
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

If you are anywhere in the area this month, do stop by and visit. I'm always happy to meet my readers and make new friends. All these events are FREE (except for the Ren. Festival) and contact information is posted above.