Here, you can see the most recent burial, laid out in the center of the burial chamber. The door on the side leads into a smaller burial chamber.
Therefore, I give you Orestes: The Outcast on Smashwords, with all its various formats (iBook, .pdf, .mobi, etc.) Now go out there and BUY, so I can comfortably settle into working on The High King.
Swallows are common in Crete and all around the Cyclades, except for Santorini. From the Theran Spring fresco, it's clear they once inhabited the island; the 1600 B.C. eruption must have been so massive that it must have imprinted "DANGER! AVOID!" on all subsequent swallow generations.
In other news, I am outlining the forty-nine year period that will make up Orestes: The High King. As I do this, I'm having to calculate everyone's ages. Right now, I'm on Year 22.
This book will feature the Herakleidai and the Dorians, who have been mentioned in passing in the previous two books. Nestor of Pylos and Telemachus will make appearances, but not Odysseus. And yes, there will be battles and hunting scenes. I haven't yet included those in the trilogy.
Seven years have passed since Orestes witnessed the savage murder of his father Agamemnon and fled for his life.
Now, aged twenty, he is ready to reclaim his birthright as king of Mycenae, and avenge his father’s murder—by killing his own mother, a crime that will label him a matricide. He will be shunned by all men, and hounded into madness by the demonic Erinyes, the relentless Daughters of Night. Orestes’ only hope of redemption lies in trial by sanity, an ordeal which will take him to the very edge of terror. Will he survive as a whole man, and receive ritual purification in order to claim his throne, or will he perish in the attempt?
Note: I'm just coming up for air after this book, so be patient for the third and final book, The High King. That one will be as large as the first two books put together.
I just submitted Helen’s Daughter for the Amazon Breakthrough Novel 2012 contest, mostly because it cost nothing and could not hurt. But I have no illusions that I will win anything. I am not the type of person who wins contests, or is chosen first for anything. Also, I have seen the novels which won in previous years: agents and publishers want the same kind of pretentious literary crap my college instructors tried to push on me twenty years ago. But I am NOT a pretentious, abstract, literary crap-type writer. Yes, I would like to win that $15k publishing contract, but it is not very likely. Nor is it likely that I will ever win a Pulitzer or Nobel Prize, or have my books appear on a college course reading list. But that’s okay. I write what interests me, and I hope others are entertained, too.
First news of the New Year: the first draft of Orestes: The Outcast is finished, at 78,000 words; it is a short book, with The High King, the final book in the trilogy, set to be much longer. I am now combing through The Outcast, weeding out typos and editing for content. It should be ready by late January or early February.
November and December were great months for Helen’s Daughter. Somehow, this book is selling far better than The Young Lion. Do readers simply prefer novels with female protagonists? Don’t shy away from the Orestes Trilogy! Plenty of Mycenaean pageantry, adventure, and intrigue to soak up!
On an end note, some recent cartoons: Orestes and Hermione holiday shopping at IKEA Corinth, and the pair on Christmas morning. The latter will be a diptych image, with Elektra and Pylades facing.
Note: if your eyes are good, you might be able to make out the Snake Goddess on the tree.
Funds permitting, I would like to do another Minoan doll, this time one of the three Blue Ladies from Knossos. They’re not actually dressed in blue, just posed against a blue background. Here, you can see my faithful watercolor rendering of the ladies, with their pearl-bound tresses and patterned orange jackets.
But wait, you say, how can you do a doll when you don’t know what the bottom looks like?
The fresco fragment known as the Lady of Mycenae was found in the Cult House below the palace of Mycenae. She is a rather stolid older lady, with ample arms and a sagging chin, offering necklaces to a deity.
I realize I have been neglecting my journal lately. But I have been working diligently on finishing Orestes: The Outcast, and on crafting this 1-inch scale doll: The Minoan Snake Priestess.Each of those fringes was hand-applied; each row took about 2-3 hours to complete. Yes, she is holding a coiled snake around her left hand, and the background is the Throne Room fresco from Knossos; the picture was taken prior to her being settled in her shadow box. Pictures of that will follow once I can get around the reflection off the glass.
A Minoan seal stone discovered during the most recent excavations at Vrysinas, near Rethymnon, Crete. At one time, Vrysinas was an important Minoan peak sanctuary; the seal dates from the First Palace period (1900-1700 B.C.) It is red jasper, and is carved on all four sides with Minoan hieroglyphics which are not Linear A. In fact, the seal stone appears to be the earliest example of Minoan Hieroglyphic script yet discovered.
You can read more about the find here.