Tuesday, 21 October 2014

The Teepee Capital of the World

(CNN) -- A mini metropolis of teepees sprawls across the parched plains, and in the early hours of the morning the first to rise are the children.

They have an important job to do.

"We'd wake up in those teepees, and we were pretty happy to slip the bridles off the horses and ride bareback to the river," remembers Jim Real Bird, today a man of 58.

"We'd take the horses to the river to drink water -- that was our first job as young boys."

Read the rest here.

Many thanks to my husband for showing this to me.

Monday, 20 October 2014

Exodus Trailer!

Click here to view it.

Son of God, I loved (very beautiful portrayal of the life of Christ); Noah, not so. There is no telling how Exodus: Gods and Kings will be like, but there is only one way to find out...

Nevertheless, I eagerly anticipate this.

Many thanks to Al for sending this to me.

Thursday, 2 October 2014

More on The Mysterious Tomb

Dating to the tumultuous years surrounding the death of Alexander the Great, between about 325 and 300 B.C., the tomb is the largest ever found in northern Greece—a resting place monumental enough for royalty.

The burial borders the ancient Aegean port of Amphipolis (near modern-day Amfípoli), which once served as the base for the fleet that Alexander the Great took on his invasion of Asia.

Full article here.

Many thanks to Al for showing this to me.

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Mysterious Tomb from Alexander the Great's time

Athens (AFP) - Two stunning caryatid statues have been unearthed holding up the entrance to the biggest ancient tomb ever found in Greece, archaeologists said.

The two female figures in long-sleeved tunics were found standing guard at the opening to the mysterious Alexander The Great-era tomb near Amphipolis in the Macedonia region of northern Greece.

"The left arm of one and the right arm of the other are raised in a symbolic gesture to refuse entry to the tomb," a statement from the culture ministry said Saturday.

Full article here.

Many thanks to Al for showing this to me.

Monday, 4 August 2014

Got Questions

GotQuestions is an incredible app which has Q & A's to - it seems - nearly everything about the Bible and Christianity. I am not quite the technology enthusiast, yet, when I discovered this app, I spent long hours with it (and still do). I am just so amazed at how comprehensive it is.

For when I say it has everything, I mean everything. Bible questions, commentaries, church history, apologetics, the list is endless.

Recently, they published an article all about - surprise, surprise - our dear Asenath. Here be an excerpt.

Question: "Who were the priests of On? Was Joseph wrong to marry the daughter of a pagan priest (Genesis 41)?"

Answer: In Genesis 41, we read that Joseph married the daughter of the priest of On. Verse 45 says, “Pharaoh . . . gave [Joseph] Asenath daughter of Potiphera, priest of On, to be his wife.” This seems to go against the Old Testament directive not to intermarry with pagans (Nehemiah 13:27). Was Joseph sinfully embracing Egyptian culture? Or is there more to the story?

First, it is clear that Joseph was “given” a wife by Pharaoh. Joseph had just come from prison to interpret a prophetic dream for Pharaoh. When the dream was interpreted, the king honored Joseph with a high-ranking office in Egypt and placed him in charge of preparing for a future famine. Joseph’s rewards included a new position, a new Egyptian name (“Zaphenath-Paneah”), and an Egyptian wife. Joseph was not given a choice regarding whether to take Asenath as his wife.

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Writing About Ancient Egypt

I wrote this article for Historical Tapestry back when Asenath was released. I have edited some parts of it though.
It has been a while since the article was published, yet, it is still quite relevant.

Why I Love To Write About Ancient Egypt

I developed an interest in ancient history in my teens. When I was 17, an acquaintance recommended to me Wilbur Smith's River God, which was my introduction to historical fiction.

Up until that time, I never even knew there was such a genre. So I did not know what to expect. But the moment I came across a copy of the book, I fell in love with it.

I loved how Smith brought the lost world of Ancient Egypt to life: the flowing green waters of the Nile, the grandeur of the palaces, the serenity of the water gardens, the sweeping beauty of the African wilderness. I could nearly smell the sweet scent of lotus blossoms and the camel dung aromas of the desert.

When the idea to write Asenath came to me, I was excited. For not only was it about one of my favourite Biblical narratives, it also involved one of my favourite ancient civilisations. And having read a number of Egyptian novels in the past, and knowing how uniquely beautiful Ancient Egypt's culture was, I developed the impression that recreating this lost world might be something of a virtual treat for the senses. Thus, I grew eager to try my hand at writing my own Egyptian-inspired novel.

I heard that the Ancient Egyptians loved their land so much, they believed it was a reflection of the afterlife. And though I have certainly never lived in those times (though would that I did!), I can imagine why they thought so.

You might have seen the ancient monuments: the temples and pyramids. They are impressive, without a doubt. But in ancient times, they were literally dazzling. They were covered in gleaming limestone and alabaster.

Murals were made up of colourful precious stones. Gardens, according to research, were amazingly beautiful. They had acacia trees, flower beds, and ornamental pools brimming with lotus blossoms. Temples were filled with rituals, the scents of incense and the chanting of the priests.

And of course, the ancient Egyptians themselves were fascinating people. Though they lived in a unique world of palaces and temples, they surely had the same thoughts and feelings that we do today. In creating my characters, I tried to imagine how similar or different ancient peoples might be to me, my family, and friends.
Additionally, I love describing the Ancient Egyptians' costuming, especially the cunningly painted kohl eyeliner streaks. They had the most stunning fashions.

As a dog lover, I was very pleased to learn that the Ancient Egyptians were fond of pets. This endeared me to them further.
Statues and paintings often show doting owners with their furbabies. Pharaoh Ramses II, I heard, had a dog and even a lion.

Writing Asenath has thus allowed me to escape into this lost, beautiful world of the Nile. My second novel will still be set there. In the future, I may branch out to other ancient settings; I would very much like to write a novel set in the time of Christ.

But for now, I will see what other opportunities I have in Egypt.

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Robert W. Service

This was apparently my father-in-law's favourite poem about winter.

Now Sam McGee was from Tennessee, where the cotton blooms and blows.
Why he left his home in the South to roam 'round the Pole, God only knows.
He was always cold, but the land of gold seemed to hold him like a spell;
Though he'd often say in his homely way that "he'd sooner live in hell."

On a Christmas Day we were mushing our way over the Dawson trail.
Talk of your cold! through the parka's fold it stabbed like a driven nail.
If our eyes we'd close, then the lashes froze till sometimes we couldn't see;
It wasn't much fun, but the only one to whimper was Sam McGee.

Read the rest here.

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Lost Cities

(CNN) -- The world tends to celebrate the ingenuity and strength of great civilizations that have flourished by successfully subduing nature.

But every bit as fascinating are the stories of once-great civilizations forced to submit to nature's capricious power.

Thanks to Al for showing this to me.

Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Turning Japanese

No, I am not setting my next novel in Japan (yet?). But this was a really interesting article on how to catch a glimpse of a geisha while in the Land of the Rising Sun - and in Kyoto, no less.

Being a big fan of Arthur Golden's Memoirs of a Geisha (loved the novel, despised the film), I was all the more intrigued to learn a few - how shall we call it - "geisha spotting" tips.

(CNN) -- It's 5:55 p.m. on a warm summer evening on Hanami-Koji Street in Kyoto's historic Gion district.

A dozen or so camera-clutching tourists line both sides of the cobblestone road, waiting for that magical moment.

Then it happens.

A single apprentice geisha emerges from a nearby taxi.

Thanks to Al for showing this to me.

Tuesday, 1 July 2014


I just heard that an Ancient Egyptian-inspired TV series entitled Hieroglyph was in the works.


For unfortunately, it has been cancelled.

To say I am disappointed is an understatement.

In what might be one of the quickest cancellations ever, Fox is pulling the plug on "Hieroglyph," a drama set in ancient Egypt.
"Hieroglyph" starred Max Brown as a thief who stayed out of prison by serving the Pharaoh (Reece Ritchie) in navigating "navigating palace intrigue, seductive concubines, criminal underbellies and even a few divine sorcerers."

That is a fine-looking casting photo, I must say.

Oh well. Better luck next time, I suppose.

Thanks to Al for showing this to me.