Thursday, 3 October 2013

Disappointment is a Fact of a Writer's Life...

The short story that I entered into this year's Wells Literary Festival short story competition, didn't get into the shortlist.

I know it isn't that my story was utter rubbish, nor was it the victim of poor spelling and grammar, or even that I'm a rotten writer.

It's just didn't make the grade against other entries, those that were eventually chosen for the shortlist.

But that's life.

I now need to decide this story's future.

I still believe it has potential. And it doesn't deserve to just be put away in the box file and forgotten about.

So it will be going off to another place for consideration.

Fingers crossed it will be third time lucky... :-)

But if it's another no, then it may just end up in that file box for a while...

Monday, 23 September 2013

Weaponry Research for the Writer...

If you want to see old weaponry on display, and in context, then you will get a lot out of the Royal Armouries in Leeds. But don't expect to see everything in one visit, so be prepared.

It's a National Museum, so it costs nothing to go in- though they welcome donations- and there are additional activities inside, and in the jousting yard, that you pay for, but the rest is FREE.

There are five floors with different displays, as well as an outdoor area for specific displays (they run on set days/weekends, and times, you also need to pay for these).

They have an inexpensive guidebook which it it worth buying, but if you don't there is a sheet to help you find your way around- it's essential to get the best out of your time there.

A few things to bear in mind; you can take pictures, but many areas you can't use the flash on your camera, so check for the unobtrusive warning notices.

If you have a problem with heights, stay away from the window alcoves as can almost see straight down, because of the building design. (I feel wobbly just thinking about it).

This is sunlight falling on the floor from the floor to ceiling windows in the self defence section. It also gives you some idea of the lighting without the camera flash...

                                            A selection of Cannon in the ground                                               floor area of the Hall of Steel...

Looking up at the weapon array in the Hall of Steel. Each section is covered with a selection of arms. You can climb the stairs that surrounds this area and look through the windows as you climb.

                                  This is a pair of flintlock pocket                                         pistols- French, from about 1780.

(They triggered the arrival of another new character for me to discover...)

This is a detail from the large display, including a Civil War Cavalryman on horse.

(In the War section there was a full size display of soldiers from various time periods including this Parliamentarian.)

I have to say I was quite pleased it was just a model, as the fully armed cavalryman looked very intimidating...

There is also a library on the ground floor for researchers, but that wasn't open when we went at the weekend, and you can't just turn up to use it when it is open, booking is required.

Now, I've saved my favourite for my last picture - duelling pistols.

Many historical romance writers will be familiar with the name, Manton. Well in one of the display cabinets among a variety of duelling pistols- and a fully equipped box- was a Manton.

Now it's a good quality version, and could have been used for duelling, but that wasn't its sole purpose; but even so, it was in its own way beautiful -but still deadly.

(This photo has been created by taking the Manton pistol image out of the display cabinet picture I took- big thanks to my son Dane for his editing skills to create the picture for me so you could see it properly.)

                                       A gentleman's Manton                                               flintlock pistol.

Hope you've enjoyed looking at my pictures from my visit to the Royal Armouries.

If you want to copy any of them, please credit the source, myself/blog link, and the Royal Armouries who allow visitors to take photos.