Truth or (ancient) fiction?

I recently went with my family to visit the fabulous Alma-Tadema exhibition in Rome at the Chiostro del Bramante. Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema was a Dutch artist who moved to England and became part of the late nineteenth century Pre-Raphaelite movement. Although not as well known as Dante Gabriel Rossetti or Edward Burnes-Jones, Alma-Tadema’s artwork was…

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The splendors of Taipei’s National Palace Museum

I’ve already written an overview of tips¬† from my vacation with my sons in Taipei, Taiwan last summer. One of the places you absolutely cannot miss on your visit to the Taiwanese capital is the impressive National Palace Museum (Guoli Gugong Bowuguan). The museum is considered the world’s greatest repository of Chinese artifacts. The works…

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How do you know when to give up on a project?

This question was posed in a post over at the fabulous Nathan Bransford blog. Bransford was asking readers when they decide it’s time to lay a current project to rest. It’s an interesting question for writers. After all the effort- and blood, sweat, and tears-writers put into their work, is there a moment when you…

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A bird’s eye view over Hamburg from St Michaelis

St. Michaelis, whose tower is perhaps the most famous landmark of Hamburg, Germany, is actually the newest of Hamburg’s main churches. The church, with its entrance marked by St. Michael slaying a writhing devil at his feet, has an unlucky history. The first church, built in 1649, was destroyed my lightening in 1750. The 18th…

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Life in the fast lane? … Or not

I’m not referring to authors here. The last time authors lived life in the fast lane may well have been back in 1920s Paris. Instead, I’m interested in novel pacing. As authors, we all know how crucial it is to find the ‘hook’ – that situation that will compel our readers to continue reading after…

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Reason #5375 to love Rome: Golden Gala 2014

I spend a lot of time at children’s track and field meets, so it’s a nice change of pace each June when the international stars of track and field – the adult variety- descend upon Rome to participate in the competitions of The Golden Gala. I already wrote about the competition last year. This year’s…

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