History of the World According to the Movies: Part 4- Ancient Rome

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No series of history in the movies can be complete without mentioning one of the ancient entity everyone talks about: Rome. More movies set in ancient times usually pertain to Ancient Rome than any other.

History of the World According to the Movies: Part 4- Ancient Rome.


History of the World According to the Movies: Part 3- Ancient Greece and Other Things

The Lone Girl in a Crowd

Image This is from the notorious historical disasterpiece 300. While there was a Battle of Thermopylae as well as a real King Leonidas and Queen Gorgo, they certainly didn’t dress like that. I mean Spartan warriors would fight without upper body protection while Spartan women wouldn’t wear their hair shoulder length or don in outfits other tan a short tunic. Also, you don’t see any helots tending the fields, which they certainly would because slavery was actively enforced in Sparta. Not to mention, Leonidas’ son would have to be at the Spartan warrior school learning fighting, survival skills, and dirty tricks by now since there’s no way he looks younger than seven.

When telling the history of the western world, you can’t leave out the Greeks. Much of our vocabulary comes from them as well as the fact that they were the forerunners of a lot of things like science, medicine…

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Four More Habits of Successful Writers

The Editor's Guide to Christian Publishing

by guest writer Katie Heid.

Having trouble disciplining yourself to write? Check out the second post in our series, “Habits of Successful Writers.”


Set a timer for focused free writing – Sometimes writers are so focused on constructing that first sentence or the perfect story that they paralyze themselves. Creativity flows from unrestricted opportunity. Instead of placing restrictions on your words, allow yourself the time to discover what you have to say. Set a timer for 10, 15, or 20 minutes and then write. Don’t stop to correct grammar; don’t evaluate whether sentences make sense. Just write until the buzzer sounds. Then evaluate what good ideas emerged from your session.

Write a Crummy First Draft A little known fact about famous authors is that they all wrote really, really lousy first drafts. Anne Lamott writes “All good writers write [these drafts]. This is how they end up with…

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An interview with Nick Brown – author of The Far Shore (Agent of Rome)

For winter nights - A bookish blog

The Far Shore by Nick Brown Nick Brown’s Agent of Rome series has become one of my favourite series, not just of historical or Roman fiction but of any genre. It brings the world of the Roman secret service to life. Its place at the top of my To Be Read Pile was sealed by The Far Shore , the third and best of the series and also one of my top reads of 2013 . You can read my full review here but, if I had to sum it up (and I quote from my best of 2013 post): The Far Shore is a thoroughly enjoyable, fast and furious, often funny Roman adventure, populated by people I care about and set in a world in which demons are at work. I was so pleased to be asked to do an interview with Nick to coincide with the recent publication of The Far Shore in paperback

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Learning Twitter for authors; then tweeting magic

Lloyd Lofthouse

Several years ago I joined Twitter and set up an automatic feed from my first Blog—iLookChina.net; then I ignored Twitter for more than four years. I had no idea how to use Twitter or Facebook properly. Both sites confused me and Facebook still does.

In fact, it’s been so long since I signed up for my Twitter account, I had to visit Twopcharts.com to discover that I first signed up on March 16, 2009—1,782 days counting back from January 31, 2014, but I started building my author’s platform December 2007 when I launched my first website. The blogs came later, and after I started to seriously blog in 2010, sales took off from 341 for 2009 to 2,375 for 2010, and in 2013, my work sold 5,044 books—the best year yet.

Then last May—1,531 days or 4.19 years after I signed up for my Twitter account—I was encouraged by another…

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For Cryin’ Out Loud, Read It Out Loud!

San Giacomo's Corner

I could never be a speed reader, although I’d love to have that ability. When I read, I have a mental voice. In my mind’s ear, I can hear the words being spoken. That’s a major mental block to speed reading. However, it gives me a powerful tool.

When I read, I’m in tune to the beat and rhythm of the English language. Yes, every language has one. Maybe that’s why I can speak Spanish and French and fool a native for a few minutes. It’s the beat, rhythm, and voice inflections, that make English so powerful (Yes, I’m perfectly aware of Chinese having those qualities as well). In English, you not only have the stressed syllable in a word, but sometimes there are also a second stressed and a half-stressed syllables as well.


Photo: Ky Olsen used under creative commons license.

Of course there are numerous books out there…

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What Novelists Can Learn From Screenwriters

Jot Writers Conference

Hello Jotters! We are less than two weeks away from Jot 3.

The Weaklings could not be more excited about the latest addition of Jot. Not only do we have an excellent line up of presenters, but are offering a free poetry workshop byMatthew Landrum, Poetry Editor of Structo Magazine (limited spaces available).

Today, I’d like to introduce you to Thomas McClurg. He’s a local indie author and is presenting on the topic of screenwriting.

1. I assume most of our attendees are book writers (fiction, nonfiction, memoir etc.) or poets. Tell me why you think Jot attendees should consider taking a stab at screen writing.

Short answer: Because I think it’s a fascinating discipline. I find theact of creating scenes and characters with words and imagining that theyare being translated into a film by actors and directors to be a treat forthe imagination…

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20? Make it 50!

Short History Stories

Julius Caesar Raises The Ransom…. On Himself?

In 75 B.C., a 25 year old Julius Caesar (not yet dictator for another 27 years) decided to further his studies after having a career as a criminal lawyer, which was not the epic seven year (minimum) journey it is today that requires passing the bar and working for dirt cheap as a public attorney until a big firm brings you on board. Regardless, it was still pretty much a prerequisite for getting into politics, which at the time, Julius Caesar wanted nothing to do with. In order to pursue his studies, he traveled to the island of Rhodes which was part of an eastern Roman province.

Which is not to be confused with Providence, Rhode Island, which is not really an island.
Which is not to be confused with Providence, Rhode Island, which is not even an island.

During this trip, Julius Caesar was captured by Cilician pirates who ran rampant through the Mediterranean sea at the time. …

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