Sunday, 19 February 2012

New Friendships Forged during Jorvik Viking Festival 2012

Well I have finally returned from my annual week raiding the great capital of the Danelaw, Jorvik (aka York) for the Jorvik Viking Festival 2012 and I can say that despite not attending the finale battle or the black tie banquet with viking escorts I still have had a fantastic time. I have witnessed the dramatic Holmgang Scandinavian duel, a norse handfastening marriage ceremony in the grand halls of York Minster which had some amazing folk/traditional singers regailing the audience with scandinavian and gaelic songs. I have also learnt to sew wool thread with a wooden needle using a technique known as Naal-binding and seen the beautiful Fulford Tapestry, depicting the first and often forgotten battle of 1066, the Battle of Fulford beck where King Harald Hardrada of Norway got his first and last victory against the anglo-saxon Earl Morcard before recapturing York and then of course meeting his doom at Stamford Bridge against King Harold Godwinson. At all these events I met like-minded people and made friends with a fair few of them, my new writer contact cards came quite in handy although we'll see if any of the lovely ladies I spoke to email me back hehehe I might have been too scary and viking obsessed for them.

Photographs of the Holmgang and the Battle of Fulford Tapestry (with a visual tour video) can found available in my Jorvik Collection on my Flickr account - just click --> HERE

But my 2 favourite highlights of Jorvik 2012 have to be meeting authors Victoria Campbell, writer of Viking Gold and James Aitcheson, writer of Sworn Sword. Two fabulous new historical fiction writers and two great people who I've become (I hope and presume quite rudely) friends with judging by the fact that not only did Victoria invite me out for a coffee afterwards (we had a great long chat about all things writerly and vikingy) but also James was very friendly and chatty with me and even hinted he reads this slightly insane blog of mine hehehe (nervous laugh).
Me and author Victoria Campbell - yes complete with my SC shirt - comes everywhere with me when I am lucky enough to meet famous people hehehe.

Me and author James Aitcheson
So let's see (yet again) if meeting such talented writers as Victoria and James can set my imagination a blaze and my fingers into a whirlwind and get Soul Chaser flying again. I must admitt that the previous week (starting 6th Feb) when I was raiding into Wales for my dose of librarian wisdom and knowledge I did do a suprising amount of writing on what I thought was just giving some of my protaganists backstory some substance but it's given me such a good feeling (even from a rough draft) that I might just pop in as SC Chapter 2 and shuffle the whole story on a little bit hehehe. It's still not completely finished but I think I have a few thousand words written at least, it's definitely going to be a big jolt of action at the start of the book which hopefully will get the reader excited or at least intrigued by the world they have entered. I just need to type it up from my hand written notes and see where else it takes me.

That's it for a recap of my mad viking week at Jorvik for 2012 - next time I blog it will be the enchantingly good norse fantasy book The Sleeping Army by Francesca Simon and maybe even a little sample of the new chapter that has decided to appear ages after I'd thought I'd written the start of the book hehehe.

Memories of Valhalla

Vikings in Jorvik!Viking Shield WallViking Battle Practise - Jorvik Festival 2009Vikings have arrived!Golden Eagle GazeEagle Glare
Jer FalconBald EagleGreat Eared European Eagle OwlShield Wall ClashTo the Death!Ransom or her life!?
Viking ShipBattle Practice - Preparing for shield wallBattle Practise - Shield wall clashBattle Practise - spearman forwardsBattle Practise - shield wall clashBeard competition - who wins?
Jorvik Vikings Shield WallViking screaming match against kidsArmy marches to battle!A great and royal Anglo-Saxon helmet of oldAnlgo-Saxon WarriorsVikings - dead or alive?

Jorvik Festival, a set on Flickr.

I've just added my favourite pictures from the Jorvik Viking Festival 2012 to my Jorvik photo collection on my Flickr account. So the first ones you see won't be from this year but a few years past but please feel free to browse through to the collection - the ones for this year will have the Jorvik2012 tag and feature the Holmgang I witnessed and the Battle of Fulford Tapestry.

Friday, 10 February 2012

I am now an official 'mad' (viking) Auntie!

I would also like to announce that I can now officially call myself an Auntie! (and a truly mad one at that heheh)
My little sister gave birth to a beautiful baby boy late on the evening of 9-02-2012.
Interestingly enough I had my suspicions it would be a boy (it was all going to be a suprise) as I saw 4 magpies:
1 for sorrow,
2 for joy,
3 for a girl,
and 4 for a.... BOY!
I did also see a Buzzard but I don't know what the relevance of that was hehehe.
There was also the small matter of him being born on Thors-Day so the Thunder God may well have had a small influence on the matter.

This in a way is even more of a good thing because as a boy he might be more easier to inspire to have a love or at least a fascination about all things Vikingy (muwahahahahahah!)

Becky Bookworm Book Review: Viking Gold by V Campbell

I have just finished another fantast new viking historical fiction book by an author I will meet next week as part of the Jorvik Viking festival! YAY! Please find review by clicking on the cover image to be taken to my own viking book section on FantasyGuide.com where you can find this review and more from all my favourite books across the three genres of historical fiction, norse fantasy and non-ficiton too.

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Becky Bookworm Book Review: The Vikings by Magnus Magnusson

Took me whole nine months but I finally finished another detailed, interesting, fascinating and enlightening book on the complete history of the vikings. My review of it is now available from the Viking book section of FantasyGuide.com. Just scroll down to the non-fiction area at the bottom of the page. Please do go visit and discover a whole plethora of great books in a selection of genres for any viking fan.
Viking and norse fantasy books, series and more

Sunday, 5 February 2012

Jorvik Viking Festival 2012 - 11th - 18th February

YAY It's my favourite time of year again! The time of year when all viking lovers, renactors, medieval market stalls, historical authors and warriors from the past come alive again and gather at the once great and proud city of the former Danelaw, Jorvik! (Aka York to you modern people!).

I got my tickets aaaages ago and have already rejuvenated all my nordic custom clothing for the events I will be appearing at. So if you are hanging around York in a week's time and see a petite brunette wearing a cloak or a raven on her back that will probably be me! I'm pretty sure no one else, even the renactors will be wearing what I will be.

Currently my list of events are:

Monday:
Viking Holmgang battle duel in the morning, afternoon author event with V Campbell, who wrote Viking Gold which I am currently reading and loving and will definitely finish before I meet her.

Wednesdasy:
Author event with James Aitcheson who wrote Sword Sword (you can find review in a previous post) in the afternoon and then I'm attending the Jorvik Viking Wedding at York Minister in the evening.

Thursday:
At an all day norse textile workshop run by the Fulford Society.

Saturday:
Medieval market day! I'll be doing lots of trading for 2012 momentos.

For my favourite photographs of the 4 Jorvik Festival's I've been to so far please follow this link to my Flickr page - Jorvik Festival photographs

However the week before all the fun kicks off I'll be doing my regular raiding into Wales to loot Glyndwr University of all its knowledge and wisdom on how to be a good librarian hehehe. I'm pretty sure if Vikings were around today they would mistake Universities for monastaries and raid them instead, that is until they discover that it might be more profitable to raid shopping centres etc.

But I'll be digging my teeth into plenty of fab historical viking and norse fantasy books whilst I'm away so although this blog will be relatively silent for the next two weeks be assured I will return with as much viking themed loot as Harald Hardrada did when he fled Constantinople.

Until I return from my vikingr travels - keep spreading the Viking love!

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