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.

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