Aren't archaic words just delicious? I love scrounging around Dictionary.com and my own battered copy of Webster in search of definitions to all the strange new words I run across. Why, since picking up Dorothy Sayers' Lord Peter, I've been at the dictionary three times as much as normal - quite a lot of new words, and even a bit of between-war slang. I found some really beautiful words in a poem by J.R.R. Tolkien, and if only my memory were a little better, I could cuddle them all close and even make use of them. Of course, you have to be careful with archaic words. They have to be in the proper setting, and make sense in the setting - or at least enough sense that a reader isn't thoroughly confused on his way to the dictionary. But archaic words are loads of fun, and sometimes even shouldered and clawed into quite a pretty historical setting. Archaic words are little gems.
It's Wanton Wednesday, because "miscellany" doesn't start with a W. I don't know who is supposed to be sporting about this, you or me - possibly both. At any rate, I have a number of things to share with you.
First off, Kelsey at her review blog Little Notes (she did a review of my book The Shadow Things) got a hold of me a week or so ago to do an interview. She had some excellent and really fun questions to pose at me, and I had a wonderful time doing the interview with her. By all means, pop on by and take a look!
Why did you feel drawn to that particular time period (in regards to The Shadow Things)?
Oh, a lot of things drew me: the beauty of the South Downs, the familiarity of the post-Roman natives, the culture, and the advent of Christianity around that time. Among other things, I wanted to show Christianity getting a soul-hold on the island and displacing the pagan religions around it—and what the pagan religions thought of that. The late fifth century enabled me to do that.
Secondly, I finally got around to making that sketch of my character Andor, which I have been meaning to do for a long time now. He looks rather cuter than he probably should be, but Abigail (my Abigail - there are a lot of Abigails) says that no one wants to be disillusioned out of his image of an adorable Andor, and that I oughtn't fret. I caught him, anyway, in his typical adoring pose. Also, that's not ketchup... I still have to ink him in, and probably get rid of the drip and gruesome so that he resembles the style I used in my dragon sketch. Probably. Maybe. Possibly. Mm, I'm not sure. He looks kind of fetching this way.
Just as an aside, my heart wrenched horribly in the Lord Peter mystery The Undignified Melodrama of the Bone of Contention when the exploring party straggled into the library of the old Burdock manor and found that the housekeeper hadn't kept up the fires like she should have, and over the years the damp had got in and almost all the books were mildewed. It broke my heart. People oughtn't do that with books. If it's rude to cut a person off mid sentence while they are speaking, it ought to be socially unacceptable to ruin books like that. Poor Lord Peter was quite undone, and so was I.