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As you know, I was bitterly disappointed when Satalyte shut up shop as it might have meant the end of my admittedly short career as a publi...

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I am a writer, editor, reviewer and dance teacher based in Perth, Western Australia.

My books

The first two novels of my trilogy, The Talismans, are available as e-books from Smashwords. I do have paperbacks of The Dagger of Dresnia at the low price of $AU25 including postage within Australia. I also have a short story, 'La Belle Dame', in print - see Mythic Resonance below. The best way to contact me is via Facebook!

Buy The Talismans

The first two books of The Talismans trilogy were published by Satalyte Publications, which, sadly, has gone out of business. I hope to see my books back on Amazon under a new publisher in the near future.

The Dagger of Dresnia

The Dagger of Dresnia
Want a copy? Contact me at satimafn(at)gmail.com

The Cloak of Challiver

The Cloak of Challiver
Available again as an ebook soon!

Mythic Resonance

Buy Mythic Resonance

Mythic Resonance is an excellent anthology that includes my short story 'La Belle Dame', together with great stories from Alan Baxter, Donna Maree Hanson, Sue Burstynski, Nike Sulway and nine more fantastic authors! Just $US3.99 from Amazon. Got a Kindle? Check out Mythic Resonance.

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Places I've lived: Manchester, UK

Places I've lived: Manchester, UK

Places I've lived: Gippsland, Australia

Places I've lived: Gippsland, Australia

Places I've lived: Geelong, Australia

Places I've lived: Geelong,  Australia

Places I've lived: Tamworth, NSW

Places I've lived: Tamworth, NSW

Places I've Lived - Sydney

Places I've Lived - Sydney
Sydney Conservatorium - my old school

Places I've lived: Auckland, NZ

Places I've lived: Auckland, NZ

Places I've Lived: Mount Gambier

Places I've Lived: Mount Gambier
Blue Lake

Places I've lived: Adelaide, SA

Places I've lived: Adelaide, SA

Places I've Lived: Perth by Day

Places I've Lived: Perth by Day
From Kings Park

Places I've lived: High View, WV

Places I've lived: High View, WV

Places I've lived: Lynton, Devon, UK

Places I've lived: Lynton, Devon, UK

Places I've lived: Braemar, Scotland

Places I've lived: Braemar, Scotland

Places I've lived: Barre, MA, USA

Places I've lived: Barre, MA, USA

Places I've Lived: Perth by Night

Places I've Lived: Perth by Night
From Kings Park

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Sunday, 17 August 2008

Birthday Meme

Here’s a meme that’s going around: I pinched it from Mikandra.

To play this one, look up your birthday in Wikipedia. Pick 4 events, 3 births, 2 deaths and 1 holiday.

My birthday is 4 March, and I’ve only met a handful of other people whose birthdays fall on that day. There was a little club on ICQ, years ago. The founder said we were special “because we March Forth!” Looking at Wikipedia, I found plenty of others who march forth, so I picked events and people I felt I could relate to for various reasons, which I’ve given below to make the meme a bit more meaningful. At least, I hope it does:-).

Events
1461 - Wars of the Roses in England: Lancastrian King Henry VI is deposed by his Yorkist cousin, who then becomes King Edward IV
Both these guys were 2nd cousins 16 times removed of mine, and Edward was stepfather to Thomas Grey, my 13th great-grandfather. His mother, Elizabeth (née Woodville, right) went to Edward to complain that she’d had no pension when her first husband, Thomas’s father John, had died in battle while fighting for Edward. Edward liked the look of Elizabeth and secretly married her. When his advisors found out there was hell to pay! And there was sadness in store for Elizabeth, for her two sons by Edward were the poor little “Princes in the Tower”, who were done to death. Let’s not go into whodunit, as it always starts arguments.

The Wars of the Roses provide an object lesson in human stupidity. Ancestors of mine—and no doubt yours, if you have any Brit in you—died on both sides of this idiotic conflict. What’s more, they did it all again in the seventeenth century when our ancestors fought over which version of the favoured Imaginary Friend of the day was the better. Sheesh!

1877 - Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky's ballet Swan Lake premieres at the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow
This beautiful fantasy story of love, betrayal and death did not find public favour at its premiere and was quickly dropped from the repertoire. It was only in 1895, when it was revived with new choreography by Marius Petipa, that it gained the popularity it enjoys to this day. Petipa is responsible for that curse of all aspiring ballerinas, the thirty-two fouettés, which he incorporated into the third act pas de deux. His ballerina, the Italian Pierina Legnani, apparently found it a simple matter to stand on one toe and whirl around on the spot thirty-two times, to the despair of every ballet student since. I could never manage more than a dozen, even on a good day.

1917 - Grand Duke Michael Alexandrovich of Russia's renunciation of the throne is made public, and Tsar Nicholas II of Russia publicly issues his abdication manifesto
We all know the tragic story of a man unable to see the writing on the wall; a man temperamentally unfit to lead yet forced to try, whose refusal to do away with autocracy led to the violent deaths of his wife and children as well as himself.

1945 - In the United Kingdom, Princess Elizabeth, later to become Queen Elizabeth II, joins the British Army as a driver
What the princess joined was actually the Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS), which my eldest sister Erica joined a year or two earlier. In fact, she joined up soon after my birth, since she couldn’t face the thought of still another younger sister in the house! Erica saw service in Germany, near Hamburg.

Births
1188 - Blanche of Castile, wife of Louis VIII of France (d. 1252)
Louis and Blanche were 22x great-grandparents of mine and I am proud to share Blanche’s birthday. She was the strong one: Louis was a gentle person who died young, leaving Blanche to bring up their large family alone, as well as to quell a rebellion by a bunch of stroppy barons and to fend off an offensive by the English. She ruled as regent both before and after the accession of her son Louis IX (later canonised) and was respected by friend and foe alike for her diplomacy and her grasp of military strategy.

1898 - Georges Dumézil, French philologist (d. 1940)
I drew heavily on Dumézil’s work for a paper I wrote at university on Indo-European religion. I had to read the book in French because no translation was available – eek! It was one of the few papers that Martin Wiltshire, a really tough marker, ever honoured with an A grade. It’s nice to feel appreciated sometimes:-).

1916 - Hans Eysenck, German-born psychologist (d. 1997)
This highly regarded psychologist was not frightened to publish his research into astrology and stand up to say that the statistical evidence spoke for itself. (H.J. Eysenck & D.K.B. Nias, Astrology: Science or Superstition? Penguin Books (1982))

Deaths
1193 - Saladin, Kurdish sultan (b. 1137)
In early primary school, this man (Ṣalāḥ ad-Dīn Yūsuf ibn Ayyūb) was held up to us as a model of chivalry, and indeed his good works are worthy of renown. Sadly, I can’t claim kinship with this one, but he should be an inspiration to us all. The following info was lifted almost wholesale from Wikipedia, partly paraphrased and edited:

Saladin’s relationship with Richard the Lionheart was one of chivalrous mutual respect as well as military rivalry. When Richard became ill with fever, Saladin offered the services of his personal physician. Saladin also sent him fresh fruit with snow, to chill the drink, as treatment. At Arsuf, when Richard lost his horse, Saladin sent him two replacements. In April 1191, a Frankish woman's three month old baby had been stolen from her camp and had been sold on the market. The Franks urged her to approach Saladin herself with her grievance. After Saladin used his own money to buy the child, "he gave it to the mother and she took it; with tears streaming down her face, and hugged it to her breast. The people were watching her and weeping and I (Ibn Shaddad) was standing amongst them. She suckled it for some time and then Saladin ordered a horse to be fetched for her and she went back to camp."

When he died on March 4, 1193 at Damascus, Saladin’s advisors found there was not enough money in his treasury to pay for his funeral. He had given most of it away in charity.

1238 - Joan of England, Queen Consort of Scotland, wife of Alexander II (b. 1210)
Few medieval women got the chance to show their metal as did Queen Blanche (above). Poor little Joan, (July 22, 1210 – March 4, 1238) daughter of King John, was much more typical. She was brought up in the court of Hugh “le Brun” de Lusignan, a much older man who had been the childhood sweetheart of her mother, Isabelle d’Angoulême. Maybe Joan was a consolation prize. However, when King John died, Isabelle decided to marry Hugh herself, so Joan was sent back to England, where a marriage to King Alexander II of Scotland was being negotiated for her. They were married on June 21, 1221, at York Minster: Alexander was 23 and Joan was 11. They had no children. On 4 March 1238, Joan died in the arms of her brother, King Henry III, at Havering-atte-Bower, a favoured hunting spot of the Plantagenets. She was buried at Tarant Crawford Abbey in Dorset.

What a sad, short, little life! I hope Joan had some good times, somewhere along the way.

Feast Day
Humbert III of Savoy
Humbert was a 24xgreat-granduncle of mine: his sister Mathilda married Affonso I of Portugal and became my 24x great-grandmother a dozen times over – and an ancestor of half the rest of the world as well:-). Humbert, however, was not nearly so prolific. He was a man who would almost certainly have preferred to be a monk, and indeed he was in and out of monasteries for most of his life – between marriages!

His first wife, Faidiva, died young and his second marriage, to Gertrude of Flanders, ended in divorce, at which point Humbert became a Carthusian monk. However, the people of Savoy begged him to marry yet again, which he reluctantly did. This third wife, Clemenza of Zähringen, gave him two daughters, and when she died Humbert attempted to return to the monastic life. However, he was prevailed upon to marry for a fourth time, and this wife, Beatrice of Viennois, produced a son, Tommaso, who would ultimately succeed him.

After all that the poor guy deserved his canonisation!

This collection of useless knowledge took me several hours to research but at least I’ve got some snippets for my family history out of it. And who knows? Maybe grist for the story mill as well.

22 comments:

hrugaar said...

Coo. So how can you call yourself 'peasant stock' when you have lots of Royal cousins? :)

I'm wondering if Humbert was canonised for submitting himself to marriage four times (better not tell Elizabeth Taylor that, heh).

Are the five chooks? behaving themselves?

Satima Flavell said...

I think the peasant side has dominated over the years, Ru:-) It's amazing when you get back to Tudor times in family history what a rare old mixture our ancestors are. It makes all their squabbling and class consciousness look really stupid. The Yorkists hated the Lancastrians, yet here we stand, descended from both sides. The Irish and the English still distrust each other, yet many of us in both places descend from the marriage of Richard de Clare and Aoife of Leinster, a scion of the line of Brian Boru. Hatred is so destructive, yet in the long term in accomplishes nothing.

Yup, the chooks are doing fine. Pity I don't eat eggs as they are mounting up in the dozens already!

Saint Elizabeth of Hollywood - doesn't bear thinking about, does it?

Jo said...

My only comment on all that research is - phew!!

Can't you make something with all those eggs that you would eat?

hrugaar said...

Is it that you can't eat eggs for health reasons, or just that you don't like them?

After the death of the late Princess Diana (and yes, she did die, though the fact might escape one with all the publicity she still gets) there was futuristic fic joke about 'Saint Diana of Wales' ... and at one point, given the mass hysteria and proto-shrines that were popping up everywhere, it was disconcertingly plausible.

Satima Flavell said...

Yeah, but Di died at the height of her popularity. Poor Liz T. could die tomorrow and everyone would have forgotten within a week. No sainthood there, I fear.

I'm allergic to eggs. I've never actually vomited after eating them, but I always feel mighty sick. I can eat them in cakes (of course) but an egg on its own or a slice of quiche makes me severely nauseous. Never mind, family and friends will take them off my hands, I'm sure:-)

Yeah, I'm weird, Jo. I really , really love research.

Jo said...

I don't think that's weird Satima, lots of people love research, just as well too. I research somethings, a bit, but not too much any more I'm afraid. Too lazy these days.

So make my orange cake that takes 4 eggs.

Di was a lovely person, but she weren't no saint!!

hrugaar said...

Shame about the allergy.

Research is great ... it's just the writing up afterward that can be the real bummer.

Imagine me said...

Interesting family history there. Some industrious person has followed one part of my maternal line way back but the paternal one seems to have been lost track of. Maybe , once I've finished the trilogy... Trouble is I'm an historian by training ('cos I love research) and I'm afraid that once I get started family history will take over my life.

Satima Flavell said...

Oh dear, Jo - me, bake a cake? I gave up cooking in general and baking in particular when my youngest children entered high school and I went back to University. I am an absolutely terrible cook, so I don't think the children minded at all:-)

Gee, I love the writing up part best, Ru! There's nothing more satisfying than collecting info from disparate sources and trying it together in a nice bunch. Still,
chacun à son goût!

You're right, Helen. Family history is seriously addictive:-( I've been doing it since I was about eleven, although it didn't really take off until the internet made it all so much simpler. I now have a database of well over 20,000 people, most of them so far removed from me as to be meaningless, as with the medieval nobility. (That was all due to a spot of hanky panky on top of the blanket by one of the Lords Dudley, BTW.) It makes a nice contrast to writing fiction, too, and I never tire of it.

Jo said...

Matt's family is supposed to be descended from Richard the Lionheart through the same kind of hanky panky, but as I firmly believe he was gay, (think of Blondin, and his wife didn't have kids) it probably isn't true. However, he is descended from Hereward the Wake which probably won't mean anything except to the English.

Marilyn Z. Tomlins said...

Satima -- I see you are my soul sister. I also gave up cooking, but for another reason than you. As for baking, I once baked scones and one could have stood on them and they would not have crumbled.

As for sharing birth dates. I share one with Charlie Chaplin. And with the Queen of Denmark.

And on my mom's birth date Hiroshima got the atomic bomb.

Marilyn

Jo said...

I just had a quick check on Wikipedia. It appears I share my birth date with quite a lot of people, but the only two I recognised were Haydn and Jack Hawkins. The Duke of Wellington also died on my birthday.

Satima Flavell said...

Marilyn, I am heartened by your scone story. I thought I was the only one who could make scones like that. (BTW, do you mean "scones" in the British was of using it? I thought Americans called scones "biscuits".

Jo, you can clear me up on this one - I have an idea that in Canada they are scones only if they are triangular or something - is that right?

Satima Flavell said...

Hereward the Wake, Jo? Now that's a man I've always admired for sheer bloody mindedness against the odds. I seriously considered calling one of my sons Hereward but my husband talked me out of it, fortunately!

A lot of gay men will occasionally stray to the other side. Who knows that Richard didn't, now and then? I do feel sorry for Berengaria, though:-(

hrugaar said...

(UK) scones and (US) biscuits look similar on the outside, but I've always found they have different taste and texture ... it's a bit like trying to compare croissants with brioche, if you see what I mean. I've made (edible) scones many times, but never (US) biscuits. Jo has probably made both and could tell us the difference straight away. :)

Jo said...

Biscuits are not quite like scones although very close. Not come across anything called scones in Canada but its a big country. The American South is the place for biscuits and gravy.

Jo said...

I guess its possible that Richard sired a child on the wrong side of the blanket. It is certainly a rumour in Matt's family. I don't think anyone has actually traced it back though.

Jo said...

No I've never made biscuits Ru, but I have eaten them many a time and yes, they do taste different somehow although not having eaten or made a scone in years, I couldn't pinpoint the difference for you. Well that will give me an excuse to make some scones, I love them straight from the oven dripping with butter. MMMMMM. NOT diet food. I can blame it on you though Ru.

Marilyn Z. Tomlins said...

Satima -- British scones like with whipped cream and strawberry jam.

Marilyn

Satima Flavell said...

Oh, yummy yummy - Devonshire tea! A few years ago I had two Japanese girls as ESL students and I invited them for afternoon tea one day. I asked them whether they'd like biscuits (i.e. American cookies) or scones. Their faces lit up and they begged for scones with jam and cream. They'd read about them in their English texts and the story had made them sound so delicious that they were dying to try them So I dutifully laid on the Doulton and the embroidered tablecloth etc and said we would have an English Tea Ceremony:-) Nothing Zen about those two, though - they polished off the pile of scones and loads of jam and cream as well.

And those were just supermarket-bought scones. What would they do if they got some Jo-baked ones?

Jo said...

Trouble is, as I said, I haven't bake any scones in years. Maybe I will give it a try fairly soon.

Satima Flavell said...

If you have the touch with scones you never lose it, I reckon.. Some bake scones; others, like me, bake rock cakes:-)

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