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Showing posts from April, 2018

Tuesday Tidbit: Ballad Sellers

One girl in a blue short cloak and a torn gown stood in the center of the Square, singing.  A ballad seller—the printer sent her out with broadsides of song lyrics, and she advertised them by singing the songs...The ballad seller’s voice rose and swelled.  She had a beautiful, clear tone, and the sad melody she sang floated and dipped like the undulations of a river.  A dead soldier, his lover in search of him, vows never to rest or love again—the ballads from the print shops were full of such sentimental drivel. Torn

Among all the eighteenth-century peddlers working the city streets, broadsheet sellers were among the poorest.  Some saw selling broadsheets, including those printed with ballad lyrics, as basically one step up from begging; artwork depicts these salespeople as impoverished, wearing ragged clothing.  At the same time, they provided a vital service in terms of disseminating popular culture at a time when your new material came in print--not records, films, radio, or the we…

Delayed Celebrations and GIVEAWAY!

If there's one thing (pick just one!) that's frustrating about the writing and publishing sphere, it's how often the things you really want to celebrate have to be kept quiet..for ages.  Centuries.  Aeons, even.

Ok, but even a few weeks or months on the silent circuit can feel excruciating when you really want to run around like a toddler on a cookie high with a fistful of sparklers and order MY BOOK IS GOING TO BE A REAL BOOK AND BE PUBLISHED AND STUFF! on a cake.  You maybe haven't quite refined the cake wording yet.
Which is why I've never really blabbed much about how, a year ago today, I got a quick text from my Agent of Awesome to see if I had a minute to chat.  I was at work at work, at a community college writing center, and a minute something I had to scrape up given that it was nearing end-of-semester time and I was neck-deep in papers submitted to the online tutoring portal I managed.
But that minute was going to have to give, because I Just Knew that th…

Tuesday Tidbit: Cries of London

One of the places I found inspiration for Galitha City was in the artwork depicting eighteenth century London.  The "Cries of London" are actually a catchall for quite a few series of prints, one of the more famous of which is by Francis Wheatley.  Wheatley may have idealized his subjects a little bit; comparing his work to, say, Paul Sandby's sketches, his criers tend to look better-kempt, less dirty, and significantly less likely to steal something.

Wheatley:


Cheerilee, I'm selling prettypretty primroses! Tra-la-la!
Sandby:
From the Yale Center for British Art
Get your liver for your dogs, or don't, I don't give a ****.
It may be little surprise that I prefer Sandby for historical research purposes...if he depicts someone with a certain cap or their apron tied in a knot (y'all are seeing that, too, right?) it's pretty sure that's because someone *actually did that.*

Still, Wheatley's work also gives insight into a busy, bustling, *loud* city li…