Pages

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Inspiration for Writing: History of Rome by Mike Duncan

Oh, how I miss classes. This summer, I have been inspired by Mike Duncan's History of Rome podcast. The original show ran from 2007 to 2012. How did I miss that?

In any event, Mr. Duncan's excellent show has been very inspirational for me. I've been listening to two shows a day, once while writing and once before bed. I can't wait to catch up and start listening to his new podcast, Revolutions.

Add your inspirational podcasts down in the comments. Lord knows, I don't want to miss any more great shows.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

31 Notes for Writing History

I have written 72 History papers in the past 4 semesters. I have collected some advice from my professors and personal experience, which I though should be shared:


  1. Learn to love double spaces papers, hate single spaced papers. 
  2. 12 point fonts are fine.
  3. New Times Roman is the default choice for a reason.
  4. The professor's style guide is best. Do not argue. 
  5. Oxford commas. 
  6. Staples are not be a good idea, they should be the law. 
  7. Number multiple page documents even when stapled. 
  8. Use the school directory to look up the professor's name. Spell it correctly. 
  9. Add your own name to spell check. 
  10. Do not merely spell check. 
  11. Do not use contractions. 
  12. "Extremely" and "huge" both mean "I need a thesaurus". 
  13. Dates do not have apostrophes. 
  14. "Very" is unnecessary.
  15. "Interesting" is not. 
  16. "Toward" is United States usage, "Towards" is British and Buffalo, NY usage. 
  17. History does not repeat, but sometimes it rhymes. 
  18. "Etc." is not worth using. There are better ways. 
  19. Foreign words are in italics. Foreign means it is not in an English dictionary. 
  20. No first OR second person, unless the professor requires it. Thank them when they do.  
  21. The past is always in the the past tense.
  22. Do not confuse British for English. If in doubt, look up the word.  
  23. Do not confuse name places for countries.
  24. "Would" is a crutch or a mistake. Be careful. 
  25. "Led" is clearer than "Would lead". 
  26. Passive voice is painful, but not avoidable. 
  27. When comparing situations implicitly link subjects to periods. 
  28. Do not hide verbs.  
  29. Learn how write citation from memory.  
  30. Do not use cliché.
  31. Learn how to type special characters and accent marks manually.  
Bonus: "Thank you" means "thank you". "You're welcome" means "you're welcome". They are not interchangeable. 

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Research for Pio

Pio is a novel set in Italy before Mussolini's rise to power. For research I am reading How Fascism Ruled Women. While it is set at some point after this novel's timeline, the effects of fascism were already becoming a powerful force on society. Reading the end point is kind of backwards, but helpful.

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Opening Post

Wayback in 2011, I created my first blog. I was unsure what to do with it, and by the time I let it go, it had been through many transitions. It was for art, music, games, travel and writing themes. By the middle of 2015, I let the whole thing go and Pretender to the Power became an Italian Shoe Outlet site.

That was disheartening to see my old site taken over by an outside company. And for shoes no less. The cost of repurchasing the site was out of the question. This year, I noticed the shoe company was gone and was able to repurchase the site at a very much reduced price of less than $20.00.

Having realized that this name and site meant so much to me, I decided to give it another go. I am now the happy owner of 4 websites. Each one has a different theme.

PretendertothePower.com (Writing)
Unpwnd.com (Art and Technology)
Theseoldgames.com (Gaming)
and WondersOfNY.com (Travel)

This site is my virtual notebook, containing items I write for fun and possible profit. I'm a long way from profit.

The title comes from a novel I wrote as a child. It is horrible, so don't expect Pretender to the Power to appear here. Actual working titles are:

Pio - a fantastic, historical novel set in pre-World War II Italy.
Redact for Redemption - a futuristic fantasy novel.
Accretion Disc - a science-fiction based game.