The first duty of a Viking household was to show hospitality to any and all who came to their door. That white nationalists try to use the Old Norse religion to justify hatred against Muslims, immigrants, and refugees is an affront to the pagan heritage they claim to be protecting.
It has been a long time coming, but Black Wolf: The Binding of Loki is now on the verge of publication. After several production snags resulting from the sheer length of the book and structural changes at the printing company, I am expecting the e-book to be released shortly, with the paperback novel to be available by early March. This week, I have been working with Renaissance Press to finalize the back cover copy, and we are ALL looking forward to finally setting this little bird free.
Though he was not quite of age, Thor had grown snugly into the mantle of manhood. He was broad and brawny, already quite adept at the skills of warcraft, and he frequently bested more seasoned athletes at games of strength and agility. His coarse hair had grown into a great mane of brassy blond, and his beard was full and streaked with copper. He could be quick to anger but just as quick to forgive, and his jovial demeanour made him many friends amongst the Aesir.
But as he strode across the fields in search of his younger brothers, his mind was clouded by thoughts of his parents’ strange behaviour in recent days and the increasing weight it placed on his shoulders as Odin’s eldest son. Frigg’s rational and compassionate leadership had lapsed suddenly when Baldr grew frail, and Odin’s disappearance had only exacerbated her fragility. Odin himself had remained distant and secretive since his return.
It was all a lot of fun, but perhaps the best part of the weekend was finally getting some anticipated dates for my book’s publication and launch.
As hard as it is to convince me to leave my apartment, I will be out in public at least twice in the next month for book-related events.
Trying to understand the Vikings takes some patience and careful research. They built homes of wood and turf, and their clothes were mostly wool and linen, so much of the physical evidence of their travels and lifestyle has been ravaged by natural processes. Viking societies depended heavily on oral communication, and many of the texts we have today were written down a century or more after the Viking Age. Determining how the information may have changed over that time is tricky business, and we can only guess how many stories were completely lost over the years. One story that has survived is the Christianization of Iceland. But did the Icelanders turn to Christianity out of fear of volcanic eruptions, as some researchers have suggested?
Someone or other once said “Life is what happens when you’re making other plans.” Well, I keep making plans and life keeps happening. That article on Vikings and volcanoes I started in April is still on the backburner because I need to do a bit more research, but other things have been occupying my time. Like my book and paying work—in that order.
I was almost half-done this round of revisions on Black Wolf when I decided it was absolutely necessary to eat a frog that’s been croaking at me for over a year—I needed to revise all the crappy part and chapter titles that have been mocking me ever since I wrote them.