My Illlustrated Travel Journal with Essays about Roman and Mediaeval History and some Geology

  Some Writing and Blogging Updates

Some of you may have noticed that I took down my snippet blogs. This is due to extensive rewrites.

In A Land Unconquered, the first of the Roman novels on which I concentrate right now, I had given a whole plot thread to the wrong character, and rewriting it with another character includes a lot more than changing a name. But the rewritten scenes come out much stronger now which proves that my decision to replace the secondary Gaius Antonius Merenda, a happy go easy sort of character, with the more serious main character Caius Horatius Veranius (whom I before had kept out of the Varus battle by sending him as envoy to the Batavians) was the right one - not only for the overall structure of the novel. Veranius will survive, only to face a treason charge later. That's a lot more fun, mwuahaha.

The epic monster Kings and Rebels, my alternate historical Fantasy or whatever you'll call that plot-Cthulhu, poses a different sort of problem - besides growing tentacles, that is. I had given some scenes to beta readers and it seems that I have a problem getting my characters' emotions across. The writing itself, the action and even the dialogue which I always find difficult to write, obviously work, but the characters remain remote. Well, I know where that comes from: In my first attempt I had written an emo opera, and when I realised that, I cut all the emo stuff. With the roots. ;) But there is a difference between characters being emo - and showing emotions where they would not (heck, most of them are men, lol) - and characters having emotions. I need to get those across in the subtext, and that's not easy.

I may post snippets at some point again, but only when I'm sure my writing has reached the best point I can reach at this stage.

During the 2000year anniversary of the Varus battle in 2009 I've collected a number of books about the battle and the Romans in Germania overall, and I need work my way through those. Some of this research will flow into my novel of which I so far only have written some battle scenes - what we know about the battle as such can be found in the primary sources, plus the location of Kalkriese which I still consider the most plausible - and some scenes between fictive characters in Rome, like the setup of the conflict between Veranius and Publius Cornelius Lentulus. Since I write out of order, I have not yet tackled Varus' politics in Germania and other 'historical' scenes.

But that research will also result in some blog essays with more and serious text and less photos (though I have a sufficient archive to find a few illustrations). I hope that won't scare readers away. ;)

Another feature I plan for the future is to take some of my academic research about Medieaval literature online. I'm not yet sure whether I will add those essays here or start a special blog. I'll see how the Varus essays will fare before I make a decision about that. Or I'll set up a poll. But that will take a while yet since I have to translate the German material into English, adapt it to a different readership and read up on the research of the last five years. I've let that stuff dry up a bit. Blame it on the Romans, lol.

Of course, the usual features that make this blog popular, the photo posts, fun tidbits, and posts with pictures and background information of historical places I've visited will continue to appear.
Sounds interesting!
Thank you, Susan. I hope more text and less pics won't scare the readers. ;)
As much as I enjoy your castle photos, I'll also look forward to your posts about medieval literature, for obvious reasons. :)
I had hoped for some interest of the 'Mediaeval Gang', Jeff. :) I've worked a lot about the Old Norse Karlmagnús saga, the way it incorporates French epics and Latin texts, and reciprocally, how the Norse texts can be used to recreate the content of some lost French epics.
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The Lost Fort is a travel journal and history blog based on my travels in Germany, the UK, Scandinavia, and other places. It includes essays on Roman and Mediaeval history, as well as some geology, illustrated with photos of old castles and churches, Roman remains, and beautiful landscapes.

All texts (except comments by guests) and photos (if no other copyright is noted) on this blog are copyright of Gabriele Campbell.
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Location: Germany

I'm a blogger from Germany with a MA in Literature and History which doesn't pay my bills, so I use it to research blogposts instead. I'm interested in everything Roman and Mediaeval, avid reader and sometimes writer, opera enthusiast, traveller with a liking for foreign languages and odd rocks, photographer, and tea aficionado. And an old-fashioned blogger who hasn't yet gotten an Instagram account. :-)


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A Virtual Tour Through the Wartburg

Dunstaffnage Castle

The Roman Fort at Osterburken

The Vasa Museum in Stockholm

The Raised Bog Mecklenbruch in the Solling