2317 – Sunday Digest: The Week in Review

2317 – Sunday Digest: The Week in Review

As I continue to struggle with motivation and find myself mostly tired at the end of each day, a curse I normally feel in the waning days of autumn but so foreign at this time of year, I wonder when inspiration will return.

Outside of work, where contrary to everything else I have found a new groove. I find myself on the couch binging Netflix until the wee hours of the morning. Covering the entire five seasons of The Last Kingdom, a BBC/Netflix series based on Bernard Cornwell’s epic series of novels, The Saxon Stories/Chronicles over the last two weeks.

I have mixed feeling about historical fiction. I am impressed with writers who can research a place and time in history and build an entire world around it. Skillfully inserting fictional characters into the backdrop of real historical events. Seamlessly meshing fictional characters into the lives of those who came before us. For many, it is our only glimpse into our history, our past.

My mother is a voracious reader, even in her 80’s she reads just about anything she can get her hands on. As a child, I remember shelves filled with books she’d read. Those shelves themselves only a small portion of what she’d read, the precious few she wanted to keep and read again. Now most of what she reads resides on her Kindle.

She is a huge fan of historical fiction. In the 1970’s I remember her waiting for the next installment of John Jakes, Kent Family Chronicles (aka The American Bicentennial Series) series to publish. I never read the books myself but she was a devout fan of the historical genre. Many of the books she read such as Gabaldon’s Outlander series or Follett’s Pillars of the Earth, taking her back in time to her familial roots in England and Ireland.

But historical fiction is a double edge sword. While many of the tales open our hearts and minds to history they also bastardize it. In the moment, the reader knows the stories to be fiction. Authors like Cornwell, who was driven by a need to tell a history that he believes is absent in Britain even provides context in his series to allow the reader to parse the history from the fiction.

Years ago, when I was at university, I discovered Anglo-Saxon poetry and became hooked on that strange and often melancholy world. For some reason the history of the Anglo-Saxons isn’t much taught in Britain (where I grew up) and it struck me as weird that the English really had no idea where their country came from. Americans know, they even have a starting date, but the English just seemed to assume that England had always been there, so the idea of writing a series about the creation of England was in my head for a long time.

Bernard Cornwell, from interview with Emerson College,
text taken from Wikipedia.

However, as these novels become part of the cultural landscape the tales become interwoven into that history, romanticizing them. I think of the conversations I’ve had with people over the years who can’t separate fiction from history. Dan Brown’s The DaVinci Code is one of these novels where I have listened to people talk of fiction as reality. As time passes the fiction begins to creep into history even more and the truths of our past blend into the fantasy until only the historians hold the truth.

That said I enjoyed the series, although I am not certain I will watch the movie follow-up movie The Last Kingdom: Seven Kings Must Die that was created to end the series. It does not appear to have been written based on Cornwell’s novels but rather as a vehicle for Netflix to wrap the series up in a bow for the masses, disregarding so much of the history that provides the stories backdrop and that of England herself. In this instance, I will stick to the novels.

My Leafs managed to get out of the first round of the playoff for the first time since 2004. Hopefully exorcising the ghosts of the past. Even better the Boston Bruins, the so-call greatest team of all time based on the best regular season point total in league history were unceremoniously bounced by the Florida Panthers. My disdain for Marchand and the Bruins makes this almost as sweet as the Maple Leafs’ victory.

This week in music I re-discovered another classic from my youth, U2’s Rattle and Hum. The follow up to The Joshua Tree, one of the greatest albums ever recorded. When Love Comes to Town, the B.B. King collaboration results in one of the greatest Rock and Roll moments of all time.

Five Word Weekly Challenge

Qué sera sera | A coming-of-age tale written by Sadje at Keep It Alive.

Imposter | A conspiracy theorist nightmare with a twist by Paula at Light Motifs II.

Four Line Fiction Challenge

Okay | Writer Ravenclaw catches our imagination as the woman in the image prepares to soar, to live.

More highlights from Greg’s Blog…

T-Shirt Wisdom Wednesday

Around the Blogosphere…

The blank spaces here are a product of that lack of motivation I describe above.

Next week…

Look for the usual features, Five Word Weekly, Four Line Fiction. I said it last week and like a broken record will say it again… Hopefully, I find inspiration this week.

This post was produced by GMGCreative.
Copyright 2023 Greg Glazebrook @ GMGCreative. All Rights Reserved.

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6 thoughts on “2317 – Sunday Digest: The Week in Review

    1. Gr8BigFun Post author

      It was great. I will break down and watch the movie despite my protestation. It just looks to me that it veers significantly from the written history of the English.

      Liked by 3 people

        1. Gr8BigFun Post author

          I ended up watching it and enjoyed it. The battle at the end was epic. Only question, did Uhtred cross into Valhalla or stay in the land of the living?

          Liked by 2 people

          1. Fandango

            I think he died of his wounds and crossed over to Valhalla when, at the end, he walked into that room where many of his dead friends and enemies were sitting at the table.

            Liked by 2 people


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