Note. This page is under major constuction and links will be added as quickly as I can.

Quite a few topics can (and did) pop up writing a tale of two-thousand years. Much of what appeared in the first draft will be relegated to the second or third volumes. Books so noted may be purchased at up to 40% discounts through my Divisadero Street bookstore, in association with

  • Culinary Arts
  • Keyboarding
  • Language
  • Locations
  • Music
  • Wine & Spirits
  • Culinary Arts

    The history of food and the culinary arts is fascinating. So little is recorded about food preparation prior to the Renaissance, and even then it’s of scant assistance when you’re writing of peasants and not princes. Here are some texts I found most helpful.

    For technique, PBS’s myriad cooking programs are invaluable. Here are some of the best.

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    What was a minor mention in the work ended up needing more research. Much of what’s on the web is about playing or learning the piano, or maintaining a modern instrument. My choice of timeframe worked against me on this point more than on any other.

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    I know a few phrases in a multitude of languages, but I’m fluent only in English. The challenge of dotting my texts with français and Scots gaelic was met through the very generous assistance of a Lyon-born coworker, Claudine, and the following references.

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    Of all the places I’ve written about, most have been visited only through maps, atlases, and guidebooks. California I know, and I’ve been in Georgetown. The rest I know from various texts and have seen courtesy of the Travel Channel or more commonly escorted by Rick Steves on PBS.

    Asia Minor -- 1st, 8th, & 15th centuries
    Northern Italy -- 13th, 15th, & 20th Centuries
    Southern France -- 13th & 20th Centuries
    United States -- 18th & 20th Centuries

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    Mood is vital to writing. My habits have me rising from 4 to 6 AM and writing until the working world claims my time. Writing comes most fluidly for me when the day -- and my mind -- is fresh and music lends to that mood. I usually select something pastoral to play on the CD-ROM: innocuous, a guardian against worldly distractions. Haydn especially works for me, but as handy are selected movements from certain film soundtracks.

    For this piece, however, I chanced upon the perfect accompaniment, and it eventually found its way into the text. There are vocals, which is unusual left to my druthers, but they sing in Provençal and proved no distraction.

    Buy the CD through the Divisadero Street branch of!

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    Wine & Spirits

    Like my protagonist, I’m not much for wine. The guidebooks of France provided what was needed.

    Distilling I know better, from prior research into Highland single malt whisky, and I found armagnac far more pleasing to my palette, more so than the finest brandy or cognac.

    Note. This page is under major constuction and links will be added as quickly as I can.

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