Writing

Mistake? No Problem: Or, How to Embrace Mistakes

Sometimes, it feels like nothing you do is right, starting out with the initial idea to start. This is completely untrue. It isn’t a mistake unless you decide it is.

Besides being a writer, I also love crafts of all varieties, especially miniatures and dollshouses. Which is why I had the “brilliant idea” to make the kidlet a dollshouse for Christmas. We started early in the year, and the behemoth is still in pieces (and not for lack of trying). And it occurs to me that creating this dollshouse from scratch is a lot like writing a story.

One of the walls, just starting out
One of the walls, just starting out

First, you have the idea. Then you make a plan. Like most of my novels, this isn’t my first time around. I’ve built a dollshouse before, but never one quite as ambitious. But then, what’s the point not challenging yourself?

Next, you realize the enormity of your plan. It’s a little scary. This is when you realize how many words your novel needs. Or in my case, I first saw the pieces of the walls stood up in a test run. The behemoth will stand almost three-feet high, I kid you not. It’s HUGE! But, just as you can’t stop to consider and worry about how you’ll reach 100k when you’re at the beginning of your novel, you can’t fret over every word. You just write this scene. And the next. And the next.

Then you hit the midpoint, and think it will never ever be complete. Sometimes for novels this happens during rewrites, sometimes during the first draft when you hit the actual midpoint of the story, especially if you haven’t pre-plotted. It’s usually about 40,000 words for me when writing the story isn’t as “fun” as it was in the beginning, probably when the novelty of a new idea starts to fade. When building an enormous dollshouse, this happens when you’ve been gluing what seems like millions of pre-stained coffee-stirrer sticks to make hardwood floors, and you’ve just pasted the wrong wallpaper in two separate rooms. If it was a novel, you’d quit or delete it. With a dollshouse, there was a strong desire to burn the darned thing. Do not despair. You’ve just hit the midpoint low.

The first floor. The tiles are painted and cut out of cardboard.
The first floor. The tiles are painted and cut out of cardboard.

Next comes the part where you embrace mistakes and soldier on anyway. You are a professional (or in my case, too damned stubborn to quit anyway). So at this point you can decide to rip out the mistakes and start again, or embrace them and just move on. Which you choose depends on  you, but personally, sometimes I like sticking with the mistake and using it as an opportunity. After all, it may have been a mistake that brought us this far to start with – what other wonders could lay ahead? Make a list, laying out all the steps you need to get to “done.” At this juncture, it’s helpful to enlist assistance. For a writer, call on other writerly friends, or best of all, a critique partner or possibly just someone to brainstorm with. For a dollshouse, get someone who’s better at measuring than you, and someone who doesn’t give a darn which wallpaper was supposed to go where in the first place, and doesn’t understand why every room needed to be different anyway (aka, the husband).

The beast as of Saturday night. The wallpaper is complete, and a few short steps, we start to assemble.
The beast as of Saturday night. The wallpaper is complete, and a few short steps, we start to assemble.

The beast rises! And you witness the fruits of your labors. After much sweating and crying, your hard work starts to pay off. As a writer, maybe you hold a completed first draft in your hands – or perhaps, a third or fourth draft. For the dollshouse, this is the point when the mounds of wood and strange shaped pieces actually come together to form what resembles a house.  (I have not reached this point with this project yet, but I’m getting there).

Decoration, polish, and voila! You have conquered and won! This is the point we all wait for, where the novel actually stands as a novel, and you think, “hey, this isn’t half bad!” For the dollshouse, this will be Christmas morning when the kidlet sets eyes on it. I’m totally after a good reaction, so I confess to having been priming her since, oh, May that if she’s really good, perhaps she’ll get a dollshouse of her very own. I can’t wait to see her expression, just as a writer can’t wait for someone to finally read their story.

Speaking of which, the writing actually needs some work now that the dollshouse has had its due for the evening.

But first, what about you – have you ever taken on a project that seemed like a great idea at the time … and which you later wondered if you’d ever complete? A renovation perhaps? A novel? Love to hear from you. 🙂

Thanks for reading, and wishing you a terrific week. And hey, liked this post? Why not follow the blog?

 

Regency and Research

Escape to the Regency: 10 Reasons I wish I could escape through time

It’s been one of those weeks / months, and I’ve been thinking about running away. I’ll let you know whether that’s a literal escape, or a figurative one.

And while the Regency period, and in fact, most periods of any context (including our own) have both their qualities and dark underbellies, I’m ignoring the dark bits today in favor of fantasy (ironic indeed, when it’s the dark bits that most interest me about the Regency.)

Nonetheless, I thought I’d share my 10 Reasons I wish I could escape through time, and run off to the Regency.

  1. No social media or internet, or computers. Communication was in person or with a personal touch, hand-written. While there are many things that are wonderful about modern technology, sometimes escaping it all would be fabulous.
  2. Lady’s fashion. I am not a willowy individual, other than perhaps I’m as tall as some willow trees. And the high-waisted Empire gowns, and an appreciation for an, ahem, fuller figure, would leave me quite content. Plus, I’m naturally pale as a ghost, so I’d scarcely need any of that lead-powder. 😉
  3. The shopping. I suppose whatever manner in which I escaped to this alternative history wouldn’t let me bring back souvenirs, but still, to browse up and down Pall Mall at the height of the Season? What treasures and fascinating objects would await in those shop windows?
  4. The men in fitted waistcoats and jackets with tails, and one mustn’t forget the topper! Even if some gentlemen resorted to stays and eventually corsets of their own to achieve the perfect “manly figure,” there is something quite lovely about a man in a suit, and especially in one tailored so perfectly to hardly close or allow movement.
  5. A chance to visit the Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens. Indeed, it would be expensive, but fantasy allows any expense, does it not? What did the fireworks look like, and how did they differ from modern ones? What illicit behavior occurred? How did most fun-seekers behave?
  6. An afternoon outing in St. James’ or Hyde Park. Circling in my own fine equipage (perhaps I’d dare a sports car-like high gig? with a steady driver on the reins, of course), this was the place to see and be seen for the fashionable. What heights of extravagance were in evidence? Who was seen with who?
  7. The opportunity to attend readings or possibly meet some incredible authors. I hardly need mention Jane Austen, who has become almost synonymous with the period. But also Percy Bysshe Shelley, John Keats, Lord Byron, William Blake, and Sir Walter Scott, among others.
  8. A night at the theaters in Covent Garden. The theaters provided a spectacle it’s difficult for the modern audience to appreciate, and was often more about being seen than watching the play itself. I’d like to do both. 😉
  9. The balls and entertainments! Really, how can I consider the period and the qualities without some of the lavish entertainments at the height of the social Season?
  10. The chance to experience history, to understand the details the history texts often neglect. While no period can claim perfection – including our own – how fascinating to be able to experience even just a day in another time period, within a culture that today, may be somewhat forgotten. We might remember the big historic dates, but how much has been neglected? How much has been brushed under the metaphorical rug? How fascinating to have a chance to see history in action – and be part of it.

So that’s my list. Have you ever wanted to experience history? The Regency Period? Another? Why?

Thanks for reading, and hope you all have a fabulous weekend. Happy writing!

 

The Paranormal

Lodestone: Show Me The Way!

My lodestone
My lodestone

This lumpy little piece of rock is my lodestone. I bought it because I like the idea of the lodestone leading you where you need to go and attracting good fortune to my life. And I thought, hey, for $1, why not?

The name “lodestone” goes back to Middle English, and means “course stone” or “leading stone”.  It received this name after ancient peoples discovered the magnetic properties of the stone, and suspended so the stone could turn freely, it created the first compasses.

They weren’t, however, the only ones to imbue to stone with magical properties. We’re all fairly familiar with the idea that lodestones have the ability to attract good things (fortune, money, success, and love). They were also believed to be powerful amulets. Alexander the Great had his troops wear them to protect against djinn. Legend even has it that after Christ’s crucifixion, his body was laid out on an alter made of magical lodestone.

Both the Chinese and Romans valued them for their properties of attraction. The Chinese made wedding rings out of them, and the Romans made statues of Mars and Venus out of lodestone. This relates to the belief that there were male and female lodestones. Hence the stones may be used individually or in matched pairs. Whereas feminine stones were rounded, male stones were (unsurprisingly, perhaps), more phallic in shape, announcing the manhood.

Lodestones have also traditionally been used in various methods of divination (other than compass form). The Chinese were the first to discover the “directive” properties of the stones. The stone was also used in a form of divination known as “Lithomancy”, which is the art of divining from stones and gems. Listening to it, one could hear the voices of gods, and even the downfall of Troy is said to have been divined using a lodestone.

And, if that wasn’t enough, the lodestone was also used in medicine and healing, as it was believed it could draw away pain and disease with the same powers of attraction it uses to bring good things to its bearer.

As for my lodestone, it doesn’t appear especially magnetic, so I’m not sure what good it will bring me – and I want to be sure to keep it away from my electronics (since a magnet next to a computer doesn’t sound like anything good). It is more round then “phallic like,” so I think it’s a female, and I think I’ll call her Wilma. Not sure if she’ll bring me anything great in life, but it is a curiosity, and who knows, perhaps there is something good being attracted this way even now. 🙂

So, what do you think? Think I got the particulars of my stone correct? Do you have a physical or a metaphorical lodestone? Any information I’ve missed?

Thanks so much for reading. Have a great day, and may plenty of good be attracted your way. 😉

And hey, like the post? Why not follow the blog? Have a good one.

If you’d like to learn more about lodestones, try:

 

The Journey to Publication, Writing

To Plan or Embrace Spontaneity?

The resort we stayed at, looking out from our 4th floor balcony
The resort we stayed at, looking out from our 4th floor balcony

I am not, in normal life, a spontaneous person. As much as I complain about the trudge of the usual ruts life settles into, there is comfort in familiarity. So this past weekend was planned much the same: clean up around the yard preparing for autumn, have an overdue dinner-party with friends, and fit in some work.

Suddenly, Thursday, mid-morning, friends have to cancel. Thursday 5pm, decision made to accept invite with family to the mountains. Friday morning, up and out of the house before 7am. This was then followed by an 8 hour drive (with 2 stops, but still – hubby fibbed when he claimed 5 hours!). We reached the mountain resort at around 3:30pm on Friday, and had to turn around and drive back Sunday (yep, another 8 hours). We were tired, I’ve somehow developed a cold, and yet, it was refreshing and different, a mini-holiday despite the drive.

Which made me think about the advantages of spontaneity. While in life I generally stick to the plan, in writing I’m much more likely to go where whim strikes me. Sometimes this is to my detriment (and requiring lots of rewrites … or deletions). Sometimes, though, following the flow of a thought, or listening to the quiet voice of our heart leads us somewhere more interesting, to something other than what we expected. IMG_1767

Like this weekend, and the sudden adventure. Yes, if I’d stayed home, I may have been rested enough to have shaken off the cold. We probably would have cleaned up the yard, done lots of things on the “this should be done” list. Yet we would have missed the “ooh!” of our two-year old as she saw the mountains for the first time. Her giggles as a goat licked her hand. Her joy swimming and generally getting spoiled. We wouldn’t have started to anticipate my brother’s wedding with greater excitement – now we’ve seen where it will be held, and can imagine just how marvelous it’s going to be.

There’s something to be said for a little spontaneity.

What say you? Are you spontaneous in life? In your writing? Do you stick to the plan in life and work? I love to hear from you. 🙂

Thanks so much for reading. Have a great week, and hope you find a bit of spontaneity and happiness.

Uncategorized

Rewrites and Upholstery: Some Projects Can “Look” Done

In my house, nothing says normal other than half-a-dozen projects that I have planned, on the go, or good intentions about. For example, because we have a wedding in December, I’ve been working hard at getting Christmas presents (I make them) done early. Or at least, I WAS making good progress … until I stopped. And now it’s September, and well, that still needs to be done. It often comes down to priorities, as it does for everyone. My family comes first, then my writing, then generally everything else. Thus, with my rewrites, I’ve been pushing hard and not getting much else done. Which isn’t very fair in some ways, since really, I can tell you they’re done, but the “done” part is partially just in my head. Things don’t look done.

So, while I would very much to be able to show you how the current WIP is “done” (or close), the file name and file don’t look all that impressive.

That’s why I like DIY. Especially clear beginning to end projects, like upholstery. My arm still aches now from removing staples, but I can very clearly show you what “done” looks like. (Okay: confession. As I write this – Saturday night since I’m attempting to actually have posts all week and be organized, I have fully completed 4 of 10 chairs, because hubby decided he wants softer chairs, and we need to buy more foam, so they won’t be done until tomorrow. But they’re the easy ones. These are the impressive ones, and more trouble than they were almost worth to remove all the staples and old fabric. )

I was even organized! Here’s the rare “before” photo. (I usually go hog-wild and forget to take pictures, just like rewrites, when I sometimes forget to save separate drafts). That’s the kidlet’s baby, since the chairs were conveniently available for playing “train”. Then directly after you have the “after” image. Next up: I will learn to take pictures that actually make the chairs look normal! Well, probably not. Me actually posting pictures is probably as good as it gets. 😉

Not a writing post or anything to do with the Regency (other than the fact that they, too, had chairs), but hey, what can I say: rewrites have currently melted my brain.

Have a great week, and thanks for reading. Happy writing!

IMG_16902013-09-15 00.00.14

 

Uncategorized

One of Those Days

I’ve been having “one of those days” – or maybe at this point, it’s one of those weeks. You know, where it totally slipped my mind I needed to post something for Friday. Or I had plans to submit things for contests, and the date passed. So today, instead of the paranormal, I’m considering unexpected gifts, and what happens when you don’t get what you planned.

I think there’s also something to be said for those days when no, perhaps you don’t get everything done on that endless list in your end, but perhaps what you do get done, was at least as important – perhaps more so.

Last Thursday we had one of those rare September days which was hotter than almost every day we’d had all summer. My mom, the kidlet, and I picked up my grandparents, and then met my brother down where he works, at the Legislature Grounds. I think my daughter will always want to visit Uncle at work, since there’s a giant park, and water fountains, and soccer players, and, best of all, the wading pools and fountains laid out in front of the building with lots of happy young children.

It was such an unexpected day – we’d only planned to try and go as of Thursday, and no one could have predicted the record-setting temperatures. Yet I can still hear the sounds of the kids laughing, quiet murmurs of parents, as the kids splash in the pool. My kidlet giggles, and got her dress wet (we weren’t planning on going swimming!). She tried to hold it up as she walked, but of course, there’s only so much a two-year-old can remember. My grandma holds my daughter’s hand as she wades into the cold water, and I was half afraid of grandma tumbling in after! And my daughter tows “great-grandma” around wherever and whenever she can. We tease that grandma is on an exercise program and doesn’t know it: the visiting-great-grandchild-regime. With this, grandma, 93 this year, is expected to: get up and walk everywhere; to throw, kick, and catch balls; to take tea; and of course, to receive high-fives and hugs.

Great grandpa is not immune. While somehow grandma thought it was fine to climb two flights of stairs (in the heat!) just to spend a bit more time with my daughter, my brother, and I, grandpa knew he couldn’t. Yet he is always one in on a conspiracy with winks and tall tales. My daughter runs free and indulged in their garden as I did when I was that age.

I wonder how much my daughter will remember of these days, of these unexpected gifts. I remember my own great-grandmother, with visits to where she lived and sweets from the top-drawer of her bureau. But I suppose I will certainly always remember these days, and be so grateful that my little one experienced some of the joy of two people I love very much.

What about you? Any unexpected “gifts” lately?

Thanks for reading, and have a terrific week.

Writing

Eager to Start Something New

These cupcakes won't fill you up; my pin-cushion cupcakes I made as gifts. :)
These cupcakes won’t fill you up; my pin-cushion cupcakes I made as gifts. 🙂

You know when you’ve been working away at rewrites, and the whole time, like creamy, calorie-filled desserts when you’re dieting, a new story keeps teasing and tempting you to stray? Then suddenly you’re done, and holy honk, you have

no idea what the heck to start with?

That’s almost where I am right now.

The rewrites are FINALLY entering their final phase. [ Cue the: “ding dong the witch is dead” music here; seems suitable somehow. ] I’m into the final stretch, going over it one more time. And yes, I’m still finding a few annoying scenes / chapters that aren’t what they’re supposed to be, but mostly it’s clipping down excess words, smoothing out the odd sentence, etc.

And soon, I’ll finally be able to start something new. The idea has me salivating, and confused.

You see, I’ve had characters bouncing around in my head all year. “Pick me! Pick me! Pick me!” they say. But they’re from all over the place. Take the group of brothers that showed up who don’t fit anywhere into a series properly, and who really seem to want to be written first person (not how I generally write). And of course, there’s the novel that’s partially plotted, which is in part a rewrite of yet another beloved story, taking only the barest of the original concept and going from there. Then there are other neglected manuscripts, one that is complete in first draft but a terrific mess.

Famine over, I stand at the dessert table, and I have no idea what to pick. I can have and do anything I want, and suddenly, I’m not sure I want anything. The decision seems so difficult.

Perhaps part of it is getting back into the drafting phase when I’ve been stuck in rewrite-mode for so long now. Perhaps too it’s that throughout this rewrite, I’ve changed as a writer, grown. And I am also firmly resolved to never make as much of a mess as I did with this last book, especially taking on rewrites without a proper plan. (Foolish? Incredibly. More so? I did it more than once. Sigh.)

So, when offered the freedom to finally do whatever you want, how do you decide? Have you been in this position? How did you handle it?

Thanks so much for reading. And hey, like the post? Why not follow the blog? Have a terrific week, and happy writing to you. 🙂

The Paranormal

Medieval and Ancient Monsters

Wow! I wish I could have taken this class. Sounds like fun!

I have some monsters for you. 😉 I happened upon this website: List of Medieval and Ancient Monsters.

Here be dragons! And glowing bird. (See Ercinee) And humorous monsters (see Gryllus). Or white feathery people (see Hsien — ooh! They’re calling for a story!)

I had to look up those three, see what I could find. 🙂

Ercinee: Totally bummed that my mythology encyclopedia did not come through!  What I did find was a bit odd. They’re supposed to be very large birds that appear like giant eagles except that they glow faintly green. They primarily hunt rabbits, dogs, and small deer, but may take on a human (if they’re extra hungry, I suppose). Evidently seeing one at the beginning of a journey was good luck (if they didn’t try to eat you, I’m guessing). If you want to be a bummer, it’s reputed that this bird is actually just a firefly (and someone REALLY misjudged the size). Otherwise, I’m not the only one attracted to a glowing bird. He shows up on the internet all over the place, in games and new adopted legends. Hmm. Curious.

Onto Gryllus. Not-so-trusty encyclopedia lists a “grylli” as a talisman in the form of a chimaera or griffin. The original page lists the species as: “Humorous monster in medieval manuscripts, usually depicted with two legs, a head, a tail, and no body or arms. Often furry or maned.” Hmm … watch out for the crickets; evidently there’s a whole genus of gryllus crickets, and seeing how much I despite crickets and grasshoppers, this sure scares me! Best source so far: a blog on what appears to be role play. The author kindly supplies pictures and medieval sources. Another source lists the plural as grylli, and gives them Greek origin from the legend of Odysseus when one of the men wants to remain a swine … and evidently becomes stuck as a gryllus.

Finally, we move onto the Hsien. The original text from the List says: “In Chinese mythology, angelic “feathered folk” with winged or feathered images appearing in Chou art. The book of Chuang-Tzu pictures hsien as white-skinned, delicate superhuman beings: “These are divine persons dwelling there, whose flesh and skin resemble ice and snow, soft and delicate like sequestered girl-children; they do not eat the five cereals; they suck the wind and drink the dew; they mount on clouds and vapors and drive the flying dragons–thus they rove beyond the four seas” (quoted in Schafer 63). See Schafer, Edward H. Ancient China. Great Ages of Man: A History of the World’s Cultures. NY: Time Life Books, 1967.”

Finally, the mythology encyclopedia comes through! The home of the immortal deities was San Hsien Shan. I also found sources looking at the Pa Hsien, a group of eight (the number being lucky) immortals. Three were historical figures, while the other five only appear in myth and legend. No mention of feathers though. Feathers show up when you find Xian (perhaps a different spelling or Anglicization?). The word belongs to the Taoist beliefs, and can refer to an enlightened person. They are often described as having child-like smooth features, the ability to fly, and there is mention of feathers.

So, find any monsters you were intrigued by?

Thanks for reading. Have a great week!

The Journey to Publication, Writing

Rewrites: 5 Reasons it’s Worth Sticking with them

Yes, my post is late. Again. And I plead rewrites.  I’ve probably used that excuse at least once, but there it is. I could go for plague, but then you might be a bit surprised if I ever wrote again.

Anyway, I am FINALLY nearing the end of an epic round of rewrites. I have never spent as long in rewrites – I am now over the 1 year + mark on the same novel, which is unheard of for me. And yes, many times it has felt like I was smashing my head into a rock in hopes of the rock breaking. Believe it or not, I think it has.

Today’s post is about WHY I would continue to with these endless rewrites (other than sheer stubborn pigheadedness and a refusal to quit). Here are my 5 reasons to stick with a massive overhaul kind of rewrite (like the one where the whole book essentially needs to be chucked.)

5. You are a bit of a fanatic when it comes to “making it right,” and perhaps earlier attempts were misguided. This time, you have an actual PLAN! (For more on rewrite plans, see earlier posts Rewrites in 4 easy phases and accompanying pieces.)

4. You deciphered what the problem was, and have confidence you can fix it .

3. You have gotten outside help and suggestions that have given you back energy and excitement for the piece.

2. It’s potentially connected to other books in a series, or is part of a larger series plot.

1. There is something you still LOVE about the story that means it doesn’t deserve to just rot in a drawer somewhere.

For me, reason #1 is perhaps the only reason I was able to stick with rewrites for this long. Because, despite the hardship and the frustration (and  yes, I have tried to throw away this book before), there is something I still find compelling about the characters and their journey. Even when I am so frustrated I want to burn the whole darned thing, that love halts my action. And frankly, if you don’t have that love, it probably is not worth such an arduous journey. Go write something new.

This book will, someday soon, actually be DONE. And these horrifically long rewrites have made it worth it. The book is better. And you know what? I think I’m a better writer, too. This was one of those “learning” books where I think I came up another level, achieved something more in my craft. It doesn’t mean it’s perfect, because as a writer, I’m still learning – I hope I always will be. But darn it, I think I can actually see the light. And I know that no matter what becomes of this book, I’m proud of myself for improving it, for forcing myself to learn and grow to bring it closer to my original vision.

What about you – have you ever had a really long rewrite? Was it worth it? What makes you stick with a rewrite when things get tough?

Thanks for reading, and have a great week. Happy writing out there! 🙂

 

 

Regency and Research, The Paranormal

The Pig-Faced Woman: Found it!

466px-The_Wonderful_Mrs._AtkinsonHave you ever found a little tidbit of research only to completely forget where or when you saw it? What you have here has eluded me for months. I originally read of this legend in Captain Rees Howell Gronow’s reminiscences. Behold: The pig-faced lady.  I finally found word of it (and was jumping up and down), at Pig-faced women on Wikipedia.

For me, it’s perfect: Regency + paranormal = fantastic!

The story goes that the story originates in Holland, England, and France simultaneously in the late 1630s, of a noblewoman with a lovely human body, but the head of a pig. Perhaps her unfortunate appearance was the result of a curse; that is unclear.  When she married, her husband was given the choice: she could appear beautiful to him, but pig-like to others, or pig-like to him, and beautiful to others. When he told her the choice was hers rather than his, the curse was broken (at which point I can only surmise she became beautiful … or maybe the story is more Shrek like).

(Sorry, I digress … all wound up with Coke and finally having found this legend!)

Anyway, the legend appears again in Dublin in the early 19th century, giving the pig-faced woman a name: Griselda Steevens. This poor woman was said to be quite shy and reclusive, often remaining in her carriage while her servants gave alms to the poor. While it’s unclear whether the rumors of her having a pig-face began while she was still alive, there are stories that dismayed (obviously!) about the idea people had about her, she took to intentionally showing off her face in public, and even commissioned a painting of herself for the hospital she had built. But alas, without avail, as locals still preferred the image of the woman with a pig’s head in the tavern across the way.

Then it shows up again in London, 1814-1815 when there were rumors a pig-faced woman was living in Marylebone. Her existence was widely reported, included many alleged portraits and sketches of her. During celebrations following the end of the Napoleonic wars, traffic was tied up, and it was said that in one of the carriages was a woman with a pig’s snout protruding from beneath her poke bonnet.

“It was rumoured that during the illuminations which took place to celebrate the peace, when a great crowd had assembled in Piccadilly and St James’s Street, and when carriages could not move on very rapidly, “horresco referens !” an enormous pig’s snout had been seen protruding from a fashionable-looking bonnet in one of the landaus which were passing. The mob cried out, “ The pig-faced lady !—the pig faced lady! Stop the carriage—stop the carriage!” The coachman, wishing to save his bacon, whipped his horses, and drove through the crowd at a tremendous pace; but it was said that the coach had been seen to set down its monstrous load in Grosvenor Square.”

[Source: Reminiscences of Captain R. H. Gronow, being anecdotes of the camp, the court, and the clubs at the close of the last war with France. Gronow. p111-113: Now I can’t lose it again!]

Belief in pig women was so widespread, that often at fairs, charlatans purported to “show” one, which were usually shaved bears they dressed up in women’s clothing. Even Dickens was said to have commented on the prevalence of the legend, remarking that every age had its own pig-lady (pardon the paraphrase).

But, belief in their legend declined eventually, leading to the last “serious” work about their existence in 1924. This was in a book Ghosts, Helpful and Harmful by Elliot O’Donnell, a supernatural researcher. He claimed there was a ghost of a pig lady in a haunted house in Chelsea. Perhaps we have seen the last of the pig-lady, but I’m sure glad I found her again! I can’t wait to tell her story. 🙂

Have you ever lost that juicy tidbit of research? Have you ever heard of the pig-faced woman?

Thanks for reading. And hey, like the post? Why not follow the blog. Have a great week!