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Having come to the end of a couple months worth of entries that I lined up in anticipation of the August crunch, I wandered into my library and sorted through my more recent acquisitions for something that wouldn't cut too deeply into my novel revision time in the next couple weeks. I confess I picked this volume up in part because one of the papers to be covered is a recapitulation of Sahar Amer's comparison of Arabic and French same-sex marriage motifs in medieval literature. I figured that would be a "quick win" in terms of coverage.

It's the very first Lesbian Historic Motif Podcast episode! "Ordinary Women" kicks off this monthly audio series as part of The Lesbian Talkshow podcast, a magazine style podcast of book reviews, readings, news, and entertainment.

When I first started working seriously on the Lesbian Historic Motif Project, I was delighted at how the number of relevant publications and the scope of the material kept expanding with every book or article I read. But lately I've been noticing how often I'm covering publications that largely cover themes and motifs that I've already dealt with. Sometimes they have an interesting new take on the material, but sometimes it's simply repackaged from a slightly different angle. This isn't a problem, as such.

I approached Kelly Gardiner’s novel Goddess with a combination of excitement and dread. It’s hard not to have mixed feelings when someone tackles the story of a real historic figure with whom one is already in love. In my completely biased opinion, anyone who encounters the biography of 17th century swordswoman and opera star Julie d’Aubigny, Mademoiselle de Maupin and does not fall in love has something wrong with them.

I've been teasing about this for a little while and now I can announce it officially. The Lesbian Historic Motif Project will now include the Lesbian Historic Motif Podcast, part of the Lesbian Talk Show Podcast, a magazine-style podcast that includes reviews, discussions, readings, and news from a variety of contributors and is created and hosted by the folks at The Lesbian Review. To begin with, I'll be contributing a monthly episode to be posted on the last Saturday of the month.

There's an exciting new development coming for the Lesbian Historic Motif Project. Yesterday, I delivered the first four episodes for a spin-off podcast based on the Project. At least at first, I plan for a once-a-month schedule until I get a sense of how it fits into my workload and how much suitable material I have. It will be part of an existing "magazine style" podcast, which means I don't have to do my own administration or drum up my own audience. I'm being vague here because I don't want to jump the gun ahead of the podcast owner.

It's a common (and tiresome) critique of historic or fantasy novels that place women in pre-industrial military roles that such a character and activity is simply implausible. "Women couldn't do the work." "A long-term disguise as a man is not believable." And so forth at tiresome length. The best counter to such critiques is to drown them in data. Alas, even that approach won't satisfy the more stubborn of the nay-sayers.

One of the questions raised by today's LHMP post is, "What does it meant to identify a poem or a poet as 'lesbian'?" especially in an era with different categories and expectations than our own. I raised a similar question in yesterday's blog about queer characters in historical fiction. When we write a character in a historic setting, we're telling two stories: the story of how that character relates to the past, and the story of how that character relates to present-day readers.

The e-book giveaway for Through the Hourglass was quite a success in encouraging non-spam comments on the blog! I had twelve entrants (which may be a record for any random giveaway I've held to date) and the lucky winner is Andrew Barton. My blog software doesn't currently request e-mail addresses for commenters, so Andrew, you'll need to e-mail me through the contact link to get your e-book. (Specify epub or mobi format.)

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