I started this blog because of the kind of books I enjoy. First, what I call “neat facts” books, like Colour by Victoria Finlay, or Cod by Mark Kurlansky, books that make you want to grab someone and tell them about the cool things you’ve just learned. Second, books like Eclipse of the Sun, about the way academic and popular writers ignored or mislabeled sun-goddesses, which makes you mad enough to want to find out more (and maybe kick some sexist butt).
Inspired by their example, I’ve written five books (see Publications for details). However, a blog is a great way to write about things that interest you because it’s a short format, and you get immediate feedback.
I grew up in northern Canada, where you can see the stars most nights, and the aurora if you’re lucky. (I’ve even seen the summer aurora, which is truly amazing, like someone smearing trails of milk against the sky.) Astronomy was one of my childhood interests, sparked by a fascinating book from the local library about the nine planets. Later, in university, I went through a period of being interested in astrology, and casting everyone’s chart. It added a new dimension to the planets.
So did my early mythological reading. At around 10 or 11, I read Edith Hamilton’s book on mythology, which mainly featured the Greeks and Romans, with a section on Norse myth in the back. I have to confess that at the time the Greek god/desses seemed much more glamorous. Odin and co didn’t register on me.
Later in life, when I was doing my degree in Medieval Studies, I began to be much more interested in Celtic and Nordic myth. I was becoming a feminist at the same time, and the strong women and goddesses appealed to me. Even now, after the wishful thinking has been stripped away, that’s still one of the things I love about those stories. Since my family is originally Irish on both sides, I figure there’s probably a drop or two of Viking blood in me somewhere, so both Celtic and Norse appeal to me on that level as well.
As a child I loved Batgirl just as much as I loved Artemis. I don’t know why I didn’t latch on to Wonder Woman more. I probably did my fair share of spinning around and playing “bullets and bracelets”, but I liked Batman best, and Batgirl was like him, but a girl. Huntress was just as good, for the same reason. (That, and she had a crossbow.) I’m not so sure about Spider-Woman, except that perhaps I thought it would be cool to zap someone with venom.
I think also that SW and the Flash were some of the first comics I read where I really noticed the art. For a text person like me, that was a step forward, and one of the reasons I still love comics.
So I hope that explains what might at first glance seem like a random assortment of my interests. At least, now that I’m thinking about it I can see what ties them together. I hope you enjoy reading this blog as much as I enjoy researching and writing it.