After a day of writing which felt like wading through treacle, I now have some idea what stupid thing the Hawkwoods are going to do next. Trust me, compared to yesterday this is progress. I keep reminding myself that last time I managed to bring the ravening multi-headed plot-beast over the finishing line without too much collateral damage (unless you count Kjarten), and that if I’ve done it once I can do it again. Not that the finishing line is anywhere close yet, but it’s closer than it was yesterday, and that’s something.

Yes, I know the answer is not to get myself involved with ravening multi-headed plot beasts in the first place, but what can I say, they follow me home.

Picture is of the tomb of Sir John Hawkwood, condottiere, whose acquaintance I first made when reading Barbara W. Tuchman’s A Distant Mirror, a book I first encountered in the late 80s and have returned to again and again since. It also introduced me to Charles the Bad of Navarre, who also seems to have made a contribution to the Hawkwoods’ literary DNA, and to the excesses of fourteenth-century fashion, which I have not have any cause to borrow for a book yet. Maybe the next one will include someone wearing a flower chaplet, a pair of shoes with toes so long they need auxiliary supports tied from the wearer’s knees, and a coat lined with blue, red and white striped silk patterned with compasses, stars and the City of Jerusalem.

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