Monday, September 27, 2010
My Steampunk/Romance As Timeless As Stone by Maeve Alpin has a heroine, Seshat, from the Middle Kingdom period of ancient Egypt. I love history and Egyptian history can be so much fun. I thought I’d share some of the more interesting trivia I came across while researching that era. I love candy and believe it or not, so did the ancient Egyptian they invented and indulged in two all time favorites: licorice and marshmallows.
Another interesting tidbit is in Egyptian society writers or scribes were well paid for their work and it was a highly thought of profession. One of my favorite writing quotes is from Ptahhotpe or Ptah-Hotep, an ancient Egyptian official who lived in the late 25th century BC to early 24th century BC. “Be a scribe! Your body will be sleek, your hand will be soft....You are one who sits grandly in your house; your servants answer speedily; beer is poured copiously; all who see you rejoice in good cheer. Happy is the heart of him who writes; he is young each day." Ptahhotpe
The ancient Egyptians also thought well of libraries, an inscription over the door at the Library at Thebes, reads, “The medicine chest of the soul.”
Also in ancient Egypt, male servants cooked, washed clothes, and did the weaving. The women thrashed the grain. So even then I guess the women still got the hardest work.
The ancient Egyptians were very romantic and believed the gods wanted them to enjoy sex. An extraordinary tidbit about the ancient Egyptians is that the ankh, the famed symbol of life, also represents male and female private parts. One of the most amazing pieces of trivia regarding the ancient Egyptians’ belief in sex after death was that they attached phallus to the mummified bodies of men and added artificial nipples to the mummies of women.
So to sum up these fun facts, the ancient Egyptians liked marshmallows, licorice, books, and sex, plus they thought men should do the cooking and laundry. Who wouldn’t love people like that?
And I’m sure you’ll enjoy my ancient Egyptian heroine, Seshat. She loves reading and writing, she’s a lector priestess and works in the temple library, studying ancient tablets and writing magic spells. When Egypt’s enemies the Hyksos create a new war machine called a chariot, and speed toward the temple to attack, she conjures a spell, turning into stone to avoid rape and capture. She’s sure her soldier friend will turn her back when he arrives with Pharos army but he doesn’t find her as her head has been chopped off. She is finally transformed back, centuries later by Ricard in 1830 Paris, when he places her head on her shoulders and reads the incantation held in her hands. How can you not love a strong woman with magical powers who so resiliently transforms not only form stone to flesh but from ancient Egypt t to 19th century Paris.
And here is the blurb for my Steampunk/Romance, As Timeless as Stone:
Though society stands in their way, can love transcend time with the aid of robotics and ritual? In peril for her life, the Priestess Seshat turns herself to stone in ancient Egypt. Centuries later, Ricard, a dashing nineteenth century Frenchman, repairs a broken statue and reads its incantation--unprepared for the gorgeous flesh and blood woman who steps forth. Seshat is drawn to the brass robots Ricard creates and the glamour of the Victorian age, and most of all to Ricard himself. But the society of his day cannot accept a woman like her. How far will Ricard go to secure her happiness? Is their love strong enough to transcend time itself?
As Timeless As Stone, Trailer