An example of anachronism

Below is a little paragraph or two from the first version of the story I am creating. The names have been changed to protect the guilty.

The next morning dawned to the smell of coffee brewing on the campfire. With a stretch that reminded her that she was not as young as she used to be, Kiera crawled out from under her blankets, slipped on her boots and shook out her hair. Once standing, she rolled up her bedroll and tied it to the back of the saddle. Jace was busy coaxing a few slices of bacon apart, so she took the time to dig out her brush, smooth out her hair and bundle it back into a bun at the nape of her neck. It would be easier to travel with it up.

Finally feeling presentable, even without the make-up so many put stock in, she crossed to the fire. “Good morning.”

“Good morning!” Jace grinned and triumphantly held up the two thick slices of bacon. “I got them apart. They are easier to fry that way.”

Kiera laughed. “I cannot disagree with you, but where did you get bacon?”

“I would love to tell you it was brilliant bartering on my part, but the truth is, I brought it with me. I just carved a bit off a block back at our base camp and brought it along. Gregor is a skilled butcher. He usually gets to keep a portion of everything people bring to him as his payment. It helps keep us well fed.”

 

As you can see, I have never eaten bacon in my life that is not pre-sliced. I had no idea just how difficult it is to carve portions small enough to fry. Watching experiential archeologists wrestle with all sorts of meat, from slaughtering pigs to de-boning a leg of mutton, I realized I needed to rethink all references to food in my story.

Ah well, on we go.

A whole new world

Maybe not a whole new world. I actually am borrowing a great deal of information about what life was like in Medieval England. The first version of this story was created out of information gleaned from various textbooks. Regretfully, it felt like I was merely doing Renaissance Faire overlay into my own experience and that just wasn’t going to cut it.

However, the BBC and YouTube have come to my rescue. Since 2005, the BBC has aired a number of historical series where modern day archeologists and historians try to recreate life in the past. The two I found most helpful for this project were “Tales from the Green Valley (2005)” and “Tudor Monastery Farm (2013).”

I plan to share with you some of the interesting facts I learned as these experiential historians and archeologists lived their challenges. I also have hope that these lessons will breathe more authenticity into my stories. You will have to let me know what you think along our journey together.