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Recently I was asked by the kind folks at Medievalists.net to talk about my work as an independent medieval scholar. It’s just come out and you can find the link to it here.

ICMS 2017 Wrap up

Last week I returned from the 52nd International Congress of Medieval Studies hosted by Western Michigan University. This was a longer trip than originally planned. In the end it was cheaper to take Amtrak to Kalamazoo, Michigan, than to fly. And it was pretty epic. As it turns out it is a 50 hour trip from Sacramento to Chicago with Michigan not long afterwards. I took the California Zephyr route which goes through the mid states of the continental US. If you follow my Instagram or FB page you have probably already seen some of the shots and videos.

The conference went very well- I’ve gone over that a bit in the most recent update on Kickstarter. If you are interested in reading about that you can check that out here.

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Since I’ve been back I’ve had the chance to share the Viking Coloring Book with a few of my regular classes and they are all very excited.

Both books promo shot

I’ll be uploading more photos and trip inspired art in the near future as school breaks for the summer. Check my FB page here and my Instagram here. I’m also starting to go through my stack of business cards acquired at Kalamazoo. Bear with me if you are waiting to hear a reply- I’m not quite the master of my own schedule for another few weeks.

Kalamazoo Handout

I have mentioned previously how I had a personal goal this year of making all of my conference handouts be coloring pages. As this particular talk is more specifically about the Viking Coloring Book Project I made an information sheet with some details about the whole thing.

Feel free to share the link– I will bring 50 copies with me to Session 404 on Saturday afternoon itself. And colored pencils, because that is how I prepare for a conference these days.

Two more days of work before I get on the train for Michigan. Maybe I’ll bring them some handouts too.

Downloadable Coloring Page #2

This link will take you to the second promotional coloring page download created in honor of my speaking about the Viking Coloring Book Project at the 52nd International Congress on Medieval Studies being held next week(!) at Western Michigan University.

I hope to have put my handouts and all up once I have them digitally rendered. I will be taking the train to Michigan this year- a longer journey but one I look forward to. If you happen to be attending the Congress I will have other pages with me to give out as well.


Downloadable Coloring Page (A Day Early!)

In honor of my being included on a panel session during the upcoming International Congress on Medieval Studies being held at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo next month I’ve made a series of coloring pages. You can find the link for the pdf here.

Come back next week for the next download in the series!

*Note: I originally intended to do this tomorrow but I got called in for work. Also I got excited.

Juggling Work and Vikings

I feel as though I have just crawled out from under the proverbial rock recently as I have just finished a longer posting at one of my local schools. In spite of this, I’ve got the time to catch up again now that things have slowed down at my day job. There are some upcoming events for the Viking Coloring Book Project that I can focus on.

April 29th I will be at the Stockton Art and Seek on the Miracle Mile, in front of TAP Plastics. I will have the Pop-up Gallery set up and the first of several coloring pages created to promote the presence of the Viking Coloring Book Project amongst this year’s International Congress on Medieval Studies presentations. More information on the Art and Seek can be found here.

I will be traveling to Kalamazoo for the Congress next month. I’ve booked the train from Sacramento direct and am really excited to head east for a bit after this longer role. I should have signal and wi-fi so there will Instagram posts as well as promotional coloring pages available. Added bonus of taking Amtrak- I can get caught up on some research and writing along the way.

Another added bonus- last day of the book room prices! I get double the luggage total weight on the train.

Now that I have the time for logistics again don’t forget to follow my Instagram and Twitter accounts for progress shots and notifications about the Viking Coloring Book Project.


My work and research lost one of its great supporters not long ago. Those of you who are also on my FB friends list are already aware of this fact. This is another one of those posts I am loathe to write, but do anyways. It involves emotions I tend to be very private about, experiences that are still tender to explore, let alone discuss.

My furry partner-in-crime, Hippolyta Pig, died in her sleep March 9. I’ve been having to substitute since and have been unable to write these words. I’m on Spring Break currently, though, with a full week of Viking Coloring Book Project tasks lined up after I post this. Enough on that for now.

Listen close, Reader, for the song of Hippolyta Pig, fearless friend and champion of this introverted medievalist.

She began her life with me as a rescue. My husband and I had needed a friend for our guinea pig, Knuckles, after the death of my beloved but elderly Harley. Harley was the first piggie Jerry and I had while living abroad in the UK and I had been devastated when she passed. Knuckles was introduced to three pigs at the rescue- two adults and a little brown one who sneezed. The little one ran up Jerry’s jacket sleeve, determined to be with us, so we brought her home.

She was given an “H” comic related name in honor of Harley and became Hippolyta after Wonder Woman’s Amazonian mother. That first night she fell asleep on a pillow on my lap.


That first week she eerily began doing things that Harley had- drinking my tea while I worked on the floor at home, sitting on my shoulder in my sweatshirt hood to watch the world, sitting with Knuckles. She taught herself to climb the stairs of our flat, waking us up by galloping under the bed after she’s been with us only 3 days. The next night she taught Knuckles to do the same. She loved being free range downstairs and the two would do inspection tours, with returns to the cage for bathroom breaks.

Sometimes when you get a rescue animal for a pet they rescue you more than you did them. After 2010 I found it very difficult to be social outside of school and work at all [a few panic attacks keeps one wary when you are trying to present a front of competency to the world]. I took inspiration from the fact that she had no fear in spite of her size. Hippie allowed insatiable curiosity to dictate her actions, something I had tried to do myself by attending graduate school in a foreign country. When Jerry and I came home both pigs flew after, thanks to help from my parents. We all lived in a tent for a few months to get on our feet again. The final day of that process proved harrowing, leaving Hippie alone without a pig friend.


Boudikka came from a shop as we did not have a rescue nearby. Hippie focused on training her and, when Jerry saw a tiny piggie on Craigslist similar to Harley, on raising Kaliyuga. She trained them all in exploring, manners, stairs and tea drinking. When an older lion-head rabbit came to us she trained him too, learning bunny manners herself in the process.

Hippie knew where a camera was and looked at you directly when you spoke with her. It was a photo response of her to a tweet about pets which put me in contact with the media I later received help from in promoting both my first book and the Kickstarter campaign for the Viking Coloring Book. The original post is a few years back on that now but can be found on this site.

Hippie on desk

She sat on my desk in her sleep sack watching the creation of the VCB motifs, the editing of my first book, the prep for the verbal defense of my thesis, the last of the writing up of my doctoral research. If I chose a pen she did not like she chittered at me with narrowed eyes until I got one apparently better. Later on she became more vocal and learned to apparently tell time. She would wake me up 10 minutes before our alarm was set for, no matter what time I set it for. Unless we told her specifically she did not need to wake us up she did it without fail.

Hippolyta Pig wanted to be held early March 9th, something she particularly like when she wasn’t feeling well. She curled up under my chin as she always had, stealing body warmth and microfleece blanket. And that was it, a bright candle in the world finally extinguished.


Freyja hold you safe at Folksang until our paths cross again, valiant little one.