The Regency Timeline
Now I have the 1790 Timeline again. I went back added a significant amount of graphics. I will be doing this with all the years I previously posted and then ensuring that the new years have a lot of graphics as well.
I have uploaded all these years to the Regency Assembly Press website. You can see a little preview of this below in the picture. I especially like how the Duchess of Alba by Goya looks a lot like Cher.
My sources which include the Internet and The Timetables of History by Grun and Stein as well as the Chronology of CULTURE y Paxton and Fairfield should cover a lot of events. There are now over 5000 listed for the period between 1788 and 1837 when Victoria comes to the Throne. I have also just found a third book I own with timelines in it, very USA centric though. What Happened When by Carruth. I also have added a Dorling Kindersley book , History of the World.
I may post a year at time every so often in between scanning through all these to find something that will be a good article for this blog and the blog at English Historical Fiction Authors. I will also have the full listing up shortly at Regency Assembly Press.
Those who have feedback, it is appreciated or if someone would like a specific year in a future post. The very first entry is to show who was Prime Minister of Great Britain, later it was the United Kingdom, during the period of the chronology. In choosing our dates, 1788 is the first sign of madness in George the III, it is the beginning of the end of the French Monarchy with the riots in Paris, it is the time when the mama’s of the girls during the true Regency would be girls going to London for their own season, and when our heroes are young lads or babes as well.
We need to know of the events that occurred when they were children, as well as what happens when they are on stage in our stories.
Click on the link below or the picture to go to the entry. More years coming. The list is now over 5000 event entries long and growing.
The Writing LIfe
I am now 330+ pages (over 100,000 words) on A Magician Murder Mystery. A had a good idea for a mystery, with a twist. What if the sleuth is a magician. I am looking for readers for this. Thirty years ago I wrote a mystery. And this is now my second. The first I know needs help. This though is working well. But then, a mystery needs a little more care I think then my regencies, etc. I could use other eyes if anyone is interested to be sure that I am hiding the clues well enough. That, the plot flows, and that the reader can put the entire thing together by the end.
I enclose a few more paragraphs from the first draft and now the start of the second chapter.
Lance was not going to give him a lot of time to study the material, Eric knew. There was a UPS store near Dunsmuir and he could make copies of the relevant pages. After doing his marketing, he could stop there.
That way, as Lance had done before Eric had started making pages, when Lance would ask ‘what about the timing when I have to get out of the box on the page with the three stars…’ Eric would be able to look at his copies and talk Lance through it. Lance would then say that he was glad Eric thought to make copies.
Lance knew he would now. It would have saved time, if Lance had made the copies for Eric, but he couldn’t be bothered. That was what the people who did the work did. Not what the people who came up with the ideas did.
Lance could have thought of a trick with such a broad outline as the Magician disappears in a puff of smoke, and then reappears at the back of the hall a moment later. It would be up to Eric to make the trick work. Of course that trick was easy enough and they figured that our years ago. Old school.
As assistants had to have doubles that you could not see that there was a difference between from the audience, so too did the magician. Right height, right body size, a wig to make the hair match. And the ability to move your mouth to pretend to be speaking as the magician was actually talking.
The gag went something like the magician leaving the stage for a moment to fetch a towel, or get a drink of water. That was the switch with the double. Then the double would pretend to do the spiel as he walked over to a trap door in the stage. He would throw, or now, the stage would have it’s own blackout, smoke explosive. In that instance the trap door opens and the double falls through when the audience can’t see what is happening.
A moment later, booming voice from the back of the house, the magician starts walking down towards the stage. Perfect trick.
Lance had a library as good as Eric’s. He even had read two or three of the books in it. At least he knew he had them on the shelves. Eric was the one to study the works and see ways to make the trick work. Fifteen minutes at the printing part of the shop, and he had a working duplicate of the notebook. He even had it perf bound so he could lie back on the couch in his apartment and not have to worry about the papers being all over the place.
Rents were not that cheap in this side of town. He lived across from Park La Brea, but he had made good money when he first moved into the area. The card club job. His skills with cards for his tricks had made it so that he knew where cards were in a deck that he was dealing. He even had shown the manager how he could rig a game, if that was ever needed.
The man was a friend of Ephron Calman of the Palace. That was how Eric had gotten his audition performance. When he choked the manager of the card club didn’t hold it against him. But when they later did throw a couple games, the guy got nervous and had Eric move along. If he hadn’t opened his mouth, Eric might still have been there, making double what he did at Wal-Mart. Now though, the extra money from his part-time gigs, and the spots at the Palace of Magic almost got him back to where he had been.
After seven years though, he should have been further ahead. Sometimes, especially after he borrowed money from Lance, he would cruise to one of the other card clubs and put his skills to work as a player, not as a dealer. And not for a lot of money. Three hundred at one place, two hundred at another. The management was always looking for those who cheated regularly and for a lot of money. Things that were not good happened to those who spent too much time at the clubs and were too lucky.
It was just past eleven when he got to his apartment. He had a shift at four, at the store. Then an early shift the following day. He would have to eat his lunch-dinner at about two thirty, and then get ready for work. Seven miles and it took twenty minutes to half an hour to get to work. He just loved traffic in Los Angeles. And Eric meant that in the way that everyone meant it. He hated it.
Spreading out on the couch, Eric started to read through the notebook and see if Lance had done the work. Over the years he had gotten better at thinking through illusions. He had notes about what his script was going to be. Directions for the assistants. Lots of holes, but better than when they first met.
Then it was Eric who had the notebooks, and Lance had just scraps of paper, though they were in a manila folder, if you could call that being organized. When Lance saw Eric’s notebooks he thought it was a great idea and went and bought a pack of a dozen. This might have been the fifth of that initial dozen.
Eric was into his third dozen, he could see, glancing to the bookshelf.
Eric laughed. Lance had thought he was so smart when they had first become friends. Lance had gotten the gig at the Palace of Magic, and Eric had bombed. Then a few weeks later after they begun hanging out, Lance still making just the minimum for one show a week, he started read Eric’s notebooks. That was when Lance’s act began to grow. When he got more performances.
Lance took what was in Eric’s notebooks and added it into his show. Then at a dinner to celebrate the extra shows he had gotten, an expensive dinner at the Mario Batali restaurant, Osteria Mozza, Lance told Eric that he had been filching ideas from Eric’s notebooks.
At first Eric was upset. A magician should not steal another’s ideas. That was part of the game for the professionals. Reverse engineering other professions would call it. Working backwards to see if you could figure out the trick. He shared with Lance what was in some of his notebooks, but not all. Yet Lance had taken to looking at the notebooks when Eric wasn’t watching.
“Look, I wouldn’t have mentioned and you’re right, I shouldn’t have done it. But I got more performances, and that means more money. Calman is not paying me enough so I can afford my own apartment, the new car. It is good money, and maybe even better money with the right tricks.”
“My ideas, and you make money. That’s not fair at all.”
“I promise I’ll make it up to you. But you know you can’t do the tricks. And some, like you told me before, are the ones that have been around forever.” Lance said.
“Those anyone can have. The tricks I thought of are mine.” Eric was really pissed off, but he couldn’t make a scene in the middle of a posh celebrity chef restaurant. Lance played that part perfectly.
“Look, you told me it is traditional to buy someone’s tricks. I’ll pay you for the ones I’ve taken. I shouldn’t be the only one to make money from them. And then later, one day, I’ll remember and make sure you are paid everything. Really. You’re my only friend in all of Los Angeles. I should have asked first, but I thought you would say no because you are still mad at Mr. Calman.”
Eric was still mad at Calman. That anger would not go away, especially as the years went by and Calman made it difficult even for Eric to do his card tricks, which he never screwed up, in the lounge. Never screwed up unless he drank too much.
Lance did pay for the tricks, a bit, and then asked for help with some of the other tricks. Eventually, Eric would come up with a trick that was particularly good for Lance. One that would go well in Vegas or on a talk show. Lance did even hesitate to pay as he got richer.
As Eric thumbed through the current ideas in the notebook, remembering how Lance had stolen ideas from him made him smile. Now though he could see how far Lance had come in his concepts. The bullet points and sketches along the sides of each page showed Lance’s showmanship. His grasp of how to milk the audience just right. The trick itself, that was something unexpected.
As Lance had said, it was series of tricks related to each other. Fourteen tricks. Which would fill an hour show. Or several that were related and a few that you could make seem related. But the techniques, or ideas were not something that Eric ever expected to see from Lance. Part old craft mastery and something totally different. How do you take a solid piece of plywood and have a mark test it first. Take a spray paint can and sign his name, then lay it on the floor and then place the box over it? How could you now get through the floor, and Lance wanted Eric to figure that out.
Only two cups of coffee, the aspirin, the hangover headache, and soon he began to doze. A nice nap and he would be ready for work that night.
Then there was a knocking at the door. “Mr. Wise. Eric Wise, are you home!”
Eric heard it. “One minute.” He shouted back at the door. You always had to raise you voice a bit to be heard through a closed door. He had a window that could see the landing in front of his apartment. He was on the second story of a courtyard building.
Two shapes with coats. Knocking like that, they were probably not Mormon missionaries. He got up and closed the notebook that had been on his chest. He put it on the coffee table. It was almost two o’clock.
Opening the door he found two men, sunglasses on, coats and ties like he had seen through the window. “Hello?” He asked tentatively.
One placed a shiny thing up to the screen door, a badge. “Are you Mr. Eric Wise?”
“Yes. Are you some kind of cop?”
“Mr. Wise I am detective Johnson and this is detective Bailey. Can we come in and ask you a few questions?” The taller one, closer to the door, with the badge said.
“Yes, of course.” Eric fumbled with the latch on the screen door. It was always sticking. What was he going to tell the cop, no? You can’t come in unless I have a lawyer? That would sound guilty.
Finally he got the latch to work and let the men in. He also had a very healthy yawn come up. “Sorry, I was taking a nap. Is something wrong. I don’t have any parking tickets or anything.” He might have misrepresented some of the money he had on his taxes, since for some gigs he was paid in cash. No receipts. But the local police didn’t come to talk to you about that, did they?
The first one, Johnson said, “Do you know a Lance Silverton?”
“Yes. He’s a friend. Is something wrong? Did something happen to Lance?”
The two exchanged a look. The second one, Bailey said, “You probably should sit down.”
That was a cliche. He was in a business where you used a lot of cliches. He had a suspicion what was coming next and went to sit. “He’s dead?”
“I didn’t say that? What makes you think he’s dead?” The first cop said.
Eric had sat back down on the sofa. “What makes me think he’s dead? You just told me to sit down. That’s what everyone tells someone when they have really bad news.” Bailey gave Johnson a look that would have been fairly obvious if they were performers. Homer Simpson would have a word for that.
“Yes,” Johnson then said. He shifted his weight and Eric saw the holstered gun the man carried. Guns could be dangerous. Even in magic, where sometimes a trick called for a gun. If you screwed up and bought real bullets instead of caps, or used the caps too close to yourself, that was the way to court disaster. Eric did not like guns.
Johnson continued. “Mr. Silverton is dead. When was the last time you saw Mr. Silverton? There was an entry in his calendar with your name on it.”