The mythic quest — call it fantasy if you prefer — allows me to incorporate all of these qualities. Just like that unknown boy who washed ashore, each of us has the potential to reach for the stars. I have done many things—built a mountain cabin, studied at Oxford, run a growing business, started a family—but I have always written. As a kid, I would sit outside under a big old apple tree and write poems, stories, and zany jokes.
As an Eagle Scout, I won a scouting speech and essay competition that sent me to Washington to meet the President. Even when I was managing a business, I often found myself getting up at 4 a. Finally I had to make a choice, to do what I love best—because life is too short not to follow your passions.
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So here I am, still telling stories. Writing allows me to explore—wherever and whatever I choose. Best of all, though, writing is a way to explore the biggest questions of life. Not to find the answers, perhaps, but to do some thoughtful exploring of the questions. I always write the first draft with a blue felt pen and a pad of paper, because that is a good creative chemistry for me.
And I do lots of rewrites. How many? As many as it takes to get it right! Like a good stew, novels get better when you boil them down and integrate all the ingredients. Most of my novels take six or seven full rewrites and two years to finish. When I started Heartlight , I had no idea that this intrepid young woman Kate would also take me on other adventures. I really wanted to find out what happened to her next! To a Native American tribe in deep trouble, whose fate is tied to the life of a single redwood tree, the only living thing old enough to connect them to the future.
And so The Ancient One was born. There, she and her father search for a mysterious sunken treasure ship whose fate is somehow tied to the ancient wizard Merlin — and to a race with forces of evil. In Heartlight she learns that, even with her insecurities, she can make a difference. Maybe even change the course of the stars. In The Ancient One , she discovers that all things are connected, sometimes in surprising ways, across time and culture and even species.
All of us have an infinite variety of voices down inside of us. But it is sometimes difficult to hear those voices, and to respect them. The challenge of making the character of Kate feel true was enormous. To do it I had to find the voice of the young girl within myself — not easy for a grown man. The reward, however, was equally enormous. It has opened up a new side of life for me. What ever made me do such a thing? The credit goes to our first child, a girl named Denali. When she was born, I was working hard on Heartlight.
It was an idea that I hoped she might enjoy one day. That decision was the easy part. Then I had to find the voice of the young girl in myself, and listen. Really listen. Normally I need some sort of mental map of the terrain of a quest. So I know the approximate beginning, ending, and the dangerous marshes or inspiring peaks that lie in between. This means writing an outline, which is the written form of my trail map. Then I start imagining more closely, and listening to my characters. At some point I intentionally lose the map, so I can find out what the terrain is really like on the ground.
Often my characters tell me to turn right when the map says turn left. In such cases, I always respect the will of my characters. Then I rewrite, rewrite, and rewrite, researching whatever is required. In the end, the journey has included several surprises and experiences that I could not have predicted. Extensive research is a must. If I as a writer am going to convince you, as a reader, to come with me to some fantastic place or time, I must first win your confidence.
Your trust. The only two ways to do that are: first, to engage every one of your senses fully; and second, to do my research. I started with the ancient Celtic text called the Mabinogian, and worked forward from there, reading all the ballads and stories I could find. To write Heartlight , I needed to learn a lot about the life cycle of stars, the nature of light, and the marvelous morpho butterfly.chieparochragar.ml/byta-yeast-gard.php
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In addition, I needed to understand the smells, sounds, and ecological interconnections of an ancient grove of redwoods. The Merlin Effect required learning about the legend of Merlin. Spanish galleons of the 16th century, the physics of whirlpools, and — best of all — the gray whales.
Not to mention the motions and sounds of waves, the rhythms of tide pools, the screeching of gulls. Research is often hard work, but it is loads of fun. And I get to choose the subject! Derrick fidgeted, and Leo sat back, eyebrows raised. The grad students were uncomfortable with the talk of Professor Levin and his well-known feud with Steven. Levin seemed to hate his guts and had shown it at the last conference where they both gave papers.
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Dust kicked up around all of them, and George waved a hand, coughing. Carning, a new discovery! His dirty blond hair was truly dirty now, filled with sand. He had tanned and thickened skin from the sun, having spent most of his career as a dig supervisor. Though attractive with hazel eyes, he also had a three-inch scar cutting across his forehead. He had told Steven it was from a dig accident years ago. He also always wore wristbands; Steven thought it a smart way to keep sweat off of delicate dig findings.
The wall seems to have been deliberately hidden," Shane said in a heavy exhale of breath as he smiled with satisfaction. Steven nodded and held back his own smile. He turned to his three students. Derrick, grab your laptop with the satellite geography program to translate the sonograph report. Leo, bring your tablet and, being that you're the youngest one here, make sure you don't undercut any of the material and context.
We do not need false data. Let's go! To put his critics to rest, and to be able to finally report to his sponsors after three months some success on the dig! To be so close after all these years.
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The foursome scrambled after Shane, dodging ladders and workers clad in coverings that billowed and turbans, past small excavators and tents. When they arrived at the sphinx's right paw, an enclosed tent reinforced with dual layers of fabric had been set up in an attempt to keep the dust out. Derrick connected his laptop to the sonograph machine, both wrapped in clear vinyl to protect the delicate mechanisms. Shane pointed to the laptop's screen. It seems to extend over three hundred feet here and here," his thick fingers flicked around, "then narrowing down to here.
Almost six thousand square feet from what we can tell. Steven felt an unexplained touch of unease. Shane gazed at the computer screen intently. Even in a desert, bombarded by wind, sand, and the harsh sun, she was still beautiful.
One could imagine Cleopatra's beauty when looking at her. Jet-black hair was worn coiled and pinned up, olive skin indicated her Portuguese lineage, and she seemed to constantly try to hide her perfect figure under loose camo-fatigues. George and Derrick both raised their eyebrows, Leo bounced on the balls of his feet, and Shane straightened up to stand tall. Lee-Ann Brimm stepped into the circle of men, somehow sinuous, even while dusty. She's my first assistant for this expedition, and she'll give you the layout and the schedules. Steven kept his eyes on the screen deliberately, trying not to think about the night before last.
Their fumbling kiss, the curve of her hips beneath his fingers He pushed his mind to focus on the dig. You can e-mail them and tell them we've had a breakthrough.
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I'll come back after I send this and help with the dig. They spent the rest of the day digging, the crews meticulously bringing in equipment as needed for heavy work, hand-digging done by Shane's experienced crew for more delicate operations. But Steven and his graduate group couldn't stop themselves from getting in the fray as well, and Steven found George an asset.
Despite his bulk and large frame, he was surprisingly careful when brushing away thousands of years of dirt and sand. Just after four in the afternoon, Steven found a stairwell going down approximately two stories. It was sandy but clear, and after a quick sonograph to establish its safety, they all trooped down. At the base of the stairs stood an odd door. By employing concepts such as frequency and intermittence, which measure occurrence and concentration of a term in the text, Amancio was able to discover the manuscript's keywords and create three-dimensional models of the text's structure and word frequencies.
The use of the framework was exemplified with the analysis of the Voynich manuscript, with the final conclusion that it differs from a random sequence of words, being compatible with natural languages. Even though our approach is not aimed at deciphering Voynich, it was capable of providing keywords that could be helpful for decipherers in the future.
The peculiar internal structure of Voynich manuscript words led William F. Friedman to conjecture that the text could be a constructed language. In , Friedman asked the British army officer John Tiltman to analyze a few pages of the text, but Tiltman did not share this conclusion. In a paper in , Brigadier Tiltman said:. After reading my report, Mr. Friedman disclosed to me his belief that the basis of the script was a very primitive form of synthetic universal language such as was developed in the form of a philosophical classification of ideas by Bishop Wilkins in and Dalgarno a little later.
It was clear that the productions of these two men were much too systematic, and anything of the kind would have been almost instantly recognisable. My analysis seemed to me to reveal a cumbersome mixture of different kinds of substitution. The concept of a constructed language is quite old, as attested by John Wilkins 's Philosophical Language , but still postdates the generally accepted origin of the Voynich manuscript by two centuries. In most known examples, categories are subdivided by adding suffixes ; as a consequence, a text in a particular subject would have many words with similar prefixes—for example, all plant names would begin with similar letters, and likewise for all diseases, etc.
This feature could then explain the repetitious nature of the Voynich text. However, no one has been able yet to assign a plausible meaning to any prefix or suffix in the Voynich manuscript. The unusual features of the Voynich manuscript text, such as the doubled and tripled words, and the suspicious contents of its illustrations support the idea that the manuscript is a hoax.
In other words, if no one is able to extract meaning from the book, then perhaps this is because the document contains no meaningful content in the first place. Various hoax theories have been proposed over time. In , computer scientist Gordon Rugg showed that text with characteristics similar to the Voynich manuscript could have been produced using a table of word prefixes, stems, and suffixes, which would have been selected and combined by means of a perforated paper overlay.
Some maintain that the similarity between the pseudo-texts generated in Gordon Rugg's experiments and the Voynich manuscript is superficial, and the grille method could be used to emulate any language to a certain degree. In April , a study by Austrian researcher Andreas Schinner published in Cryptologia supported the hoax hypothesis. Some scholars have claimed that the manuscript's text appears too sophisticated to be a hoax. In Marcelo Montemurro, a theoretical physicist from the University of Manchester , published findings claiming that semantic networks exist in the text of the manuscript, such as content-bearing words occurring in a clustered pattern, or new words being used when there was a shift in topic.
In September , Gordon Rugg and Gavin Taylor addressed these objections in another article in Cryptologia , and illustrated a simple hoax method that they claim could have caused the mathematical properties of the text. In their book, Gerry Kennedy and Rob Churchill suggest the possibility that the Voynich manuscript may be a case of glossolalia speaking-in-tongues , channeling , or outsider art. This often takes place in an invented language in glossolalia, usually made up of fragments of the author's own language, although invented scripts for this purpose are rare.
Kennedy and Churchill use Hildegard von Bingen 's works to point out similarities between the Voynich manuscript and the illustrations that she drew when she was suffering from severe bouts of migraine , which can induce a trance-like state prone to glossolalia. Prominent features found in both are abundant "streams of stars", and the repetitive nature of the " nymphs " in the biological section.
The theory is virtually impossible to prove or disprove, short of deciphering the text. Kennedy and Churchill are themselves not convinced of the hypothesis, but consider it plausible. In the culminating chapter of their work, Kennedy states his belief that it is a hoax or forgery. Churchill acknowledges the possibility that the manuscript is either a synthetic forgotten language as advanced by Friedman , or else a forgery, as the preeminent theory.
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However, he concludes that, if the manuscript is a genuine creation, mental illness or delusion seems to have affected the author. Since the manuscript's modern rediscovery in , there have been a number of claimed decipherings. One of the earliest efforts to unlock the book's secrets and the first of many premature claims of decipherment was made in by William Romaine Newbold of the University of Pennsylvania.
His singular hypothesis held that the visible text is meaningless itself, but that each apparent "letter" is in fact constructed of a series of tiny markings discernible only under magnification. These markings were supposed to be based on ancient Greek shorthand , forming a second level of script that held the real content of the writing. Newbold claimed to have used this knowledge to work out entire paragraphs proving the authorship of Bacon and recording his use of a compound microscope four hundred years before van Leeuwenhoek.
A circular drawing in the astronomical section depicts an irregularly shaped object with four curved arms, which Newbold interpreted as a picture of a galaxy, which could be obtained only with a telescope. However, Newbold's analysis has since been dismissed as overly speculative  after John Matthews Manly of the University of Chicago pointed out serious flaws in his theory. Each shorthand character was assumed to have multiple interpretations, with no reliable way to determine which was intended for any given case.
Newbold's method also required rearranging letters at will until intelligible Latin was produced. These factors alone ensure the system enough flexibility that nearly anything at all could be discerned from the microscopic markings.
Although evidence of micrography using the Hebrew language can be traced as far back as the ninth century, it is nowhere near as compact or complex as the shapes Newbold made out. Close study of the manuscript revealed the markings to be artefacts caused by the way ink cracks as it dries on rough vellum.
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Perceiving significance in these artefacts can be attributed to pareidolia. Thanks to Manly's thorough refutation, the micrography theory is now generally disregarded. Feely's method posited that the text was a highly abbreviated medieval Latin written in a simple substitution cipher. Leonell C. Strong , a cancer research scientist and amateur cryptographer, believed that the solution to the Voynich manuscript was a "peculiar double system of arithmetical progressions of a multiple alphabet".
Strong claimed that the plaintext revealed the Voynich manuscript to be written by the 16th-century English author Anthony Ascham , whose works include A Little Herbal , published in Notes released after his death reveal that the last stages of his analysis, in which he selected words to combine into phrases, were questionably subjective. In , Robert Brumbaugh, a professor of medieval philosophy at Yale University, claimed that the manuscript was a forgery intended to fool Emperor Rudolf II into purchasing it, and that the text is Latin enciphered with a complex, two-step method. In , John Stojko published Letters to God's Eye ,  in which he claimed that the Voynich Manuscript was a series of letters written in vowelless Ukrainian.
He further claimed that Catharism was descended from the cult of Isis. However, Levitov's decipherment has been refuted on several grounds, not least of which is its being unhistorical. Levitov had a poor grasp of the history of the Cathars, and his depiction of Endura as an elaborate suicide ritual is at odds with surviving documents describing it as a fast. King,  in which they claimed to have translated ten words from the manuscript using techniques similar to those used to successfully translate Egyptian hieroglyphs.
They claimed the manuscript to be a treatise on nature, in a Near Eastern or Asian language, but no full translation was made before Bax's death in In September , television writer Nicholas Gibbs claimed to have decoded the manuscript as idiosyncratically abbreviated Latin. Medieval scholars judged Gibbs' hypothesis to be trite. Professor Greg Kondrak, a natural language processing expert at the University of Alberta , together with his graduate student Bradley Hauer, used computational linguistics in an attempt to decode the manuscript.
However, the team admitted that experts in medieval manuscripts who reviewed the work were not convinced. As with most would-be Voynich interpreters, the logic of this proposal is circular and aspirational: he starts with a theory about what a particular series of glyphs might mean, usually because of the word's proximity to an image that he believes he can interpret. He then investigates any number of medieval Romance-language dictionaries until he finds a word that seems to suit his theory. Then he argues that because he has found a Romance-language word that fits his hypothesis, his hypothesis must be right.
His "translations" from what is essentially gibberish, an amalgam of multiple languages, are themselves aspirational rather than being actual translations. The University of Bristol subsequently removed a reference to Cheshire's claims from its website,  referring in a statement to concerns about the validity of the research, and stating: "This research was entirely the author's own work and is not affiliated with the University of Bristol, the School of Arts nor the Centre for Medieval Studies". Many books and articles have been written about the manuscript.
Copies of the manuscript pages were made by alchemist Georgius Barschius in and sent to Athanasius Kircher, and later by Wilfrid Voynich. In , the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library made high-resolution digital scans publicly available online, and several printed facsimiles appeared. Between and ,  Italian artist Luigi Serafini created the Codex Seraphinianus containing false writing and pictures of imaginary plants in a style reminiscent of the Voynich manuscript.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Illustrated codex hand-written in an unknown writing system. This section possibly contains original research. Please improve it by verifying the claims made and adding inline citations. Statements consisting only of original research should be removed. January Learn how and when to remove this template message.
See also: Philosophical language. Archived from the original video on March 9, Retrieved June 8, Voynich Central. Archived from the original on October 7, Retrieved 8 June Archived from the original on 26 January Retrieved June 9, Skeptical Inquirer. BBC News. Yale Library. Beinecke Library. The New York Review of Books. Retrieved March 31, The Telegraph.
Washington D. Retrieved June 11, Archived from the original on January 5, University of Arizona. February 27, Archived from the original on June 2, Archived from the original on March 15, University of Toronto Press. JHU Press. May 15, Retrieved 11 June Raphael Mnishowsky". Retrieved June 29, Archived from the original PDF on June 16, University of Bedfordshire. February 14, Stephen Bax. BBC News Online. February 18, The Independent. February 20, Cipher Mysteries. UK: Keele. The Observer. University of Pennsylvania. September 6, Retrieved 21 December Retrieved 4 January
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