Rose de Guzman

History ~ Books ~ Tea ~ Figure Skating

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Monarchy Monday: More of the Crown, coming soon

With The Crown Season 2 coming in December, I will be finishing up my Behind the Crown series here on my blog.  But, for now, here’s a look at the next season of the show…

Weekly Wednesday: Episode 17

(sorry this is going up a day late — there was some sort of glitch)


Reading: Dominion by C. J. Sansom is really good, if long.  I haven’t had a lot of time this week, but I’m still loving it.  I finished The Rules of Civility, and it was FANTASTIC.  I’m moving on to Ross Poldark, the first Poldark book, and it is very good, as well, with a plot that moves quickly.

Watching: Had a little bit of time to watch a little bit of YouTube, but not much more than that.

Listening: My On Thin Ice playlist on Spotify, and some Beatles stuff.

Doing:  Saw some more relatives over the weekend.  Made a new Instagram account for fashion, etc.

Planning:  Not to do anything for a while.  Just kidding.  Seriously, though, I want a little break, because I’ve worked really hard this summer.

Writing: Submitted On Thin Ice to Pitch Wars after making some changes to the full manuscript, continuing to edit The Lion and the Eagle.

Obsessing Over: The Last Tycoon on Amazon Prime video, even though I’ve only had time to watch the first episode.  LOVED the book, and always wanted more.

Monarchy Monday: Oldest Royal Video

I’m crazy busy today, so I’ll give you this little tidbit.  It’s the oldest known footage of the British royal family, and also includes footage of Tsar Nicholas II and his wife, Empress Alexandra.  Filmed in 1896, it shows the Tsar’s visit to the UK.

Without further ado, I give you…Queen Victoria on video.

Weekly Wednesday: Episode 16

After taking the month of July off to focus on Camp NaNoWriMo and preparing for Pitch Wars, I’m back to blogging.  🙂


Reading: Dominion by C. J. Sansom.  I’m not very far in, but it’s very good so far.  It’s an Alternate History novel where Germany won World War II and England, while not occupied by Germany, is under their thumb.  Very well written.  I’m also reading The Rules of Civility, by the same author as A Gentleman in Moscow.  He brings as much talent, skill, and witty turn of phrase to 1930’s New York as he did to the Hotel Metropol.  Where’s my time machine?  🙂  I also recently finished Rich People Problems and The Beguiled, both of which were great.

Watching: Actually went to see a film in the theater for the first time in a while — Dunkirk was great, and I recommend it to any history buff.

Listening:  Blueprint for Armageddon — I know I’m late to the party.  For those who aren’t familiar with it, it’s a podcast about the First World War and is very detailed and engaging.

Doing:  Just visited family and enjoyed the cultural festival at Fort Ross.  More on that in another post.  🙂  Also been playing Pokemon Go again and catching all the legendary birds.

Planning:  Which Pitch Wars mentors to submit to.  It’s a hard choice, because everyone looks fantastic, but I’m going to go with the mentors who seem to be looking for something like On Thin Ice.

Writing: I edited about 75,000 words of  The Lion and the Eagle during Camp NaNoWriMo.  I’m also finishing up my submission for Pitch Wars.

Obsessing Over: Vintage fashion and accessories, and the YouTube channels that feature them.  Doing research for  The Lion and the Eagle always makes me want to break out my vintage hats and jewelry and maybe even some of my vintage clothes or reproduction styles. I wish I had the guts to go all vintage, all the time, or at least mostly vintage/reproduction, most of the time!

Figure Skating Friday: Pairs to Watch

Sui/Han (China)

This pair took advantage of the mistakes of others to win 2017 Worlds.  While they lack the dynamic style of other pairs, they are generally technically clean.


Savchenko/Massot (Germany)

If these two put together two clean programs, including their throw triple Axel, they will be unbeatable.  However, they haven’t managed to put together flawless programs yet.  Here’s hoping that they’re saving that for the Olympic season!  Aliona is a huge sentimental favorite for many skating fans, and the way she continues to push the envelope technically (despite being over 30) is inspiring to say the least.
Tarasova/Morozov (Russia)

This pair represents Russia’s best shot at the upcoming Olympics.  They did well at Worlds despite working through injury.  They still have room to grow artistically, but if they put together two clean programs, anything can happen.


Duhamel/Radford (Canada)

These two-time world champion have been struggling recently.  Injuries and now a coaching change raise doubts about their chances in 2018.  But it would be foolish to count them out.

Weekly Wednesday: Episode 15


Reading: Finally started Rich People Problems tonight.  It’s funny as always.  I can’t wait for the Crazy Rich Asians film. Been soooo busy.


Watching: Not much, actually.  I don’t think I’ve watched any TV all week, other than America’s Got Talent. Well, and my annual anniversary viewing of the first episode of Dark Shadows.

Listening:  The radio in the car, for the most part.

Doing: Not much outside of writing and playing video games.  Life is Strange (free this month with Playstation Plus) was a blast.  Can’t wait for the prequel this fall.  🙂

Planning:  Going after the new quests and experiences in the Breath of the Wild downloadable content that releases on Friday.

Writing: Revising the first few chapters of On Thin Ice, yet again, to send out more queries.  And hopefully bringing more of The Lion and the Eagle to my critique group tomorrow night.  I will also be doing Camp NaNoWriMo as part of the revision for The Lion and the Eagle.

Obsessing Over: Kingdom Hearts 1.5 and 2.5.  I didn’t have a Playstation 2 as a kid, so this is my first real go at this game.  I love it and I’m almost done.

Monarchy Monday: Royal Ascot News Links

The Royal Meeting at Ascot Racecourse has ended for the year, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t discuss the wonderful fashion and royalty sightings from this year’s Royal Ascot.  Despite the Duke of Edinburgh being hospitalized, the meeting was full of lovely clothes and exciting racing.

Tons of pictures can be found here.

None of Her Majesty’s horses won this year, but the Queen seems to have enjoyed herself even so.

Much like the Kentucky Derby in the US, Royal Ascot is known for fashion and crazy hats.  Here are some photos of the royal family in their Ascot best (including the Duchess of Cambridge, beautiful as always in white lace).  For wacky hats, click here.

Figure Skating Friday: Yuzuru Hanyu, or How to Break Records

While Medvedeva dominates the Ladies’ event, Japan’s Yuzuru Hanyu rules the Men’s discipline.  The 2014 surprise Olympic champ found himself tasked with proving that he is not a one hit wonder, and he is proving it quite well.  Now he’s 22-years-old and poised to become the first 2-time Men’s Olympic champ since Dick Button in 1948 and 1952.

A lot of fans struggle to fully understand how the scores breakdown in the “new” judging system.  This video does the job, pointing out each and every piece of Hanyu’s tech score at the World Championships.

Weekly Wednesday: Episode 14


Reading: Still finishing up White Shanghai because I needed to read some library and book club books that were due.  Mark Twain’s novel about the life of Joan of Arc was very interesting, however, and I highly recommend it.  I hope to get to Rich People Problems later this week.

Watching:  The Handmaid’s Tale just ended for the season.  I hate to say it, but, having recently re-read the book, I do think that the show is better.  The show certainly goes into more detail when it comes to the world of Gilead and the characters besides Offred. I’m interested to see where Season 2 takes us.

Listening:  Not much this week, due to E3.

Doing: Stalking E3 news.

Planning:  Looking for more agents to query, etc.

Writing: I’ve sent out all of the queries that agents requested during PitMad, and I also rewrote my synopsis to be stronger.  I’m making a few more tweaks to On Thin Ice and I continue to bring The Lion and the Eagle to my critique group.

Obsessing Over: The news out of E3.  Soooo many good games coming out, both for Nintendo Switch and Playstation 4.  Super Mario Odyssey for the win!  And, of course, I can’t wait for Kingdom Hearts III.

Monarchy Monday: Japan’s Emperor Given Permission to Abdicate

The Japanese Parliament decided last week to allow the aging Emperor to abdicate.  He is 83, and requested abdication because of his age and health.

The current (and soon to be former) Emperor, Akihito,  is the son of Hirohito, who was Emperor of Japan during the Second World War.

This bill applies only to Akihito, and only for three years.  Rumor has it that he will abdicate in late 2018, but no date has been set.  His son, Naruhito, will inherit the throne.  It will be interesting to see how active Naruhito’s wife, Masako, will be as Empress.  She has struggled with her mental health for quite some time, and rarely appears in public.   However, she has been making a few more appearances in the last few years.