Roget’s Thesaurus, Heavy Metal, and Grendel’s Mother

I love learning from folks at readings, such as at BookWoman, a supportive and thriving feminist book in Austin, TX where I recently shared Grendel’s Mother: The Saga of the Wyrd-Wife. My old pal Laura asked if I had been inspired to write the novel after becoming a mother.  After thinking about it a bit, I had to say, “Yes.”

I started writing the book in 1998, two years after my daughter, Sarah, was born. We would have a babysitter, Anna, come into the house and play with her while I wrote and worked. Well, by age 2 Sarah had become aware that I was still IN the house.  So she toddled over with Anna into my study.  “I won’t say anything,” little Sarah whispered. As I tried to write, I keep shooting glances over to my dear poppet.  This wasn’t going to work.

That’s when I began my frequent travels to the library at St. Edward’s University, less than a mile from our home.  I brought a laptop with me–a Mac that took dial-up.  So I couldn’t google even if I wanted to.  I simply typed.

The old library at St. Edward's University. Now they have a beautiful new one. But I have happy memories in the old one.

The old library at St. Edward’s University. Now they have a beautiful new one. But I have happy memories in the old one.

Someone asked me how I got words for alliteration.Then I suddenly remembered my well-thumbed copy of Roget’s Thesaurus.  No googling for synonyms for me!

My well-thumbed copy of Roget's Thesaurus

My well-thumbed copy of Roget’s Thesaurus

Laura’s son, Sam Brancaccio, a brilliant heavy-metal guitarist, might compose music for a song from Grendel’s Mother.  Vikings and heavy metal seem to go together.  So I hope Sam will oblige.  I can see Grendel’s Mother rocking out to his music.

As I left BookWoman, I  found out that a number of women from the “Goddess Group” had bought the book.  I love goddesses!

Just so you know, one scholar thinks Grendel’s Mother is based on an ancient Earth goddess figure. Enjoy!


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