shallow focus photography of black and silver compasses on top of map

How do your cartographer skills measure up?

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Several years ago, when I finally wrote the story living in my head, I set about doing on what typical jobs women had back in the roman through middle ages. I’ll admit, it was pretty paltry. Most societies only allowed women to raise children, run a household, and weave cloth.

The only bright side I found came from the Greeks in Sparta, who encouraged the women to exercise like the men. The biggest reason they got to do this, however, was because it produced healthier babies. Go figure.

Then when we get to the middle ages, you can find stories of women taking up the sword either in defense of themselves or their people, or out of revenge. But most of those women, at least from their depictions, were very brawny and often considered outlaws. So what is an author to do with a female character with a smaller build and enjoys her femininity?

Thank goodness I can across some text that stated in the middle ages through the renaissance, they sometimes hired women who were good at drawing as cartographers. Thus, Nienna Comstock finally found her profession.

Almost four years after that point, I needed to see what the land around Tellidus looked like. I wish I would have done this when I first wrote book 1. But as my mother-in-law always says, “Hindsight is always 20/20.”

I grew up in the mountains and thought I knew how the landscape fit together. However, I found that certain things that I thought worked in my world ended up not working at all and had to be scrapped.

After a month’s worth of work, here is your first glance at Nienna’s world.

Before you click away, I need some help. This world I’ve created does not have a name! I’m asking readers to either comment below, send a DM on my instagram, or email to with your suggestions on what I should name my world. If your suggestion is accepted, You’ll get a shoutout in the updated version of THE EARTHSPARK when the final product is released.

Sounds like a deal?

Until next time, my friends!

Vanessa Thurgood

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