History… Where Did the Term Freelance Come From?

Free lance has its origins in Germany. It was a military concept of being a free land trooper, meaning that a soldier sold his military service to the highest bidder. (There were other reasons for service but money was usually the prime motivator.) During the second half of the Middle Ages, free lance soldiers were prevalent in Europe, especially in Italy and France. Mercenary, a term that brings us images of pirates, is another name for these free lancers. Soldier of fortune is another.

Later, politicians who did not affiliate with any particular party were known as freelancers. Today, the term is most commonly used to refer to the writing profession. A journalist who writes for a variety of news sites and magazines, without formal employment is called a freelancer.

Suellen Ocean is the author of many books on diverse topics. Her books are available here: http://www.amazon.com/Suellen-Ocean/e/B001KC7Z78


Vikings… Are You Related to the Ancient Scandinavian Heros? Ask the Icelanders to Read the Genealogies to You

Today, Denmark, Sweden and Norway have their own separate languages but long ago, they shared the same language. If you want to hear the closest thing to that ancient language, go to Iceland. Many Icelanders speak a similar version of it today. With that preservation of the language came the preservation of Scandinavian oral history, because it eventually got written down. Those writings, today are known as the ancient sagas.

When Viking explorers landed on Iceland, they were speaking their ancient language. Strange gods and human heroes of old Scandinavia live within the old literature that told their stories long before they accepted Christianity. Included in these early stories are genealogies where one might find clues to ancient ancestors. With the acceptance of Christianity came the introduction of a new language, Latin, causing a lapse in literature for the Scandinavian countries for four-hundred years.

Suellen Ocean is the author of Secret GenealogyA How-to for Tracing Ancient Jewish Ancestry, Secret Genealogy IIUncovering the Jewish Roots of Our Christian Ancestors, Secret Genealogy III From Jewish Anglo-Saxon Tribes to New France Acadians, Secret Genealogy IV – Native Americans Hidden in Our Family Trees, Secret Genealogy V– Black, White and Hamite; Ancestors of Color in Our Family Trees and Secret Genealogy VI – Freemasons, Jewish Conquistadors and the Holy Family. Available here:

Secret Genealogy:  http://www.amazon.com/dp/0965114082

Secret Genealogy II:  http://www.amazon.com/dp/1484053222

Secret Genealogy III:  http://www.amazon.com/dp/148407579X

Secret Genealogy IV:  http://www.amazon.com/dp/1500756105

Secret Genealogy V: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01HJ622DU

Secret Genealogy VI: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01MY35VCP

Did Mozart Write His Own Death Song?

The word “requiem” stems from the Latin and means “rest.” When Mozart died, he was in the process of composing this musical work based on the rest that some believe accompanies death. At the end of 1791, Mozart’s wife was worried that his devoted work on the project would kill him. She feared he was working himself to death. It turns out she was right. Mozart never finished the requiem. On his deathbed, he gave the unfinished work to one of his students, with instructions on how it should be completed. An interesting note on this story is that the composition was commissioned by a stranger who asked to remain “secret.” The stranger’s intention was to pass the work off as his own. Mozart died of typhus but it appears that his overworking didn’t help.  Suellen Ocean is the author of many books on diverse topics. Her books are available here:  http://www.amazon.com/Suellen-Ocean/e/B001KC7Z78

And for the Ladies… the History of Your Fallopian Tubes

A woman’s fallopian tubes (about four inches long, one on each side of the uterus) are named after a man named Gabriello Fallopio. If they’d named them after his first name, today they would be called Gabriellion tubes. Fallopio was an Italian physician who discovered the functions of these two tubes on each side of a woman’s womb. His work was highly respected and published at Venice in 1561. I know… I know… a lot of anatomical parts and diseases are named after people who made discoveries but it strikes me as odd. I can’t exactly say that Mr. Fallopio has a place in my heart but he definitely has his name all over my fallopian tubes. Who knew?

Suellen Ocean is the author of many books on diverse topics. Her books are available here:  http://www.amazon.com/Suellen-Ocean/e/B001KC7Z78

Have You Read Machiavelli? Some of the Presidential Candidates May Have…

Blog Size Chimney Fire Front CoverHave you read Machiavelli? Don’t feel bad, I haven’t either. Perhaps we should both feel good that we haven’t. My husband brought it home from the library one day (he was curious) and he told me about it. After hearing more about it, I have a sense of what people are saying when they use the author’s name in vain. He’s so Machiavellian! is not a compliment… or shouldn’t be.

History tells us that Machiavelli was one of the most brilliant men of his day (1469-1527). His belief that statesmanship could be made a science, prompted him to write a book about just that. His book, The Prince, proposed that a ruler may adopt any means to achieve his purpose. In other words, they would do any number of unscrupulous things to gain or maintain power. Things have not changed much. There are politicians out there today trying to gain power and I wouldn’t be the least bit surprised if they are reading the five-hundred-year-old manuscript.


Suellen Ocean is the author of The Steinberg Conspiracy Series. Available here:

Book One, Chimney Fire: http://www.amazon.com/Chimney-Fire-Steinberg-Conspiracy-Book-ebook/dp/B00XDCPLEW

Book Two, Hot Snow: http://www.amazon.com/Hot-Snow-Steinberg-Conspiracy-Book-ebook/dp/B014XHUT1

A Renaissance Man Tells Us How to Be the Perfect Woman…

Butterfly BLUE VIOLET Front Cover

During the Renaissance, people sought to enjoy their time on earth instead of focusing on the Church’s promise of everlasting life. During this time (five-hundred-years-ago, give or take a hundred years), women experienced growing equality. They were leaders of countries, they served as political envoys and they excelled socially, influencing the great thinkers of the day. So a well-known Renaissance man wrote a letter describing the ideal woman. She was to have an in-depth understanding of the founders of the Church and familiarity with authors of antiquity. She was to be well-versed in music and when she looked into the heavens, she was expected to know what she was looking at astronomically. She was expected to be graceful and a good communicator and of course… a charming hostess.

Suellen Ocean is the author of the Civil War Era romance, Blue Violet. Available here:  http://www.amazon.com/dp/B018ZWX0R4

History Buffs… Have You Watched the New Series, Vikings?

I saw a promotion for the new series, “Vikings” in the New Yorker magazine. It was hype, of course, but it looked dramatic and loving history the way I do, I had to see it. I was right, it is dramatic but it’s also violent but I’ve seen worse. I’ve read a little bit of Viking history so I recognized a lot of the historical detail. But at times I find myself going, “yeah… right.” But hey, how can you create an entertaining history series for modern man/woman without adapting it? You can’t. I sure take liberties with my historical fiction. In a nutshell though, my husband and I both agree, it’s a soap opera. But as soap operas go, it’s interesting, different and fun. The acting is excellent and features mostly actors I’ve never heard of, and am enjoying their work. There are a couple of familiar faces making an appearance, David Byrne for one. And speaking of David reminds me of music. The Viking’s sound track is excellent as are the boats, the scenery and one more point about the acting. The boy who plays a leading role as Ragnor’s son, is the finest young male actor I’ve ever seen.

Suellen Ocean is the author of the historic novel The Celtic Prince Available here: