Although Andrea Mcmillin has been posting for about on her blog Inspire (http://medievalessays.blogspot.com/) for just over three months, I’m finding it a great place to read about Richard III, the Tudors, and some other assorted medieval topics. After having talked with Andy and learning more about why she is writing, the title of her blog proves to be very fitting.
Despite having a learning disability, Andy was able to get her BA in Medieval Studies from the University of California – Davis, and even did some graduate studies before medical issues forced to leave school. Since then she spent several years working and raising a family (and some horses), but still wanted to purse a graduate degree in medieval studies and write about the Middle Ages.
However, after putting off doing a medieval blog because of time and other commitments, Andy got news that would change her life and perspective on what’s important. She tells Medievalists.net that:
Last year in 2012, two months after my wedding, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I am not old enough at to get this disease but lucky me I did. Three surgeries and chemo and I hit my one year in November and doing wonderful. Did I have a “come to Jesus moment?” maybe? But it made me realize… what am I doing with my life? I have all these talents (art, writing, costuming/design, <3 of film, etc) and they are sitting on a shelf because as a good girl, I was raised to do what the parent said, whether it made me happy or not. Well, I decided I needed to do what made me happy. If waking up my blog, working on artwork, working on publishing a book one day (that’s my goal) and finishing grad school made me happy, I really needed to hop on it.
Andy started Inspire in late October of 2013, and so far has written over 20 posts, looking at topics such as the relationship between King Richard III and Queen Elizabeth Woodville, a recipe for a medieval version of Mincemeat Pies, and taking a look at TV shows such as Reign and The White Queen. She also posted an article for Amy License’s blog his story, her story, and also wrote a review of the online course England in the Time of Richard III for us on Medievalists.net.
In the future, you will see Andy posting about medieval cooking (including recipes she is trying out), education, the Plantagenets, and Richard III (she is also working on a book on the famous English king). She adds, “I love to do reviews on any media – i.e. movies that come out with a historical aspect that I can catch. Always good to spread the word to others – good or bad.”
Andy is very appreciative of the positive feedback she is getting about her blog and is hoping to enter a graduate medieval studies program very soon. She adds that “At the end of the day, I am thrilled that people are thrilled and enjoying my writing:) YAY! It makes my day!”
You can follow Andy Mcmillin on Twitter @pinkiecat75