For CCThis post is by Nancy Jardine.

Some fantastic milestones have been reached in my household this week.

My trusty dictionary describes milestone as:

1. A stone marker set up on a roadside to indicate the distance in miles from a given point.
2. An important event, as in a child’s development, the history of a nation, or the advancement of knowledge in a field; a turning point.

Earlier this week my grandson, almost 10 months, made the transition from doing flying belly shunts to what we call proper crawling. What does that mean for me? The days of parking him down nearby with a set of toys to play with will no longer pass muster. He’s on the move and on the move very, very quickly.

20150117_101926 Jan 2015 My solo childminding stints are going to be a lot more energetic now that I’m going to be split in half running after my 3 year old granddaughter and grandson. I’ll just have to make sure they’re travelling in the same direction!

The other major milestone for me this week is that I’ve eventually done and dusted all edits to my YA time travel adventure ‘The Taexali Game’. I can now move on to learning how to check the formatting for uploading to Amazon (that might be a big challenge for me). All I need now is for my front cover designer to come up with a spectacular image and when the front cover is decided on, that’ll be another milestone that I’ll have passed.

As one of my fellow Wrangler bloggers mentioned a couple of days ago – I need A PLAN. A big marketing plan because I’m hoping for a local market for my YA novel as well as a global one. Therefore, that being the case, I’ll need to be sure I know where my milestones are going to be placed. Am I going to be setting large pieces of stone in high visibility places like my favourite Ancient Romans did? Maybe not quite that. I may be covering some reasonable distances within my home area of Aberdeenshire, Scotland, to events when launching the novel but my markers are more likely to be on the virtual map.

In my neck of the woods, ancient milestones are still to be found at the edges of many roads, though none of those (to my knowledge) are from Roman times. In my Celtic Fervour Series (AD 84), and in The Taexali Game (AD 210), the Ancient Roman Army travel many, many miles to reach Aberdeenshire. The distance is some 600 miles from landing on the south coast of England, but since their roads were mostly of the simplest flattened earth type in Scotland it’s unlikely that they had stone markers on them. From my research on Roman tactics, it’s probable that the markers were of wood on the campaign roads in Scotland. Wood is great in the short term but not so lasting in the long term.

I’ll keep that in mind because I’ll need to have some short term milestones as well as long term strategies in place for MY PLAN.

milestone with inscriptionWhen the Romans settled in an area in the longer term, some of their milestones resembled the one on the right. Around 117 Roman milestones still survive in the UK, though few are in good condition.
The second one below with the inscriptions (Llanfairfechan, Wales) would most likely have been picked out in red paint, as was usual, for easy viewing.
The very organised Romans set out these mile markers at reasonably precise distances, the stones laid at every 1000th double-step.

Can you hear them marching…sin..dex…sin…dex…  ?

Why was this important to them even on roads that were unpaved? Marching from milestone to milestone improved the efficiency of the infantry and the timing across a route could be better reckoned. Once the roads were established, soldiers and supplies could move very quickly throughout the Empire.

Efficiency is something I definitely could do with!

milestone inscription Wales LlanfairfechaIn Scotland, there are some remains of Roman roads, mostly across the central belt between Glasgow and Edinburgh (the shortest point of Scotland from west to east). The remains of some of these roads are roughly along the route of The Antonine Wall (built AD 142) though some of the milestones were laid down during earlier Roman campaigns in AD 83/84 (or maybe even earlier since recent evidence is redrawing the dates of Roman occupation).

You’ll find more Antonine Wall info here:

In the third book of my Celtic Fervour Series After Whorl: Donning Double Cloaks – my Celtic warriors shadow the advance of Agricola, the Roman Governor of Britannia (AD 78-86) as he marches his troops from northern England to the north-east of Scotland. The flattened earth of Agricola’s legions, thousands of soldiers, left a legacy because it’s very likely that in AD 210 the Roman Emperor Severus marched along those same roads to the north-east of Scotland with some 30,000 men. The Emperor Severus and his thousands of men appear in my YA time travel The Taexali Game.

Like Agricola had done, Severus also came (probably annihilated a lot of Celtic warriors) and then he left Scotland fairly quickly, his troops marching back down south passing all of his milestones along the way- though the Emperor was carried the whole way in a litter. I should add at this point that the Emperor Severus hadn’t been in good health for some years (and don’t blame the infernal rainy Scottish weather or the delightful Scottish midges, *smiley face*here because we’ve got a lot of that/them). Severus made it to York in northern England via his vastly improved ‘metalled’ roads in England and died there in AD 211. Severus was apparently a very superstitious man and believed his soothsayer who had earlier warned him that Eboracum (York) was where he would die. (Make of that what you will but Severus was most likely very arthritic and quite old for the era at around 66 years of age)

Until roughly the mid 20th century many of the trunk roads in Scotland were partially laid down on what were still casually referred to as ‘the Roman Road’.

The Romans never properly conquered Scotland but I still drive on parts of their legacy even after almost 2000 years.

Back to my PLAN.

  • Any ideas as to where I should place my marketing milestones?
  • I’m thinking of writing an early Press release and sending it to the local newspapers, and some national ones.
  • I could also try the local radio stations and see what they can come up with.
  • Maybe I’ll try to book a venue for a real-live book launch as well as a virtual one on Facebook.
  • A next milestone will be to find an affordable print option because if I take my novel around the public libraries and schools in Aberdeenshire, I’ll need some print copies for display.

Hmm… any suggestions?

Meanwhile have a great weekend.

Nancy Jardine’s novels can be found via her Author Page at  Amazon US ; Smashwords ; B&N ;  and other major ebook sites.

x3 on blackCeltic Fervour series set in northern Roman Britain AD 71-84



Nancy Jardine Award Finalist The People's Book Prize 2014Award Finalist mystery thriller – Topaz Eyes

Contact Nancy at her: BLOG  WEBSITE

‘Like’ her at Facebook and various other social media sites as Nancy Jardine- LinkedIn; Goodreads, About Me , Google +,


18 thoughts on “Sin..dex…sin…dex…milestones

  1. What an interesting post Nancy! I enjoyed the link on the Antonine wall and your sharing of early history. I know you have your hands full and are enjoying your adorable grandchildren, but seriously, how do you get so much done? I want to know the secret! It looks to me as if you have things pretty well in line for the promotion of your next book. Congrats!


    1. Linda, I see others churning out story after story so fast that I can barely breathe reading about it, so I feel I’m really slow – but thank you for your unfailing support! 🙂


  2. Nancy,

    Frist, congratulations on completion of the book. YEAH!
    Second, what great history you shared. Loved it.
    Third, I know you will do well with this one. Place those markers all over the place.

    *Smile* Doris


  3. Wow, Nancy! Congratulations on completing the book. Like Linda, I’m not sure how you manage to do all you do! Interesting information about the milestones as well. Love the pictures.


  4. Congrats on completing the book. As you know the fun is just beginning. It looks like you have a good plan in place. I am guessing you are very busy getting things done when the grandbabies take naps.


    1. S.J. – That would be wonderful but since Riley (grandson) only naps for 10 – 20 mins, maybe x 2 during the day, there’s not a lot of free time. But at least just now my daughter is around a lot since she’s not back to work yet full-time.


  5. You are amazing. And energetic. You have your hands full but I know you’re up to the challenge by all you’ve already accomplished, and you will have fun doing it I’m betting also. Good luck. Have you looked into local tv stations for appearances, book clubs, library readings etc? Keep us posted! Loved the history you gave in this blog. So fascinating.


    1. I haven’t though tabout TV, Neva. There’s only 1 local station but it’s a thought! Yes to the book clubs and library readings. I’ve been doing some of that during th elast couple of years. Glad you enjoyed the history.


  6. Not keeping up with Writing Wranglers & Warriors posts like I should due to my dad in the hospital, but I did manage to read this one, Nancy. Interesting how you tied your YA book’s theme of time travel to your two grandchildren and keeping an eye on them, then symbolically traveling back to Roman times in Scotland and mile markers/milestones. Good luck with the novel.


  7. Congrats on finishing your book. You asked about print options. Have looked into CreateSpace on Amazon? Doesn’t cost anything. Seems fairly easy to do. (I’ve loaded my text into one of their formats, but haven’t done the cover yet.) You can buy author copies at a discount and then sell them yourself and you can also offer copies on Amazon. More expensive than mass produced, but you don’t have to commit any money.

    Good luck with your milestones.


  8. Wonderful post, Nancy — you are SO INSPIRING! I concur with Kate about Create Space, even though I haven’t used it yet for print books (although I intend to!!) Good luck with all your endeavors!


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