Guest Blogger–MICHELLE GRIEP–Top Five Reasons to Admire a Viking

I want to give a super-warm welcome to my Viking-loving writer compadre, Michelle Griep. We love swapping Viking photos and lore with each other. This woman knows her Vikings, my friends.

Michelle’s book, UNDERCURRENT, is about a professor gal who time-travels back to Viking times. But you’ll read more about that below. Meanwhile, here’s a link to her blog, which never fails to make me smile, if not laugh outright: It’s always a great resource of writer info…come to think of it, it’s going on my list of lurk-a-liscious blogs on the right!

Now, here’s Michelle, with some reasons we can look up to those plundering Norsemen…

Top 5 Reasons to Admire a Viking
Guest Blog by Michelle Griep
I live in the land of 10,000 lakes and 10 gazillion Scandinavians. And I’m one of them. How much do you know about those sea-faring barbarians? There’s a lot to love about this people group—sans lutefisk, that is…
1. Sweet Texting Skills
The Viking alphabet, the Futhark, is a series of straight lines. Super easy to carve into a stick, a skull, what-have-you. Much of their communication has been unearthed by archeologists, down to shopping lists, threats, and love notes.
2. Viking Men Put Metrosexuals to Shame
Contrary to popular belief, Vikings were a meticulously clean and well-dressed people group. Unlike the English, they didn’t hold any ridiculous superstitions about bathing opening the door to demon possession. Once a week they soaked in their bubble bath and daily combed out their hair. Clothing was bright and fashionable, often incorporating imported silks and furs.
3. Debt Free Living
These people paid their debts and paid them fast—or were kicked out of the country. Everything had a monetary value, even a life. If you killed someone, you had to reimburse the deceased’s family (called wergild).
4. CEO Determination
They knew what they wanted and went after it. Gold and silver, mostly, though land was high on their list as well. And if a Viking showed up on your doorstep, you’d probably better cooperate. They employed ruthless practices such as the ‘blood eagle’ (I won’t go into detail to spare the squeamish at heart, but let’s just say this activity involved surgical skill, bone cracking, and organ removal).
5. Packers Suck
Enough said.
Now that your appetite is whetted for big, beefy Vikings, there’s a book you really shouldn’t pass up. Take a trip back in time and experience these wild and winsome people in UNDERCURRENT…
People go missing every day. Many meet with foul play, some leave the social grid by choice, but others are never accounted for. Such is the fate of successful linguistics professor Cassie Larson. She leads a life her undergrad students hope to attain, until she tumbles into the North Sea and is sucked into a swirling vortex…and a different century.
Alarik, son of a Viking chieftain, is blamed for a murder he didn’t commit—or did he? He can’t remember. On the run, saving a half-drowned foreign woman wasn’t in his plans.
Ragnar is a converted pagan shunned by many but determined to prove his Cousin Alarik’s innocence. He didn’t count on falling in love with Cassie or the deadly presence of evil that threatens his village in Alarik’s absence.
UNDERCURRENT…dare to be swept away. Available now at Amazon or Risen Books.
****Thanks so much, Michelle, you brighten up my life! Anyone have any Viking questions for Michelle or me? We love nothing more than discussing the Norsemen!****

16 thoughts on “Guest Blogger–MICHELLE GRIEP–Top Five Reasons to Admire a Viking

  1. Oh, this was hilarious! I'm from Iowa, and we have no football team, so in the church I grew up in, you were either a Vikings fan or Packers fan, end of story. I was always conflicted. I had no idea Vikings were big on cleanliness, either. I always picture long, straggly hair… 🙂

  2. Michelle, I am a fellow Minnesotan! Oddly enough, I don't have a lick of Scandanavian blood in my family tree and I'm the fourth generation to live in Minnesota – my husband doens't either, so my children are fifth generation with none! I have Polish, Dutch, Irish, German (only a little) and English.Love your Viking history! It's a people I know very little about.

  3. Melissa ~ Yep…Vikings were the cleanest folk of the day unlike those savage Anglicans.Gabrielle ~ If you'd like to learn more about those rough and tumble fellas, I happen to know of a book to introduce you to…(cue evil laughter)

  4. I believe it's a myth that the English were uncleanly. They didn't often have the luxury of baths, and baths were often seen as decadent pleasures, but they washed themselves from bowls of water. Bathing does not equal washing. In fact, bathing used to mean the use of public baths (or in waterways during the summer). Wealthy people would have had more time to spend washing their hair, while poor people probably didn't do this very often. But unwashed hair does not mean unwashed in general.

  5. You're correct, Jill, in that medieval inhabitants of the British isles did indeed scrub-a-dub their smelly little bodies. I merely point out that Vikings did not hold the same superstitions/beliefs about bathing, and were definitely not the beasts in horns that first comes to mind when thinking of that people group.

  6. Yes, yes, set the record straight about the Vikings, but don't malign the English! 🙂 I don't think they were even superstitious about bathing–at least the majority of the population wasn't.

  7. Ha–Jill, I think they all inter-married in the end, anyway! Hee. I imagine that most of us who are part Norse are probably large parts English, as well. I'm glad for anyone who clarifies how things were done instead of reinforcing incorrect stereotypes!

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