Okay, the title of this post is a lie. It doesn’t really.
But today I had the pleasure of pulling out something from At the Foot of the Throne to show my son that was relevant to his schoolwork.
For social studies, he must draw a map of the route he walks to his school from home. His first attempt was most certainly a first draft — as a first draft oughta be! I took one look at it, winced and used Gmaps Pedometer to map out the route, so he’d have a clearer idea of what it looks like, and told him to draw his map from that guideline. (The point of the exercise is legends, labels and scale, so I don’t think it’s cheating).
He had used up the graph paper he had on his first draft and asked me if I had any more.
I’m a fantasy writer. Yes, I have graph paper! How else do I…
I pulled out my At the Foot of the Throne notebook, and opened it up to get the graph paper, but I also showed him this:
I can’t show this in the size and detail1 that will make it easy for you to read it or understand it, but since he was learning about cartography in school, I asked him to read the legend and explain about the two countries. He did pick up right away that one was stronger in mineral wealth than the other, and that other had lots of farmland, but didn’t necessarily pick up on the political significance of such a fact.
I was kinda hoping he’d ask to take the map to show to his class to show about geopolitic… But he didn’t. Ahhh, vanity.
Still, it was nice to have the mapmaking tools right on hand for him so that he can do a good job for school.
1 For those of you who think that the map looks suspiciously like a Civilization II game, it’s because I used the same algorithms. I was stuck on creating the two countries, and my partner of the time handed me an appletini and advised me to, “Play Civ on paper.” It worked very well indeed!