30 September 2010
Planet Spankmenow. It is my delighted honor to introduce you now to Sketchie Skattergood.
*waves in a regal manner... for a penguin*
So Sketchie, how exactly did you FIND Planet Spankmenow?
Well, Your Tartness, that's quite a story. As a few of your readers may know, I'm a romance writer at heart, and I feel obligated to do intensive research on the subject (for authenticity's sake, don't you know). A few years ago, I was hunting down the legendary "bippy", a fantastic (and highly elusive) body part Goldie Hawn made famous in the last century. (Whoa. Feeling old now... and depressed... *cries*)
So there I was, hot on the trail of a wild bippy, when somehow I accidentally stumbled through a suspicious-looking window-treatment. I went right through the tattered material (really, someone MUST inform housekeeping about the sad condition of that drapery), and to my horror I landed face-first in the rugged, Alps-like abs of a charming boy by the name of Cristiano (you may have seen him; there's a delightful little snap of him on my FB Wall as we speak *fans self*).
After much drooling and unnecessary fondling (it is JUST so hard to believe those abs are real), the darling boy commended me for my bravery in crossing through what he called "the pantsy portal to the World of Uptightedness." After many hand signals and pantomiming, I was at last able to discern that the luscious lad was speaking of my own realm (I didn't bother to correct his grammar; when someone looks that good, who gives a damn what they're saying?). I then asked him where I was. That was when he told me: "This in Planet Spankmenow."
Can you tell our lovely readers about it? Topography? Activities? Entertainment? Small furry animals?
Darling, do I look like Christopher Colombus? I can give you detailed descriptions of the spa and the cabana boys and girls, the pools both manmade and natural, the beaches of every color, the twin-peaked mountains far off in the distance that the locals have named Dolly and Parton, and of course, Cristiano's six-pack. But when it comes to the general topography, the most I can tell you is that this wondrous little slice of heaven seems to be one gigantic island (wait... could this place be... AUSTRALIA?!?!? [<--interrobang, heehee!])
Oooh, but as for the activities and entertainment.... NOW we've got something to talk about. *smirk* First and foremost, one must learn the customs of Planet Spankmenow. There really is only ONE rule in this delightful slice of heaven-- off with your clothes (seriously, the natives have never even heard of a cotton-poly mix). As there is glorious weather year-round in this tropical paradise, the natives have never needed clothes. In fact, they giggled uproariously over my brassiere (I know what some of you are thinking: "Penguins don't wear bras." Well, this one does. How's that for a mental image? *snort*)
Did I digress there? Whoops. Sorry. Mari made me. :D
Where was I? Oh yes, bras. The natives found a MUCH better use for my brassiere. Come to find out, if you place tightly-packed Snow-Cones (sans the "cone" part and in any flavor you want) within the bra cups, you can fling those puppies around like David and his slingshot. We had a grape-flavored one sail nearly seventy feet before the brastrap snapped. I'm sure we'll be back in business soon, and with any luck, brassiere slingshots will become as popular as Planet Spankmenow's National Pastime, pudding wrestling.
And as for small furry animals... Have you forgotten the bippy?
So which pudding flavor do you most strongly endorse?
Excellent question, Tart. If you're serious about your wrestling, I strongly recommend pistachio. A little texture goes a long way. If you're more interested in the friendly, slap-n-tickle variety of wrestling, you can never go wrong with chocolate. The darker color is so slimming. :)
[here the Tart must chime in agreement, pistachio really IS a fabulous pudding for wrestling, and it doubles as body paint, so that is a bonus]
*blinks* Politics? On Spankmenow? What are you trying to do, make this into the World of Uptightedness, Part Two?! The only thing that even smacks of government on this fantasy-island planet are the dungeons, run by a queenly lady named Rissa, The Watery Tart, Briony of the Ax and The Comfy Chair, JelE Bean, and when I can steal the key, myself. Our security man is a fun-loving, roguish bloke by the name of Sirius, who sniffs out those who are determined to wear clothes. After only a few weeks in the dungeons and several hours of dance-instruction later, our former scofflaws fall quite eagerly into the swing of things (it's amazing what a little Bend-and-Snap! can do).
And what are your plans to keep Planet Spankmenow a central force in the Naked World Domination Movement?
We of Planet Spankmenow need to lead by example. Everyone -- get naked. *waits a few moments* Thank you.
Is there anything else you’d like to share about Planet Spankmenow?
It is truly a place of freedom and beauty, where imagination rules and "limits" are an unknown entity. Those who make it through the Veil, whether by accident or design, never return unchanged (or in the case of Sirius, they never return, period, end of sentence *snort*). If YOU are a believer in freedom, the joys of the imagination, and in nakedness, Planet Spankmenow is the place for you. *wanders off to see what Cristiano is up to*
So there we have it, straight from the dominatrix penguin, and founder of Planet Spankmenow, bringing joy to anyone open-minded enough to enter. For a visitor's visa, just see The Tart.
*images of Sketchie the penguin and the Watery Tart skillfully drawn by Queen Marissa
And on the off chance you DIDN'T know... Yesterday was NAKED DAY! Sorry I couldn't give you a head's up sooner. *shifty* So mark it on your calendar for next year!
29 September 2010
But in the rush to apply technology to talking about technology, a few things were overlooked. Today, I redress this.
Rain. Sun. Colors. End of story.
The value of a rainbow, like the rainbow itself, is a matter of perception.
The dull empiricist sees nothing more than a band of pretty colors, and is at best inspired to write a bad poem.
The more inquisitive observer sees a division of sunlight into various wavelengths and is inspired to invent spectral analysis.
Of course, we see only seven bands of the visible spectrum, but infrared and ultraviolet light are refracted by the same phenomenon. Birds' eyes are sensitive to the UV spectrum, hence they see rainbows with several additional bands of light, and are thereby inspired to poop on windshields.
Comparable to: The James Bond film series. They're colorful, devoid of substance, and all pretty much the same. Part of growing up is realizing that there's no treasure at the end, because it never actually comes to end.
First, I must confess that I'm not entirely objective on this topic, as I have a lot of personal experience using footwear. Frankly, I don't like the things. They make my feet itch. When I was a child, part of our nightly dinner ritual involved a familiar clunk, clunk and knowing smiles from the rest of the family as I kicked off my tennies so I could eat in peace.
But nothing in the universe comes close to the concept of "dress shoes" for pure, unadulterated stupidity. Mind you, I fully understand the concept of formal clothing and have nothing against, say, a necktie. It just hangs there and generally doesn't get in the way. Even a dress jacket or a full-blown tuxedo might be a little confining, but they don't make it difficult to get from one place to another.
Dress shoes? Dress shoes? I need my feet for walking. Encumbering them with inhibitive, formal gear makes about as much sense as slipping on a pair of boxing gloves and calling them "dress mittens". Ladies' high heels are even worse, and I've never understood the appeal; being a not-tall male, they just make me feel short.
But even with such horrible variants, I suppose the general concept has been more useful than not. For those who make a living playing basketball, stepping on bugs, or crossing broken glass to outwit criminal masterminds, shoes can be mildly useful.
Comparable to: Historia Regum Britanniae, Le Morte d'Arthur, et. al. Like early shoes, the earliest versions of King Arthur are brilliant inventions but still a bit painful to wade through. They laid the groundwork for later, less formal variations (The Once and Future King = tennis shoes) as well as a gross misinterpretations (oxfords & derbies = various film versions and SciFi channel originals).
* * * *
Spiral Galaxy M31, "Andromeda"
Talk about being overlooked. The Andromeda galaxy is home to some 1,000,000,000,000 stars, is 2,200,000,000,000,000,000,000 meters across, and has an aggregate mass in the range of 2,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 kilograms. I'd tell you more, but my computer just ran out of zeroes.
Seen from Earth, M31 (or "NGC 224" as its friends like to call it) is located in the constellation Andromeda, whence cometh its name. The central cluster can be seen with the naked eye on a clear night in rural areas, or with binoculars under less ideal conditions, and by birds with binoculars in any conditions whatsoever (go ahead and teach a bird to use binoculars if you want to prove me wrong).
That central cluster looks like a small, hazy star, but the span of the entire galaxy (in Earth's sky) is six times as wide as the moon. It can be seen in its full glory when photographed through a telescope, or by googling images uploaded by the nice folks who operate those telescopes.
The Andromeda galaxy is part of a galactic cluster called "the local group" which, as the name implies, is so darned local that it includes our own galaxy. Andromeda and the Milky Way are by far the largest members, with most others being considered "satellite" galaxies (except Triangulum; but at a mere fifty trillion solar masses, Triangulum doesn't really warrant its own review).
But despite being the two heavyweights, it's not a competition thing. Andromeda and the Milky Way aren't rivals. In fact, the two galaxies are moving toward one another at about a hundred kilometers a second. Astronomers speculate that they might eventually come together, but at this point it's uncertain as to whether or not the FTC can get the merger approved within the next 4.5 billion years.
Comparable to: The Twilight series. It seems like a really big thing, and it's got some star power. It's something of a universe unto itself. But it's mostly empty space and over two million light years away from being relevant to the real world.
* * *
Lucifer has long been lambasted as the antepenultimate evil, exceeded only by Adolf Hitler and saturated fat. The guy made some pretty bad choices, especially when you consider that, for him, the whole "Will and power of God" thing lacked any of the uncertainty that we ignorant, mortal humans have to deal with. Furthermore, the popular defense that "the devil made me do it" comes across as pretty disingenuous.
On the plus side, his fallen status serves a useful purpose. By suffering eternal torment in Cocytus, he gives a pretty clear example of what not to do and why not to do it. He also exacerbates the suffering of certain damned souls, which may or may not count in his favor, depending on how vindictive you feel toward someone who's already in hell.
But his best quality, by far, is the one thing Lucifer himself couldn't make use of: blame shifting. If it weren't for the serpent's temptation in Genesis, then Eve would have taken all the blame; and we'd be lucky to reach 21st century levels of "moderate misogyny" by the year 3000.
Oh, and if you think I'm a sacrilegious jerk for saying positive things about Lucifer, be advised: The devil made me do it.
Comparable to: The Rocky Horror Picture Show, because everyone agrees that it's awful but we're still totally fascinated by it. Plus Tim Curry would be an excellent choice to play the devil on screen.
28 September 2010
| || |
What I see
What I don’t see
What others see
What others don’t see
Tom Killer (TK)
What TK sees
What TK doesn’t see
What others see
What others don’t see
Tom Killer (TK)
What TK sees
What TK doesn’t see
What others see
What others don’t see
What TK sees
What TK doesn’t see
| || |
What TK sees
What TK doesn’t see
What NK sees
| || |
What BtM sees
What NK doesn’t see
| || |
What BtM doesn’t see
27 September 2010
That's just so you know what to expect. I wouldn't want to be accused of not forewarning you, after all.
Anyway, reading. Isn't is great? I mean, what else can provide hours of enjoyment (I'm watching you, oh Watery Tart), make your imagination run wild (Tami! *glares*), and provide escapism of the highest order? OK, so some people would say that TV or the movies can do all of these things, but I disagree. Yes, visual stimulation (love that word) could probably do the trick, but they don't get any of those lovely creative juices flowing. When you read, you have to fill in the blanks yourself. You have to picture the scenes, the characters, everything.
Anyway, before I continue stating the obvious, perhaps I should get on to the particular bit of reading that I wanted to talk about. Books are obviously the best way to get your reading fix, but what if you have read every single book in your possession at least ten times? What if your local library should really be called a bookshelf seeing as how it only has about twelve books (or maybe that's just my local library)? What if, no matter how much you wish otherwise, you simply can't afford to go out and buy half a dozen books every week to feed your reading habit?
Thankfully, we have the internet. There are a number of ways you can access reading material on the World Wide Web, but one of the best ways to discover something new is to hunt through the fan fiction sites. It can be a bit of a hit and miss endeavor - a lot of fan fiction is pretty poor - but along with the bad is most definitely the good.
The best thing is, you can pick your subject. Almost everyone has a favorite TV show or book, and I'm betting that most of these favorites have a fan fiction archive. The best place to visit is fanfictiondotnet, where you can browse through the categories and have a very good chance of finding something that interests you.
For me, it was fan fiction that got me started in writing. My obsession with a certain boy wizard (well, not him personally, he's a bit young for me) led me to HPANA, a community-based website catering to all of your Harry Potter needs. Of the many sub-forums, the fan fiction section drew me in and introduced me to the (mostly) joyful world of writing.
The thing with fan fiction is that not only do you get to read the further (or past) adventures of your favorite characters, it actually teaches you to recognise good and bad writing. And sometimes you even discover a gem so shiny you wonder how the author hasn't managed to get published yet. Reading a few of these gems got me inspired to write something myself. So maybe my first few efforts were more rocks than gems, but still, I was writing, and that felt pretty wonderful.
So fan fiction is what I am recommending you to read if you ever get a spare moment. You may have to dig a little before you find something great, but even the poorer stuff is entertaining, on a So Bad It's Good kind of scale. And it definitely teaches you about what works and what doesn't.
And lastly - something you may or may not know - fan fiction is the common bond of every single Burrower. *nods* Yup, it's true. Every single Burrower has written a little (or a lot, in some cases) of fan fiction over the years, and it was these forays into the established Harry Potter world that drew us all together. By reading the various offerings, we were all able to get a little insight into the authors themselves, which is a difficult thing to do normally when you interact with folks on the internet. You can generally get a good feel for someone's personality by reading what their imagination comes up with.
Tami's works were easily the most planned out, but they always had a streak of fun running through them, just waiting to jump out and surprise you every once in a while. Rayna's efforts usually warmed the heart, and offered a little moral teaching in them more often than not. Jason's stories were always a toss-up between being the most clever or the most funny, while Mari's often quirky nature shone through in every chapter that she shared.
Anyway, what I'm trying to point out is that through the power of reading, I managed to find the best friends you could ask for, plus be entertained at the same time. You don't get any better than that as far as I'm concerned. *nods*
So fan fiction - whether you hate the idea of it or not - is definitely worth recommending. You never know what you are going to discover, and that is surely one of the best reasons to read after all.
Image courtesy of publicdomainimagesdotnet
26 September 2010
First of all, you may have noticed that we extended the deadline for submissions for the latest Drabble Dare. People are busy, time is short, inspiration can sometimes be lacking, so we made an executive decision and decided to give folks extra time to get their writing juices flowing.
Of course, it did mean that our regular Sunday post subject was redundant, and typically this week's Sunday post was due to be written by Yours Truly - the Burrow's resident procrastinator.
No problem. No problem at all.
So what I thought I'd do is remind everyone of the latest Drabble Dare (picture to inspire multiple drabbles is located on the right hand side of the page), and to reiterate that the deadline for submissions is September 30th. So if you haven't shivered your timbers yet, or mangled your litany, buck up and get moving or it'll be a pirate's life for you! Entries to be sent to theburrow360atgmaildotcom with 'Drabble Dare # 10' in your subject line. Go forth and drabblefy!
So I've reminded you about the Drabble Dare (if I say Drabble Dare often enough, the message should become subliminal, therefore bending you to my will), and before I shoot off and try to create a superliffic post for tomorrow (that could prove difficult), I wanted to give a shout out to y'all about talking a peek at our Mother Website, interestingly called The Burrow, by some strange twist of fate. *coughs*.
We Burrowers are currently busy with finalising the details on our up and coming October feature (super secret, not giving anything away on that as of yet), but in the meantime our homepage is still displaying our recent Pay It Forward feature. Drabbles about passing an act of kindness on to a stranger, with contributions from Burrowers and friends, this feature I humbly believe was one of our best, and we all had great fun taking part. Before it disappears into the Burrow archives (which technically isn't actually 'disappearing', but I always like to add a hint of urgency to these things), go take a peek and discover how one tiny act of generosity can act like a ripple in a pond, and soon spread further than anyone could have imagined.
So there we have it, a quick Sunday catch up. See you all tomorrow! And don't forget... Drabble Dare... Drabble Dare... Drabble Dare...
24 September 2010
Photographs- Author's Own.
Models - Would you like to borrow them for a couple of days, I promise I wouldn't ask for ransom to take them back?
23 September 2010
Hickory Dickory Dock,
The mouse ran up the clock.
Okay, seriously, what's so cool about the clock that a mouse (granted, a species not generally fêted for their brainpower, but whatever) had to run all the way up it? Did somebody put cheese up there? Maybe it wanted to play king of the world (or at least of the drawing room).
The clock struck one, the mouse ran down.
So he's easily scared, fine, that is normal mouse behaviour. But -
Hickory Dickory Dock.
All right, I'll just say it straight out - when's the last time you heard the word "dickory" in any other context? You didn't, of course. Honestly, making up words is all well and good *cough*Burrowictionary*cough* but when there's only one in there, it rather looks like desperation for the rhyme, ne?
Let's look at another one, shall we?
Little Miss Muffet sat on her tuffet.
Tuffet, huh? It's rather hard to find a good one these days; they're too hard, or too soft, or too grassy, or too dirty - honestly, you start to feel like Goldilocks, who is a fairy tale, not a nursery rhyme, so we'll leave her to her porridge and check out some more nasty food, to whit:
Eating her curds and whey.
Curds aren't bad, really - Heluva Good makes some pretty yummy cheese curds, I like those, in fact they were a staple snack for me my first year of grad school - but whey? Yuck! Do you know what whey really is? It's the icky watery stuff left after you separate the curds out. Blargh...
Along came a spider and sat down beside her
And frightened Miss Muffet away!
Now this I am in total sympathy with. I never used to have a problem with spiders and in fact thought people who got wigged out by them to be total wimps - until I saw Arachnophobia. *shudder* I was about 8 years old, and holy arachnids they scare the crap out of me now. No thanks. Ugh.
Wee Willie Winkie...
Nope, can't do that one, laughing too hard at just the first three words. Next!
One, two, buckle my shoe
Why should I? Are you too fat to reach your own feet or something? 'Cause if so, you should really stick to slip-ons.
Three, four, shut the door
Is there a draft? I mean, it's really quite nice out today, sunny and bright and more June than September.
Five, six, pick up sticks
Look, who are you to be giving all these orders? And unless you're a Manhattanite dealing with that freak tornado, I don't think you generally need to be picking up too many sticks - like I said, it's a nice day, you couldn't possibly need them for a fire or anything.
Seven, eight, lay them straight
Then what did you want them picked up for?
Nine, ten, a big fat hen.
You know what, I was sort of humouring you before, but this is the last straw, that makes no sense AT ALL.
Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall
What is it with the climbing-to-the-tops-of-high-objects thing? The mouse, HD here, and let's not get into the bloody cow who thought she'd take the biggest leap ever known.
Humpty Dumpty had a great fall
And this is exactly why you shouldn't go climbing the thing to begin with. Especially if you're an egg. I mean, duh.
All the king's horses and all the king's men
Couldn't put Humpty together again.
So, all right, no offense to the horses or anything, but they don't even have paws, let alone opposable thumbs. What help are they going to be? And while we're at it, which king?
I give up. It's just not working out. For further reading, may I direct you to Hickory Dickory Dock and One, Two, Buckle My Shoe by Agatha Christie, and The Big Over-Easy and The Fourth Bear by Jasper Fforde. You may not get answers to what the rhymes mean, but they're damn good reads.
Images: Public domain
22 September 2010
Things That Make You Go . . . Hmmmm:
- Why does Hawaii have interstate highways?
- How do "Do Not Walk On Grass" signs get there?
- What happens to an 18-hour bra after 18 hours?
- When arresting a mime, do the police tell him/her "You have the right to remain silent?"
- Before inventing the drawing board, what did people go back to? Stone tablets?
- What do chickens think we taste like?
- What hair color do they put on the driver's license of a bald man?
- How do you know when you have run out of invisible ink?
- Why are there flotation devices in airplanes, but no parachutes?
- If Barbie is so popular, why do you have to buy all of her friends?
- We had a tornado in Staten Island (borough of NYC). Scared the crap out of me. I was like Dorothy with no Toto (Wizard of Oz).
- The image above contains randoms. This is what happens when you enter a general term into Wikimedia Commons thinking you will get a specific image. It is a random coincidence event for positron emission tomography (The Journal of Nuclear Medicine, Yamamoto, Amano, Miura, et al.). Not really sure what this means and that is why it is random.
- Why did the movie "9" contain the song "Welcome Home," by Coheed and Cambria, in its commercial but not in its movie? That was just wrong.
- I really wish we could find better, cleaner energy sources than fossil fuels and nuclear energy for factories and cars. I don't want us to end up like the post apocalyptic world of "Mad Max."
- I love National Geographic. It has wonderful video clips, assessments and picture galleries. Great resource for your own educational learning or for use by teachers in the classroom.
- Lots of movie references above. Must unplug now.
21 September 2010
20 September 2010
So what, exactly, is the great appeal of these type of stories? Some might argue that ocean-going adventures involve saltwater, and, hey, everyone drinks water, and who doesn't like salt? But personally, I think it's an appeal to two of our strongest instincts: making tools and exploring the world. Exploration vessels are almost invariably the cutting edge of their day's technology, from the primitive rafts used to cross the Red Sea 50,000 years ago to the Apollo landing modules used to explore the moon. And such exploration itself is a necessary part of the equally important drive to colonize new living spaces.
M. Dick is the Mona Lisa of literature. It's a quality work, but it's mostly famous for being famous, and not necessarily for standing head and shoulders above its peers. And I don't think whales have shoulders anyway. So if you fancy yourself a sophisticated reader, you need to pick up a copy, or at least skim the Cliff Notes so you can fake it.
By his own admission, Melville was writing a hybrid. One aspect of the book deals with Ahab's obsession for revenge, man's relationship to nature, and a host of rich metaphors that provide easy fodder for secondary school literature instructors.
The other aspect is an ocean-going adventure story. The crew of the Pequod don't really do much exploring, but Melville tells a great deal about the technology and techniques involved in whaling. Ever wonder what sort of supplies a whaling boat is stocked with? Or how long it takes to bleed out a harpooned whale? How to get the oil out of its head? What to do about all the sharks that show up to munch on the carcass? It's all there, all fascinating, and (be advised) pretty darned gruesome.
Foundation and Earth
We have an entry from the science fiction genre. These two novels are sequels to Asimov's famous Foundation trilogy, but all characters and events are sufficiently described so they can be read without prior knowledge of the trilogy. Foundation and Earth focuses on the continuation of one of the storylines from Foundation's Edge, namely, the search for Earth. Yep, that's right: a mere 20,000 years in the future, and they've misplaced the original planet.
Although the book is science fiction, and necessarily incorporates some far-fetched technology, Asimov himself was both a scientist and a big fan of science. His devotion comes through marvelously as the crew of the Far Star search for clues around several mysterious stars. The reader gets to learn about the formation of star systems, and the type of information that an astronomer could use to detect the presence of life or technology from a distance. All of this happens whilst a story of exploration and colonization is followed backwards toward its source.
Okay, I'm sorry to be a negative navigator here, but this book is a basic bundle of overused unoriginality. It's got an adolescent protagonist who's "caught up in the action", a pirate captain named 'Long John Silver' with a freakin' parrot on his shoulder, a bunch of hype over buried treasure and a map where 'X' marks the spot. It's the worst collection of clichés since Le Morte d'Arthur and looks like it was written by--
Hang on. Incoming message from my editor.
Oops! My bad. Apparently, none of this stuff was cliché until other writers picked through Treasure Island and copied the ideas. But still, I think that gives you a pretty good idea of what the book is like.
Which leaves us a bit of time to talk about pirates. One Jane Yolen (in the commentary of my paperback edition) wrote concerning this most famous pirate, "every reader is most taken by the one-legged sea-cook Silver because he is a morally ambiguous man. That is, he is neither all good nor all bad, which was a first for this kind of adventure fiction." Yolen also notes that this was far from acceptable at the time, quoting a contemporary critic of Stevenson who said: "It brings the reader into rough company, among a good many horrors."
I'd like to agree and disagree. At the literary level, Yolen is absolutely correct. Long John Silver is not a melodrama villain; he is not dragged out with his worst side showing for the audience to boo, like a Snidely Whiplash, or the local thugs at the beginning of an A-Team episode. In that sense, he sets an excellent precedent, because his moral status is not dumbed down and spoon-fed to the reader.
At times, L. J. Silver may come across as morally ambiguous to other characters in the story. But is Silver himself morally ambiguous? Does he have some mix of good and bad qualities which, if not perfectly average, at least approaches normal?
Not hardly. And identifying him as such is making the same mistake as the unnamed critic above: namely, that a person's moral character can be equated with his outward behavior. But the worst of villains, thieves, murderers, and legislators often show a charming face; they might genuinely care for the comfort of their guests, as Silver did; often, their feelings for those within a select circle of friends are perfectly normal. The morally bad choices happen by creating distance between oneself and one's victims, making it easier to generate a spurious justification or to focus one's attention on personal gain.
Okay, enough preaching. You get the idea. Pirates are bad. So are mobsters and highly-organized bands of professional thieves. Just keep that in mind, then, and you have permission to freely enjoy the most lurid pirate stories and mafia films without shivering your timbers.
19 September 2010
If ye be yet a landlubber, then I be tellin' yeh: A drabble ain't no fewer than a hundred words. And it ain't no more. Best way to remember, it be six an' two thirds words for each man on a dead man's chest.
When yeh've written yer bit, send it by email to: theburrow360 (at) gmail (dot) com
An' if ye want to send it smartly an' all pirate-like, then get yerself a parrot. Then have the parrot send yer email.
Me savage Burrowers will look at them drabbles as we got by 30 September, then scrap it out amongst ourselves. An' him or her that survives the scrappin' will show the favorite here, on Saturday next.
18 September 2010
Rayna provided us with a wonderful image of the week.
Our winner of Drabble Dare #9 is . . . *drum roll*
KATY FOSTER- DUGAN!!!!!!!
Without further ado, here is her drabble:
I can’t believe that this was still happening to me. It has been three years since he died.
Three years and I still break into tears in public.
I see something he would like and then I remember, and it feels like he only died yesterday.
“Are you alright?”
“I’m fine, I just got a speck of dust in my eyes.”As soon as she looks away I’ll reach in my purse that I keep stocked for days like this. I’ll pull out my sunglasses, I’ll fake a smile, and try to remember the good I still have in life.
I hope to read more of everyone's drabbles in the future. Don't be scared, just write! Tune in tomorrow for the next image for Drabble Dare 10.
17 September 2010
When working with a manuscript – whether it is the Great American Novel, a children’s book about sea lions or, Digression forbid, a master’s thesis about one of the world’s most depressive and persistent conflicts – it frequently happens that we end up taking ourselves and our work too seriously. We work up nerves and expectations, and all of a sudden, your manuscript is the most important thing in human history. Unless you get every sentence absolutely perfect, there is a chance the world as we know it will come to an end.
Relax. It’s not the end of the world.
In fact, it might not even be a sign that the apocalypse is near.
|The ideal writer needs virtually no sleep|
Your manuscript won’t go anywhere if you take fifteen minutes off to go for a quick walk.
A weekend off can do more for your productivity than two weeks of diligent work.
One of the best things I ever do for my academic papers (even the ones on a deadline) is to go to bed, and then look at them with rested eyes in the morning. I don’t know if there is such a thing as a “paper fairy”, but she sure seems to visit during the night. She doesn’t take a tooth from under my pillow, and she doesn’t leave a coin. She does take away some of my destructive self-criticism, however, and she often leaves a paper that seems much better than it did the previous night.
Did you know that studies show that 413% of writers are cursed by (light to medium) panic attacks over “terrible” manuscripts when in reality they only need a nap? Did you know that 0.000017% of all writers will eventually eat the paper they write on because they keep forgetting dinner? Did you know that 3 out of 17 books are rejected by publishers because they are stained by coffee since the writer forgot to take a real break and instead brought the coffee back to her work where she accidentally spilled the coffee all over the printed manuscript? Did you know that all the above figures (except the giraffe one) were made up by me in an attempt to get your attention, but that they nevertheless serve to illustrate a point?
Take a break. It’ll do wonders for you.
16 September 2010
Anyway, regarding the subject for today's
First I thought I'd do a bit of Taffing - you know, silly spellings and what-not - but then I realised that I always fall back on Taffing when I can't think of anything to blog about, so I should try something else instead. Which is a right bluddy shame ifyouknowzwharrimean, coz I loves Taffing, I do, I loves it.
Then I searched through the dusty corners of my brain and tried to find something that I haven't blogged about before (on my other blog, that is), but do you know what? I think I've probably covered most of the delusional stuff already (almost every single blog post I have ever written could be classed as delusional for the most part or, failing that, just plain old silly).
I mean seriously, I've covered lamonized limed lemons, wobbly sausages, asteriskisms, made-up words, talking beer bottles.... well, you get the idea. Even typos (which are the bane of my life) have been covered. What's a girl to do?
Of course, this is exactly what I am like with all aspects of writing. Unless I am struck by Inspirational Lightening, I'm usually stumped. When it's fanfic, I tend to read other samples to try and get me back in the fanfic mood, and it usually does the trick. With my original stuff I tend to - when not staring blankly at the screen - listen to mood-inducing music and hope that my fingers will do more than drum to the beat. With blogs, however, I do something different. Or several things different, to be more precise.
My first port of call is Google. Google is fab, it really is. You can find anything on there (which is just as well seeing as it is a search engine). I particularly like Google Images, because there's always that random naughty picture in there somewhere no matter what you type in the search bar, and it always makes me giggle. I'm just odd that way. *shifty*
Of course, when you are searching for a topic to blog about it can be tricky to use Google, seeing as how you need to type something into the toolbar to begin with, and if you can think of something to type, there probably isn't any need to search for a subject. Hmm, perhaps I should blog about overly long sentences. Or pointless Google searches. Anyway....
If Google doesn't help (which is fairly often if I'm really stumped), I start walking around the house looking for something - anything - that could be used to inspire a paragraph or ten. This can really work sometimes. Back last year I was having my usual panic attack one night when I spied my cigarettes and remembered the escapade involving missing cigarettes and possible sightings of Casper the Non-smoking Ghost - hey presto! A blog post! (And yes, I'm a smoker, shoot me now if you like. Though honestly, shooting me would probably kill me, and most people nag at smokers because of the effect on their health, so killing me seems a bit silly. Though if you would like to shoot me because you just can't abide smokers as it is a filthy habit, crack on. I can't stand smokers either, and truly wish I had the will power to give the bloody things up).
Anywho, today Google didn't help me, so I decided to clean (as you do). Going through each room I looked at books, clothes, random objects in the kitchen (the bananas seemed to inspire for a moment or two, then I realised that anything I said about bananas was probably already mentioned in my wobbly sausages post), and just about everything really.
Nothing. Nada. Zilch.
So there we have it. I still don't have anything to blog about. Maybe next time, eh?
Image courtesy of publicdomainimagesdotnet
15 September 2010
If you were sensible, you would not even attempt the process. But the Sages of Ancient India were not exactly known for being sensible, were they? When Ved Vyas decided to write the Mahabharat, he was less concerned about the time it would take, as he was about having ink-stains on his fingers. So, he approached a scribe to take down his work. Not any scribe- Ganesha, the Lord of Auspicious Beginnings.
"Because nobody else can do it?", reasoned Ved Vyas.
"But why would I want to do it?", asked Ganesha. "What's in it for me?"
"Modaks!", replied Ved Vyas. "Once you finish, I will give you as many modaks as you desire."
"But I already have all the modaks I want."
"My modaks are better than any other modak you have tasted."
Ganesha couldn't resist. "Okay. I'll do it. But let me warn you- you have to dictate constantly. If you let my pen pause, I will not resume, and you have to keep your share of the bargain and give me my modaks."
"Done. But you must only write down what you understand. If there is some part of it that you don't understand, you need to pause till you get it."
Ganesha snapped off one of his tusks, dipped it in ink, and started writing. Ved Vyas dictated continuously, and when he needed to give his voice a rest, he would dictate a particularly complicated passage, so he had a few moments of rest while Ganesha tried to decipher it.
I do not know anyone who has read the Mahabharat in its entirety. It is unlikely I would attempt to read even a translation. But the tradition of oral storytelling is so strong that I doubt if there is even one among the billion citizens of India who would not be able to tell you the entire story.
Random enough? If not, too bad.
Ganesha, modaks - self
Page from the Mahabharata, courtesy Brooklyn Museum