The NaNoWriMo of Argon

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As the image above is worth a thousand words, and I no longer have to keep up my daily wordcount by writing those thousand words, I shall return to fanfiction my numerous awe-inspiring original projects presently, after leaving my dear followers with an account of my experience of this fearsome month, written in the style of Jim Theis’ ‘The Eye of Argon‘ (http://ansible.uk/misc/eyeargon.html)

(I take no responsibility for anyone who may die laughing in reading ‘The Eye of Argon‘. Several of my barbarian comrades came very close)

*~*~*

The swirling pools of boiling gold that formed the scarlet orb, named ‘sun’ by some, withdrew its coils of heated shimmer in terror at the approaching dusk. Brave-hearted Rachelignr, the unsung Englisholian writer of barbarian fame bent the glistening sinews of her fleshy, manipulative fingers over the taunting keys of her crepuscular laptop, dulled and catastrophic thoughts abuzz with the permutations of thought related to her tangled, twisted, aggrogonious novel that lurked in the dingy shadows of her sinister and sacreligious id and ego.

“Mrifk!” she ejaculated, bustily–blubbering clusters of uncompassionate letters streaming like wisps of the most elegantly spun silk of the horned tarantulas that live craftily, luring naive prey to grotesque ends in the darkest corners of the Englisholian empire. “Thou NaNoWriMo approaches, wretch! Accept the defenestrating chaos of despair!”

Though she was, for many a day, ahead of the steep incline that set points–not arbitrary, but cunningly contrived along a parallel point–the creeping arms of sallow failure, grim and clammy in their mocking swamp of death contrived emporiously to wrap around her soft and lifeless limbs and guarantee her a place among her many slain comrades, strewn about the frigid haunts of the local CB2 Bistro, their entrails lain in pools of crimson gore.

In such a way did the teaming swarms of rainbow powdered fluff, efulgent with their horde of glassy eyes, pitch pupils jangling back and forth like the fair maiden Carthena’s luscious breasts in the arms of her barbarian lover, the unstoppable army of Plot Bunnies bore their mouth-knives, eager to bite into blood-gorged flesh.

“Thou shalt ne’er prevail, slut!” they cackled; their shrill and mincing voices legion in the unseen glow of the cerulean laptop.

Not cowed by their dancing tongues of prophesied doom, Rachelignr bashed her swollen digits along the malicious letter-makers and brought forth words an infinite amount of monkeys may very well have secreted with their mischievous ways.

“Away with thee!” she bellowed, lungs shaking, bosoms heaving, “Thou verminous rejections of Hell; thou shalt all taste death in the jaws of the violet oblong of completion!”

“Alack!” shrieked the mirthful lepus scourge, felt arms cast to the deaf ears of their abominable sky-gods. “Your slothful procrastination was orchestrated all along, reserving your strength for a final assault!”

“Aye,” agreed Rachelignr, “And may these fifty-two thousand words avenge the gnashing souls of my fallen, noble brethren.”

Exploding into explosions of pastel fibres the horde was brought to naught; the novel validated, and Rachelignr’s honour was avenged as airborne blobs of dead bunny devastation thickened the air.

“Rest in peace, Grignr,” she sighed.

And with that, the worthy barbarian and her overlarge chest of magnificent breastage departed NaNoWriMo victorious.

*~*~*

THE END

(OR IS IT!?)

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Appalling Appellations

Here’s another book I’ve bought to use as research for this year’s NaNoWriMo, and to pique the curiosity of all two of my readers by revealing only the image for some research I’m doing for the book, not a discussion of what the book itself will be about. This kind of limits my options when it comes to future posts about this book, but you can’t win ’em all now, can you? Especially if you were fighting for the French at Crecy…

However, my affection for meaningless mystery has, as it turned out, fallen on my own head as I returned to view the files I kept from my days at university–where I studied Medieval History–to see what I had left over on my computer that might help me with this painstaking research.

Behold–two screen-caps showing said files (in the two folders that were relevant to this period):

Friar Files Literature Files

I don’t know if the file names will be legible when this is posted–maybe if you click on them they will be, but you’re probably not that interested in my medieval files so I’ll give you a list of my favourites with some commentary. Be warned, some of these are more intuitive than others…:

  • Amazing Friar’s Essay!’, which makes me wonder why the ‘FINAL VERSION’ was merely titled ‘Friar Essay‘. Was it no longer amazing? No wonder I only got a 2:2…
  • Article on Thingamybob‘. Ah yes, ‘thingamybob’; essential reading when conducting a study of the early mendicant orders. (incidentally, religious orders from 1200-1370 turned out to be what the article was actually about).
  • ‘Humbert 1 and 6’
  • ‘Humbert 7’
  • ‘More Humbert’. Who is Humbert? Why do I have so many PDFs about him? What happened to Humberts 2 though 5? Out of all the files that were just titled with names of guys I no longer remember, this wins the dubious honour of being probably the most vague. (incidentally, these turned out to be original sources from Humbert of Romans writing about the Dominican order)
  • Moar Dominicanz’. Check out my Mad Skillz at naming files, homies! St. Dominic would definitely approve! (No. No, he wouldn’t).
  • Rubruck’s Mystical Journey of Joy!‘. I actually immediately remembered what this one was about just by reading the file name even though I’d completely forgotten the name of William of Rubruck. The irony is, his journey wasn’t at all mystical because he didn’t run into any of the monsters all the other friars did when they journeyed east! They must have told them he was coming and gotten them to hide as a joke. Poor old Bill…
  • Some Whiny Guy’. As you can imagine, it turned out the only way this title could have been more accurate would have been if I’d titled it ‘William of St. Amours’ Short Treatise on the Dangers of the Last Times’. Actually, I take that back–my title is still more accurate, because the PDF definitely contained some whiny guy, but his treatise was anything but short.
  • 25095923‘. Pretty self-explanatory, I’m sure you’ll agree. Actually, it turned out to be a semi-incomprehensible essay on Chaucer’s ‘The Reeve’s Tale’, one of my least favourite Canterbury tales. Just goes to show the mystery is far more exciting than the truth…
  • ‘Apparently useful for Anti-Semitism’. Er, yes. This was another one I knew the contents of immediately, but it wasn’t immediate enough for me not to have a sudden ‘I have a guide to being anti-semitic?’ moment when I saw it. Just so everyone knows; what it means is that it’s useful for studying medieval anti-semitism.
  • ‘Haz B and the Monarchy’. It also took me a while to remember that the Host of Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales was called Harry Bailey and that this title probably referred to him. Of course, I was 100% right.
  • Jones and Sprunger or Whatever’. I imagine I was tired when I named this file and not up to my usual standards of wit. (First commenter: You mean a halfwit? Hahahahaha…)
  • ‘Something About Bodies’–either an essay about substance in medieval Jewish-Christian debate, or an unpublished Agatha Christie novel I absconded with in my TARDIS. You be the judge!

And those are all the good ones. We may never know what their contents truly were. Mostly because half of the PDF files had been scanned in sideways so I had to tilt my head to read them, and that was really annoying. Likes, comments, follows; give me everything you’ve got–I have a cold and I demand your sympathy, otherwise my next post will be on William of St. Amours!

Missing Word Stories: Procrastinations

Well, what else are you going to do when you’re stuck in AS English Lit but write up a one-page synopsis of the text you’re studying, leave some words out and ask your friend to fill them in with only the type of the word you’re looking for for her to go on? I obviously couldn’t think of anything, and that’s why the aptly named ‘Procrastinations‘ was created, like Eve from Adam, out of the bones of Brian Friel’s ‘Translations‘.

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(which you’ve probably never heard of, but hey–I only have a limited number of these things to work with, and for obvious reasons this one was on my mind at the time; however much I wished it wasn’t. This version is at least a lot less miserable than the original.)

Procrastinations’ was almost certainly done in 2007, so a couple of years later than my previous stories, and with a different friend filling in the words, which you can probably guess from the early use of the word ‘penis’.

Also different is the illustration; which I did just now since I clearly couldn’t be bothered to do one eight years ago, and is therefore a vast improvement on those of my fifteen-year-old self…

Oh my god. I’ve just realised it’s been ten years since I was fifteen. NOOOOOOOOOOOO–I’m so OLD!

Procrastinations

In the brand new illustration spoken of before, we see the Irish witch doctor Hugh gazing with disapproval at his son Grayson Peg and his friend Yolland of the evil land of Rotherham (a name-replacement that you can either cringe or laugh at these days depending on how morbid your sense of humour is) as they rename the ancient Irish cities of ‘Glasgow’, ‘Mars’ and ‘Suffolk’ with more ‘Rotherham-ic’ appellations, on a masterfully drawn outline of the island. It’s vaguely recognisable as Ireland and everything.

Procrastinations Illustrated

There you have it. I sure did write a blog post just now, didn’t I? Productivity FTW, as they say.

The Job: A Tale of Revenge and Murder!

Hello, blog-readers! The worst writer on wordpress has returned to give you all an update on what I’ve been doing since I posted a cartoon of a purple vampire sheep a few weeks ago. The answer is: I have a (relatively) new job! One that requires me to actually go into work sometimes; I have to get dressed in the mornings and everything, it’s awful!

In fact, it’s so awful, I poured my feelings out through the medium of art to share them with the world. Behold–having a job!

The Job 1 The Job 2 The Job 3 The Job 4 The Job 5

I’m sure you can all agree my fears are very realistic. I might require my workplace to put trigger warnings on the filing cabinets from now on.

Incidentally, my cartoon-self appearing bald in this graphic novelette is representative of what my new haircut feels like, and not because I was too lazy to draw hair. Even though I did this comic weeks before my recent hair-cut. Timing!

There is other stuff I want to post, but in all seriousness I just have no motivation during summer months–I don’t know why. Last year I claimed my blog ran in ‘seasons’ like TV shows, and if that remains the case then I guess this counts as a holiday-special post (for the holiday of… *checks Twitter*… #blackcatappreciationday!) until Season 3 starts in September.

Also in all seriousness: I love my job really. Hope you all loved this post half as much. 🙂

Purple Vampire Sheep

I suck at blogging, (and everything else) during the summer, so here’s a drawing of a purple vampire sheep I did with my five-year-old cousin’s coloured crayons at my grandmother’s 80th birthday party earlier today–to tide you all over until I come up with something intelligent again.

Not that this is that much less intelligent than my usual fare, but still…

Purple Vampire Sheep

There you have it. Total. Masterpiece. 😉

Jonathan Strange, Mr Norrell & Me

A tale from my past that I’m sure my fellow writers and literature aficionados will appreciate.

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The year was 2004, so I was either 13 or 14 years old; the age at which all girls are at their most attentive when listening to their parents. ogei]w-00f–ahem, sorry, I accidentally smooshed against the keyboard there when I burst out laughing.

Anyway, one day I was sitting around watching TV when my mum walked into the room to tell me about a friend or acquaintance of her boss who had written a fantasy book that had taken ten years to write and was being much talked about in her circles. She told me she would pick me up a copy, since I liked fantasy books, when she went to the book signing that was happening the next day.

My considered and respectful reply was something along the lines of:

“Nn, whatever.”

The next morning my hard-working mother stopped by my room on her way to her place of employ, (she generally left the house before I woke up so she could leave work before 3) and woke me up to ask me:

“Hey, Rachel; when I go to the book-signing today is there any little message you’d like me to ask the author to write in the book for you?”

Not entirely sure what she was talking about and mostly asleep, I used what I thought was my ‘this-is-a-joke-between-us-mum-don’t-actually-tell-this-author-to-write-this’ voice to say the first witty one-liner that popped into my head. My mum laughed and left for work, and I forgot about it immediately.

Until, that is, she came home from the book-signing late that evening with my own personal copy of this book and said:

“I got you a copy of the book, Rachel–look what she wrote in it for you!”

At first I wondered what my mother might have asked this author to write for me, expecting some kind of basic ‘will you write this for my daughter?’-type thing I’d pretend to like for my dear old mum’s sake.

Instead, when I looked at the page my face must have filled with horror. And with glee.

Strange & Norrell

“Mum!” I exclaimed. “That was supposed to be a joke! I didn’t mean for you to actually ask her to write this!”

But, as you can see, she did, and I was able to show you this awesome picture.

I can’t say Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell became one of my favourite books; it was one where I never really connected to the characters, though I can only stand amazed at all the work that must have gone into it, and I will always remember with glee the aghast looks on the faces of anyone who saw me take out a book thicker than almost any we had in the school library and start reading it over the next month or so, and it clearly had an effect on my writing as the pitch for ‘The Ritual of DUELS’ reads something like this:

‘A group of young persons chosen from a selection of ancient and powerful families [like the characters from ‘Game of Thrones‘] who live in a version of our world that exists along side another which is the home of legendary supernatural creatures [like the world of ‘Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell’] take part in a complex, dangerous ritual competition of which there can be only one winner [like the plot of ‘Battle Royale’ ‘Yu-Gi-Oh’ ‘The Hunger Games’]. Hilarity ensues.’

[Seriously, the minute the book is finished and available for publication I fully expect someone to tell me The Simpsons already did it].

DUELS takes a very different path to JS&Mr.N, of course–it’s set in the modern era for one thing, and though ‘magicians’ (called ‘Changelings’, since an ordinary Human has to go to the other world in order to gain any magical talent, like changelings of legend who are taken there by faeries) do exist in-universe, they don’t really feature in the book.

But I give my eternal thanks to Ms. Clarke nonetheless. It still makes me feel bad for her that she had hoped to be as good as me one day, and my self-published novel has sold at least ten copies, while all she has is a currently-airing popular TV drama based off of her works…

Don’t give up on your dreams, Ms. Clarke! I’m still rooting for you!

Tools of Procrastination

Hey everyone, this isn’t my usual type of post, I just wanted to share these two test/quiz things with you in case you needed to entertain yourselves for a few minutes.

For my fellow readers: http://www.staples.com/sbd/cre/marketing/technology-research-centers/ereaders/speed-reader/index.html

And for my fellow sci-fi/fantasy nerds: http://www.easydamus.com/alignmenttest.html

Hope the links work, and thank you to the people who brought them to my attention; here are my results–

Reading

(Really hope that works. [EDIT: It didn’t, so I re-took the test, screen-capped the image and pasted it. Got a better score the second time too!] By the way, I totally cheated by already knowing the book the sample came from)

And–

Alignment

(This one didn’t have an ’embed’ button, so I just screen-capped it. Funnily enough, when I looked at my results in full I found my alignment to ‘Chaotic Evil’ was pretty much just as high as my alignment to ‘Chaotic Neutral’. Go figure) XD