Trying, Not Succeeding

Self has moved on from Everlark.

She is still part of the fan fiction universe, only she’s switched allegiances to a new ship, Gendrya.

She is in complete awe of those fan fiction authors who drop Game of Thrones place names (Dragonstone, King’s Landing, Westeros, Highgarden, Casterly Rock, Stormsend, Braavos, The Red Keep, Winterfell, Volantis) as casually as bon bons.

She’s actually attempted doing a one-shot, but her lack of cred is immediately apparent because she’s only read one of GRRM’s books.

She doesn’t like AU Gendrya, it just doesn’t go well with the Bastard identity and Faceless Assassin plot lines. In the meantime, she lurks.

The number of Gendrya fics are about half the number of Everlark fics. But there are new ones appearing every day, because the ending of GoT Season 7 was so inconclusive.

Which brings us to:

The Books section of the Wall Street Journal, 12 – 13 August, 2017.

In Black Ships Before Troy, Rosemary Sutcliff (a rock star in her field) re-tells the Iliad. Now, the 1993 book has been re-issued and so it is with great pleasure that self adds the book to her reading list. It begins:

  • In the high and far-off days when men were heroes and walked with the gods, Peleus, king of the Myrmidons, took for his wife a sea-nymph called Thetis.

What. A. Fabulous. Opening. Sentence.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Fan Fiction: Arya the Assassin

All she had was hot vengeance running through her veins.


Self is pleasantly surprised at how good Arya Assassin fan fiction is.

Most (if not all) of it is rated G and just shows Arya being very ninja-like all over the place.

Revenge stories are the best.

Self would love to be able to write one of her own.

In her exploration of Game of Thrones fan fiction, she’s even stumbled across fan fiction written about Philip II of Spain. Granted, there are only two, but she’s surprised that there are ANY at all.

Are these, self wonders, written by a student who has to write something about Philip II for history class and decides the task will be easier if she can turn Philip II into a character in a fantasy world? If so: points student.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

War, By the Numbers

First order of business: Self has been perusing Gendrya and found a really badass one-shot. An excerpt:

She wielded two swords when she reached the tower. The Red Priestess wasn’t alone.

The girl wielded her swords, blood swiping tracks on the floor.

And he came out of nowhere, wielding a hammer.

Her other reading of the night is of course Waterloo (never mind the subtitle, which goes on forever). The battle is at midday of 18 June 1815. Napoleon has finally ordered his artillery to let loose on Wellington’s forces.

Here are the numbers:

Napoleon has 246 cannon, Wellington 157.

The French had 12-pounder cannon, The British 9-pounders.

Napoleon used his Grand Battery “as an offensive, as against a defensive, weapon.” He had used them this way before, most spectacularly at Wagram in 1809, where 112 French cannon “tore the heart out of the Austrian army.”

Wellington, on the other hand, had scattered his artillery “along the whole of his line” and used them “defensively . . . they were absolutely forbidden to engage in counter-battery fire.” Wellington was serious. When Wellington saw one of his batteries attempting to counter the French  artillery fire by opening up, “he ordered the arrest of the battery commander.”

Here self would like to interject with an account of her first visit to the British Imperial War Museum, two months ago, in June. At the entrance are the biggest long-range guns self has ever seen. They are massive. About as massive as an Egyptian pyramid. She can only imagine a whole battery of these guns firing away. The sound would shatter eardrums.

You have to walk right beneath these guns to get into the museum. It gave self a chill.

Inside the museum is a gorgeous engine called the Merlin. Shined to a high polish. Looks like Geiger art. Manufactured by Rolls Royce. For use in British World War I fighter planes.

Stay tuned.

Re-Reading: Mejhiren’s “When the Moon Fell In Love With the Sun”

Still one of the most beautiful Everlark self has ever read. The author, Mejhiren, updates about once a year. The most recent chapter dropped on December 2016.

Katniss, a poor girl from the Seam, has been whisked away by Peeta to be his servant in a palatial wooden house by a lake. In her utter loneliness, Katniss befriends a dove:

We’re the same color, just as I’d guessed; my skin a dusky dove-brown that matches her feathers as though painted by the same brush. “Are you mine, little one?” I wonder, daring a fingertip-stroke across her tiny head, and she closes her black-bead eyes in unmistakable pleasure.

It’s as inevitable as it is irresistible. I lean in, almost without thought, to brush her head with my lips, and she answers with a hushed, throaty coo that exudes sheer contentment. “Oh, I love you!” I whisper, my eyes beading with disbelief and joy and an overwhelming flood of affection for this first wild thing to reach out to me, to trust and love and care for the huntress who’s killed so many of the woods’ inhabitants for food and furs and nourishing bone broth. I should be more like my patient father but I’m too sad, too eager, too hungry for more, and I curl my free hand around my tiny sweetheart and bring her to my chest, pressing her gently over my heart.

Thankfully, this particular dove has waited a long time to tame me and doesn’t flail or strain or struggle at the sudden intensity of contact; rather, she curls her tiny claws in the weave of my sweater and coos drowsily as I stroke her in wonder, over and over again.

Just beautiful.

Stay tuned.

 

Everlark: It’s Been a While

Her fingers danced across the leather spines like thin spiders . . .

Cato in THE DECLINE AND FALL

Aside from her Real Life, self writes a lot of fan fiction, all in The Hunger Games universe. In her AU, she has come to use the following characters over and over:

  • Seneca
  • Plutarch
  • Cato

Hunger Games Plutarch is manipulative, a consummate politician. Hunger Games Seneca is a tool, pure and simple. Hunger Games Cato is a blonde, physically powerful type who ends up in a battle to the death with Katniss and Peeta. Guess who wins?

Now that she is reading The Decline and Fall, she is reminded that the above names actually belonged to real people.

In The Hunger Games, Cato is very much a bully.

In The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Gibbon on p. 348 writes “we may learn from the example of Cato that a character of pure and inflexible virtue . . . ” In other words, RL Cato is a good guy.

#what

Self will stop here, as she’s having conniptions over some #APBreaking news about Paul Manafort and it is putting her in a very sullen state of mind.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

#amwriting: story-in-progress “The Mark”

“Come with us, we’ll show you,” says the shorter man.

“I don’t trust you, I don’t know you. Why should I go with you?”

“Sometimes,” says the taller of the men, coming up to him with a slight air of menace, “sometimes you just have to get out.”

“That’s right,” says his companion. “Get out.”

P.S. #everlark

Because dystopia is everything.

Stay tuned.

In Which Sunny and Self Discuss/De-Construct “Passengers”

Of course, because this is the future and we write fan fiction, watching “Passengers” leads to some interesting gender flipping in our de-construction of said movie.

The idea of having Jennifer Lawrence doing the choosing was entirely Sunny’s. Self thought: Go for it!

Exhibit A

Stay tuned.

Lures You In Just Like a Multi-Chapter Fan Fiction

The murders unfold. P. 237.

Even though self swore — swore — when beginning In Cold Blood, that when she got to an account of the murders, she would stop reading, the more she read, the more complacent she became, the more she became invested in the characters. Especially in the character of the lead detective, Alvin Dewey.

Just when Hickok and Perry have been caught, it’s at that point when (just when self is patting herself on the back for having finished reading In Cold Blood without once flinching), what do you know: we do after all get the blow-by-blow. But by this time, self has already read 236 pages. How can she stop now? She does the only logical thing: she keeps reading.

It would have been less gruesome if told clinically. But unfortunately, that little perv Perry, the short one, the one who likes it whenever Detective Dewey has to light a cigarette and put it between his lips, he feels emotional connection to the victims (even as he destroys them), so he describes their looks of shock etc etc etc.

And. Still. Self. Just. Cannot. Stop. Reading.

Because she is already so fully invested in the story.

She is reminded of fan fiction, how it lures you in, chapter by chapter (Fan fiction is ALL about serialization). You live with the characters a while (In the case of Mejhiren’s stories, for years), you get to know them, you are completely at the mercy of the author.

Just like what’s happening to self now.

Capote. So sly. If the murders had been recounted any earlier than p. 150, self probably could have closed the book without a second thought.

It’s when poor Mr. Clutter offers to write the murderers a check in exchange for his life that they really go ape-shit on him.

There is so much horror in this story. Readers, self is sparing you much anguish. This is your trigger warning. P. 237. SKIP SKIP SKIP

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Everlark: Once, in a Cabin Deep in a Forest . . .

. . . there lived a widowed coal miner with 12 children. And these twelve children were:

  • Gloss
  • Darius
  • Finnick
  • Thom
  • Marvel
  • Cato
  • Johanna
  • Glimmer
  • Delly
  • Madge
  • Primrose
  • Katniss

Gloss, Cato, Glimmer, Delly, Madge and Primrose were “fair-haired with cerulean eyes and porcelain, milk-colored skin . . .  Darius and Finnick were the handsome gingers” and Thom, Marvel, Johanna and Katniss were “dark-haired” and “olive-toned.”

One day, the miner is informed that his in-laws have bequeathed him an apothecary but he must travel in person to District Four to claim it.

So the miner took leave of his 12 children and promised to bring them back gifts from Four, and the children asked for:

  • jewels
  • shoes
  • dresses
  • fancy shields

But Katniss asked only for a single white rose.

The miner did not yet know that to get this rose, he would have to go to an “enchanted castle” where “a hijacked prince” held on to the rose for dear life.

How self loves Everlarkian fairy tales. This one’s by author PeetasandHerondales.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

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