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.

Readings of the Day: Waterloo/The Verge on GoTS7 Episode 6: “Beyond the Wall”

Self’s reading has been all over the map lately, from the Battle of Waterloo (Fantastic reading: Waterloo: the History of Four Days, Three Armies, and Three Battles) to reviews of the latest episode of Game of Thrones Season 7. Anyhoo, there’s only a few days left until the finale of the Game of Thrones 7th season, so the schizoid nature of self’s reading will soon cease.

First, the sentence from Waterloo. The narrative is now on 17 June 1815. A lot of men are dying or wounded, and Wellington gives the command to withdraw. This can only happen after the wounded are cleared from the battlefield. And since there are so many wounded, that operation takes some time.

p. 111: Wellington wanted the retreat done calmly and, as if to demonstrate his unconcern, he lay down in a pasture and put a newspaper over his face and pretended to sleep.


Self really enjoys the Game of Thrones Season 7 recaps on The Verge. Most of all, she likes Tasha’s breakdown of the first 18 minutes of Episode 6, Beyond the Wall:

I could have watched an entire episode that was just these Seven Samurai (give or take a few ablative redshirts, who the White Walkers and their pet dead-bear unerringly identified somehow as the ones to kill first) working out their grievances and expressing what’s important to them.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

 

MVP: “Beyond the Wall,” GoT 7:06

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“Beyond the Wall”: Game of Thrones, Season 7, Episode 6

MVP: The Hound

Because, seriously, the way he was front and center of all the fight scenes.

Self’s beloved Gendry was tucked safely out of harm’s way by his newfound bestie, Jon Snow. “Go run back to Eastwatch, Gendry!”

Points to the King of the North for doing his best to keep the last Baratheon Bastard alive until Season 8!

Best Lines:

Tormund/The Hound/Gendry/Tyrion

Most Heartstopping Moment: When she thought Tormund was going to be dragged through A HOLE IN THE ICE with white walkers grabbing his legs (Self thought they hated water???)

Come to think of it, there was another heartstopping moment, that she learned about on Twitter via spoiler, but she did not expect to worry that Tormund might die, so she’ll give the Heartstopping Moment Award to Tormund.

Self forgets everything said back at Winterfell. Oh! Brienne spoke. And she was honorable and doomed. Revealing her distrust of Littlefinger to Sansa? Not perhaps the best idea.

Arya’s collection of creepy Fun-House faces: probably a B. Sansa registered the requisite shock, but the mask (Frey’s?) looked like self’s neighborhood costume shop Halloween latex. To Arya’s overall affect this episode: also a B.

Sansa gets an A because the poor dear was so worried that her own sister might carve off her face. No one deserves to endure that kind of fear. No one. Not even Sansa.

A+ Wight: The one dragging the sword across the ice

B+ Wight: The captive wight; for sending the alarm, despite having half its jaw torn off by The Hound

Gendry’s buzzcut finally revealed its utility in this episode: it is easier to tell who he is, with hood down and buzzcut.

Also, the man does NOT run like a penguin. Do viewers understand the mechanics of running through snow? He did the best he could, considering he had never seen snow before and was probably falling into snow drifts and slipping and sliding and what-not.

Hmmm, what else?

Oh yes. The wounds on Jon Snow’s torso: they looked exceedingly fresh. And he looked very pale, almost corpse-like. Jon Snow’s wounds = B+

Gendry collapsing right in front of the Wall: YES! A+ !!!!

Ser Davos being the first of the rescuers to reach Gendry: All the FEELZ! A++

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

Sentence of the Day: Vulture.com

  • In the final scene of tonight’s episode, all your Game of Thrones boyfriends (Jon! Jorah! Gendry! Tormund!) find themselves together in Eastwatch castle, and it’s like the angriest sitcom crossover episode you’ve ever seen.

Ha, ha! Good one Vulture writer Nina Shen Rastogi!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Money Quote of the Day: Joe Dempsie

The Baratheon line is strong in this one.

Last night, self powered up her MacBook and saw messages: He’s in King’s Landing! (Thank you dear cousin from Bacolod who couldn’t wait to tell her that)

Self wanted to say: Shut up! She so much wished she had been able to watch Eastwatch (Game of Thrones Season 7 Episode 5) before seeing that.

But when the opening credits were rolling, and she saw the name JOE DEMPSIE, she was like KILL ME NOW.

Shortly after the episode ended, she went on Google and saw about half a dozen new interviews with Dempsie (2017 as opposed to, oh, 2013). Dempsie must be a very busy guy!

Here’s a quote from his interview with Huffington Post:

There’s a scene in Season 7 where Arya doesn’t like Ned’s statue in the Winterfell crypts and says it should’ve been done by someone who knows his face. Gendry knows Ned Stark’s face and is a craftsman. What do you think about him making Arya a Ned Stark statue one day?

Dempsie:  I think that’d be great. Hopefully he’d make it out to Winterfell and not have sort of a Lionel Richie “Hello” type of thing, he drags it up as a present for Arya. But, yeah, I mean, that’s an interesting theory. I think you might be on to something there. I personally would like to hope that Gendry has a bigger role to play in the end game than carving a statue of Ned Stark . . .

lol

Stay tuned.

 

#amwriting: 3rd Story About Fire Lizard

Tags: dystopia, fantasy, the future, the Philippines

Engage cornea slips. Again.

“Nature,” Fire Lizard begins, “will vindicate her laws.”

Laws.

New word. What does it mean?

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Not a Review of Game of Thrones Season 7 Episode 4

SPOILER ALERT, NOTHING TOO MAJOR

Unless you’re a Gendry fan.

In which case, self will say this: Go sell your stock on the Gendry train. It’s just not happening. Even a wee preview, with a two-second shot of a dark-haired someone being thrown to the floor, turns out to be of Podrick.

PODRICK?

Yes, innocent-faced Podrick, the delight of whores.

A Podrick sighting means a Brienne sighting will not be far behind!

What else?

Cersei and Jamie are in bed together. Naked. Someone knocks on the door and Jamie says Don’t but — really? Jamie? Isn’t it time to get past your reticence? After all, everyone knows (self read this part in a spoiler, so she knew Cersei wouldn’t bother hiding Jamie or anything). Repeat after self: EVERYONE KNOWS.

The one surprise (i.e., not mentioned on reddit) was that the knock on the door was delivered by a maiden. A pretty young maiden. Who has exactly the same kind of haircut as Cersei. lol

There was Melisandre standing on a very picturesque cliff, being her cryptic self. Talking to Varys. Which was quite a good scene. More of these two? Alas, Mel is leaving for Volaris. So, no more of these two.

Very brief glimpse of Greyworm’s face, in a helmet.

Much chewing of scenery by Cersei and Euron, followed by much blank, disconcerted staring by Jamie.

Ellaria Sand, oh Ellaria Sand. Self believes the episode belongs to her. Trying so hard to get to her cub Tyene. It’s a wonder she didn’t end up wrenching her arms out of their sockets.

Things could be worse. Tyene could have been handed over to The Mountain.

Thank the gods for small mercies.

There is a wee, infinitesimally wee preview of Episode 4. Dark-haired man being slammed to the ground threw Twitter into a frenzy last night. But, really, why did showrunners bother casting two men who look so much alike? Why not just combine their storylines, have Gendry and Podrick be twins or something.

Every time viewers see Podrick, they are reminded of his iconic scene with the whores. Even though, every season since then, he is never shown being with a woman. It is all just a big tease.

Mebbe Podrick should hook up with Brienne? With Sansa? With Arya? With Melisandre? With — Heaven forbid — Cersei? Or Dany?

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

 

The Verge on Game of Thrones Season 7 Episode 2: “Stormborn”

Self had to sign up for Amazon Prime solely in order to be able to watch Game of Thrones Season 7. She got the first week of HBO free, but now she’s being charged $14.99/month. It’s all good because if she weren’t able to watch GoT Season 7, especially now with confirmation that Gendry would be returning (At last! My Gendry is in the House! Gendry is back, people!), she would just die.

Under the foolish assumption that having HBO deliver the show directly to her feed means she can watch Episode 3 about 12 hours ahead of anyone else, she keeps checking her Amazon link to make sure it is “good” and that the signal is strong. As of right now, there is nada.

So, here she is, all lonesome and frustrated and wondering how she is going to fill the next 12 hours. And then she stumbles on The Verge. Wow, whoever writes the show re-caps is so on point!

There’s this:

We’re back in King’s Landing before you can say “the feature-film debut of pop sensation Britney Spears,” and it seems to me like we could have just stayed here and held off on the 90-second greyscale explainer video until later, but it’s not my show. Cersei and Qyburn take a stroll through the Red Keep’s basement collection of skulls, where he unveils his dragon-slaying plan: a sinister-looking mechanical crossbow loaded with an enormous spear, which he claims “the finest artisan blacksmiths in King’s Landing” have been working on for months.”

  • Wait a minute: Did Qyburn actually use the words “finest artisan blacksmiths in King’s Landing?” Or did he just say “finest blacksmiths”? Because there is a difference. At this point, any mention of the word “blacksmith” has self going waaaay waaaay back in time, to Seasons 2 and 3. Because reasons. Anyhoo, end of digression.

I don’t know, I mean, it’s just a crossbow loaded with a spear. It looks to be only about 1.5 times larger than the one Joffrey was using to pick off prostitutes six years ago. But it successfully shoots a centuries-old dragon skull that is sitting perfectly still . . .  on the ground . . . about 15 feet away. Oh baby, here is a foolproof plan if I ever saw one. And artisanal!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

 

Wondering About Game of Thrones Season 7 Episode 3

It is sweltering here up in the Pasadena Hills, and self feels no inclination to go outside. In the daytime, Pasadena is a sleepy city. At night, everyone drives with fury almost, zipping past slower cars and switching lanes with abandon. Self finds it very disconcerting. Especially as her GPS Navigator tells her where to turn only after she reaches an intersection, at which point she is usually in the wrong lane.

So, no going outside today. She’s re-reading a Calyx poetry anthology, A Fierce Brightness: Twenty-Five Years of Women’s Poetry, which she stumbled across in her house two weeks ago. Here’s the first half of a poem by Sheila Demetre:

A Woman Is Running For Her Life

Under my ribcage a live coal
is singing. It wheedles from its hutch
of bone, glows blue in every kindling breath.

I need these bright shoes to burn up centuries
of inertia, of sickness holding me limp
with forehead ground against my tangled knees.

Celestial now, I’m all brush and sweep.
My elbows scribble, quickening the air I slog.
Don’t touch my sparks, my hieroglyphs of heat.

She absolutely loves the “hieroglyphs of heat.”

Tomorrow is Episode 3 of Game of Thrones. Does Euron die? Does Yara die? Does Ellaria Sand die? Does Olenna Tyrell die? Does Grey Worm die? If Grey Worm dies, will Missandei go crazy? Does Meera Reed die? If Meera dies, does Bran get to have a wheelchair at last? Do we see Gendry (finally? Cause the tweets are getting ridiculous) Do Brienne and Podrick get to spar again? Does Ned Stark come back from the dead? Does Stannis Baratheon come back from the dead? Will we see more of Ser Jorah’s horrible greyscale? Will Sam be retching again? Will Dany continue to be her insufferable self? Will Sansa be more of her cryptic self? Will Jaime continue to be disconcerted? Will Cersei continue to be sarcastic? Will we ever find out which skilled blacksmiths created the Giant Crossbow aka Dragonkiller? Will Arya Stark continue to evolve? Will Wun Wun come back as a wight?

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

#amwriting: A Story Begun in Hawthornden

Just to show you how mind-numbingly slow her mind is, there are stories she’s begun five, even 10 years ago, whose words sit in her MacBook, languishing.

Five years ago, while self was in Hawthornden, she met two British poets: Joan McGavin and Jenny Lewis.

After dinner, while we all gathered in the parlor, these two would talk. And if self did nothing in that whole month she was there (June 2012) except listen to the stories, she would count that month well spent.

She also remembers visiting the National Museum in Edinburgh, and seeing there a figure of Dolly the Sheep. And dreaming of a giant Dolly the Sheep looking in through the manor windows.

Dolly the Sheep was the first successfully cloned sheep. She was born on 5 July 1996 and died on 14 February 2003.

Self was channeling sheep apparently because she even began writing a Dolly the Sheep story, which began:

  • The ghost of Dolly the Sheep, and three dun-polled cows.

Hawthornden was the place where self worked on editing Magellan’s Mirror for J Journal. And that is quite a fantastical story (The Philippines populated by a race of giants).

Then she began going to Ireland and started writing dystopia.

Goal for today: Finish that Dolly the Sheep story!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

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