Monthly Archives: August 2011

A Quick Scene

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I had a dream Sunday morning that involved lots of weird stuff, but ultimately inspired a story idea, and I thought I’d write the beginning and post it here. So here it is! (Also, I don’t know about the kittens. I just don’t.) A warning, though: the story may beat you over the head with Quirky. If you don’t like quirky stories, you probably won’t like this. Anyway, here it is!

It was 9:15 A.M. (give or take a few kittens) on a surprisingly bright, sunny Friday morning when Lora Thompson woke up in the back seats of her car. She had been having a rather pleasant dream prior to waking up, and she frowned a moment before slowly sitting up. Yawning, she slowly stretched to relieve the soreness in her back.

It was at the precise moment her fingers brushed the ceiling of her car that she realized it was moving.

Lora blinked a few times–yes, the car was definitely moving, judging by the presence of two men in the driver and passenger seats. Lora blinked a few more times to make sure her eyes weren’t deceiving her, then, in as indignant a tone as she could muster, said:

“Excuse me?”

Her words had a profound effect on the men; the one driving let out a loud yelp and the car swerved madly, knocking Lora into the side of the car. The passenger yelled similarly, then turned around in his seat (quite horrendously he wasn’t wearing a seat belt) and gaped at Lora for a few moments before beginning to scream. The driving man had just managed to right the car’s course, but the passenger’s screaming startled him and he began screaming as well as the car swerved back and forth. Finding it infectious, Lora joined in on the screaming.

If anyone had been around, they would have stared at the beige car careening around the road emitting loud screams. Thankfully, they were on a small road and nobody was there to hear.

Eventually, Lora’s voice began to falter and she stopped screaming, which caused the men to cease as well.

“Just what do you think you’re doing?” Lora croaked as the car slowed down.

“What’re you doing‽* You shouldn’t be here!” said the passenger.

“It’s my bloody car!” said Lora. By now the car had come to a stop, and the driver turned around as well.

“I’m terribly sorry, I hope you’re not angry, please don’t call the police, are you going to tell on us…?” he said.

Lora paused for a moment, thinking. “No, that won’t do any good. But really, what are you doing?”

The driver opened his mouth to speak, but the passenger interrupted.

“Well, see, we stole your car to get away from the police.”

“…And why did you want to get away from the police?”

“Because, well, we sort of ended up with some… diamonds?” The passenger looked to the driver for confirmation; the driver nodded.

Lora grinned. “So, money.”

“Erm… yes,” said the driver. “But it’s ours!”

“Not if I tell the police.”

“But you said you wouldn’t!”

“And I won’t, if you give me a sha-” Lora was cut off by the low wailing of sirens in the distance. The two men went white as sheets.

“Look, we have to get outta here!” cried the passenger. “Please, can we use your car a bit longer?”

“Yes, but I get to have some of the diamonds when we’re through!”

“Yes, yes, of course,” said the driver as he turned back to the wheel. The car groaned for a moment, then began moving; in a few moments, they were gone.

Obviously this is just first draft material and is pretty bad, but I thought I’d put it out there anyway. Also, I do believe the story takes place in an unspecified part of Britain, though I plan on never really stating so (slang used should be the only indicator). If I got some British slang wrong in the speech or could add some in, please tell me!

I’ve Wasted My Entire Day–and I’m Still Wasting It

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So. Anyone know of The Secret World? Well, it was supposedly opening up for beta signups today at 2:00 P.M. EST. Well… it’s now 10:15 P.M. EST and it’s still not working. Instead of signing up and going on my way as I planned, I’ve spent pretty much my entire day glued to the computer screen, madly refreshing the website and the forum threads (there have been four so far due to too many posts). I’ve wasted my day, and for what? A chance (that’s right–I might not even get in!) to get into the beta for a game that’s coming out relatively soon. Excellent. And what’s worse is that it’s still not up and I’m still wasting my day. Oh well, at least I was able to write a post about it!

Anyone else ever spent an entire day doing practically nothing?

EDIT: Hrmm, as I was writing this post there was an update on the signups; they’re being delayed (after they were supposedly going to be up about now), with the next “check” at 7:00 A.M. EST. Yeah, I’m not getting up for that. Guess I’ll just have to see what happens. Now I’ve really wasted my day.

From Elantris to The Way of Kings; a Brief Look at Sanderson’s Writing

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First let me say that this is more on an opinion piece than a review of either novel. I first read The Way of Kings several months ago, and just finished Elantris yesterday, and I couldn’t help but notice there were a lot of interesting similarities between the two novels. In the following post I’ll take a brief look at these similarities to try to understand them better.

The World

Both Elantris and The Way of kings take place in seemingly large and diverse worlds full of many distinct countries and cultures. However, I don’t recall there being a great many similarities between the nations in Elantris and The Way of Kings. Since I’m not trying to nitpick and find things to complain about where there are none I’ll move on.

The Characters

Raoden and Kaladin

The characters and viewpoints of the novels is where I noticed the most similarities. While they might have very different backgrounds, Kaladin and Raoden serve nearly identical purposes in each of their respective novels. They have each been reduced to members of the absolute lowest position in their societies, Kaladin a slave and Raoren an Elantrain. They each assume leadership over their peers and seek to improve their lives. I won’t go into detail here, but i think anyone who has read both novels can agree with me that they fill the same role.

That being said however, they do have different personalities. Whereas Kaladin is depressed and often pessimistic, Raoden seems and eternal optimist, never giving up and never letting his comrades despair.

Sarene and Shallan

I might be stretching things a little with this next comparison, but reading Elantris I couldn’t help but feel that Sarene was, in many ways, an older and more confident Shallan. In fact, Shallan and Jasnah combined might make for a very convincing Sarene impersonator.

Galladon and Rock/Gaz

Again, I think I might be taking things to far here, but it seems to me like the combination of Gaz and Rock fill the same role in The Way of Kings that Galladon fiils in Elantris. Gaz shares Galladon’s pessimism, and Rock provides the exotic eccentricities.

The viewpoint(s)/Themes

In both Elantris and The Way of Kings there are two main character groups; The nobility, and the slaves/damned wretches. The very highest and lowest of humanity. In both novels we see the main characters of each group struggle to improve the lives of their people. Whether it be Raoden trying to rebuild Elantris, or Kaladin desperately struggling to keep his men alive. Sarene seeking to reform the Arelesh political system, or Dalinar Kholin attempting to do the same.

Yes, though both novels have different themes, (though I do dislike trying to find themes and seek out deeper meaning in books (for philosophical reasons)) they each make use of similar characters and viewpoints to explore said themes.

Final Thoughts

Of each of the similarities I found between the two novels, I always found myself preferring The Way of Kings version of said similarity. This  may be partly do to the fact that I read The Way of Kings first, but I genuinely believe that The Way of Kings is a better novel. Don’t get me wrong, I think Elantris is an excellent book, but The Way of Kings, at least to me, feels much more refined, more real somehow.

Lastly, let me say that I don’t mean this post to be a criticism of Brandon Sanderson’s novels, I liked both quite a lot, I was simply interested to see how The Way of Kings seems to have refined and added to certain character types and concepts originated in Elantris.

Whether you agree or disagree with me, feel free to leave a comment and tell me what you think.

A Great Quote/My Opinion on it

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I found this quote the other day, and I immediately thought it was brilliant (and not just because of who said it, I swear).

 

 

“Everyone is a genius. But if you judge a fish on its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”

– Albert Einstein.

 

 

It seems to me that the school system, and indeed any organization or person that seeks a “one size fits all” solution could learn a thing or two from Mr. Einstein. We are all different, and so shouldn’t all be held to the same standards. If some people struggle with some things more than others that shouldn’t be seen as a failing on their part, but merely a sign of their humanity.

I Love Peanut Butter

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Peanut butter 14juni09 001

PEANUT BUTTER! (Image via Wikipedia.)

After attempting to write two different stories today (and getting a good few paragraphs into one), I’ve found myself completely unmotivated.

So instead, I’m talking about peanut butter. And man, is peanut butter great! Put it on a rice cracker, a bagel, bread, a waffle… everything is better with peanut butter! And not the sugary peanut butter that’s got all kinds of extra stuff in it, but natural, plain peanut butter from Publix that’s just plain peanuts. This stuff is so great that all that’s listed in the ingredients is roasted peanuts. Delicious! I mean, peanut butter. Come on, you know it’s great! And it’s a great source of protein! And deliciousness! PEANUT BUTTER!

Ugh, I can’t even make a good article about peanut butter. >_> At least its awesomeness can sort of stand on its own. YUM.